Amajla Tricic, Staff Writer
New and upcoming artist Logic’s recent VMA performance explored the taboo of suicide with his hit song “1-800-273-8255.” The performance itself featured suicide survivors and led to a 25 percent increase in the National Suicide Prevention Hotline after it aired.
Students and faculty on campus saw this as a very powerful message to those who need a voice in a dire time.
Senior Belkisa Nuhanovic stated, “My reaction to the performance was ‘finally someone is saying something’.”
“No one really talks about suicide; we kind of just sit back and it happens.” Nuhanovic said. “I think his impact was strong because it was on television and for him being a well-known respected rapper, it made me happy to know he got the message across because he may have saved someone’s life.”
For other students who watched the performance, it not only surprised them but hit close to home. The performance represented a community of people who felt that their issues were not treated seriously enough, while shining light on a topic that is often dismissed. Some say it even gave others the confidence to do and say something about it.
Junior Tommy Ciccolella stated, “I first heard the song when I watched the music video.”
“I was not at all expecting to listen to a song about suicide and mental health, especially from a rap artist, since rap is so centered around masculinity and the male ego,” Ciccolella said.
“Logic afterwards said that he chose an interracial gay couple for the video because he understood those in the intersection and queerness are especially susceptible to mental health issues.”
Ciccolella also discussed the importance of speaking out when you have a big following.
“To then see Logic perform a song about those issues during one of the most watched awards shows on television, was comforting. Mental health is so heavily stigmatized in American culture, despite the fact that it affects such a large population,” he said.
“Simple representation of mental health issues in pop culture are extremely valuable for those in need of help and I wish more celebrities would acknowledge this in a clear-cut way like Logic did,” Ciccolella said.
Students like Hermina Garic, a junior at UC, did not watch the performance, but the news spread like wildfire through social media and discussions at school that she felt the impact of conversation alone.
“I think there was such a strong reaction because it was on national television and because Logic is a celebrity,” Garic said. “Celebrities have a lot of power over their fans and it could create a ripple effect to friends of fans too. Awareness of suicide is a tough issue. It is always plastered everywhere on stickers and people always talk about it, but when it comes to people in power, having someone you look up to validates your emotions and validates mental health.”