Social Issues in Music Industry
“The rap industry is primarily centered around flexing wealth and most of the music videos pertain to the rapper being surrounded by alcohol and women. Only a few artists use the platform and opportunities given to them for a good cause like spreading awareness on Mental Health. In 1800, Logic aims to reach out to people dealing with dark thoughts and suicidal tendencies and let them know that there is a resource available to them. The song’s title originates from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a hotline in America for anybody going through emotional distress. The song is powerful, with a video that conveys a similar measure of intensity and feeling. The song itself is intended to speak of a phone call between a self-destructive individual, and the person on the other end of the phone, working for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The song and accompanying video worked together to create real change. Hundreds, thousands of viewers reached out to Logic via social media in order to thank him for his work. The rapper’s work is unprecedented in the rap industry, and that did not go unnoticed.
A music video wouldn’t typically be 6 minutes long, however Logic presents a short film on the taboo topic of suicide. This music video attempts to show people that even though they are going through a hard time there will be someone to help you. The title of the song is a direct dial to a suicide hotline in The United States and shows the teens mostly that the number is always available to them in need of help. This is shown through the whole music video when the protagonist is portrayed as being homosexual and therefore is cast out of society. This appeals to the LGBT community who truly do suffer from high suicide rates. It points to teens that feel different from society and are therefore victims of oppression.
Logic presents this in a way as to appeal to anyone who has been close to suicide and proves that they are able to get over the pain and battles with will and perseverance. The powerful 6 minutes presents not only the pain and suffering most teens and adult face but presents an option to those who are on the brinks of death giving them a number to help them with anxiety and other worries. The music video is presented as more of a short film dedicated to helping his fans and giving people the opportunity to seek help. Delivering the video in this format allows Logic to go beyond the lyrics. It offers more content, and therefore more room for interpretation. Most importantly, it expresses more positivity and support.
Although the music video seems to display a simple message, Logic expresses different themes throughout each part of the video. The viewer is presented with a small supportive family which is broken apart soon as the father finds out his son is a homosexual. This leads to the protagonist of the music video running away from home and portrays the isolation he feels as the family support goes away. The song begins with the suicidal individual explaining how they feel, stating that they “”just wanna die”” and in the first line go on to explain how they have been “”praying for somebody to save them””, which symbolizes a feeling of loneliness, and feeling of hurting deep down. Although he is able to find another family to fill this, that is broken too. Through all his ups and downs, he is ultimately able to reunite with his father as he is able to accept his son for who he is. Family is used in the video to represent unity and never-ending support. Although the video seems negative at first, the “happy” family at the starts appears even happier at the end. This portrays how far society has come and the father’s acceptance of his child by the end of the video.
The video interestingly displays quite a few opposites that are easily apparent, such as black and white, hetero and homosexual, old and young. Sexual orientation is the most emphasized one. The heterosexual men are unable to understand the situation of their homosexual sons, agitated upon discovering their sons are not straight. The hostile environment becomes apparent as one of the kids runs from home as he feared his dad finding out about his sexual preference. This was especially relatable to many of Logic’s viewers. By providing a concrete example of a situation that might negatively influence one’s emotions, Logic is able to speak directly to a certain audience. He might be suggesting that homosexual individuals tend to struggle particularly often, and is reaching out a helping hand.
Another theme explored in the music video is that of Isolation and the effect it can have on someone, especially a child. The protagonist is put in a tight situation where he is being outcasted by society in light of his inability to express his true emotions. Because of the lack of people understanding his situation he feels cornered by society and doesn’t know what to do with the predicament before him. The video attempts to reach out to the audience and appeal to them to reach out for help and not issues to ourselves in the time of need. We see through his various facial expressions and body language that this is a significant struggle for him. It offers the audience a good opportunity to walk in his shoes, to the best of their ability. This further appeals the emotion.
The second time around, the chorus takes a more positive tone, “You don’t gotta die, I want you to be alive”. This indicates the response from the person on the other end of the phone, explaining to the individual how it isn’t worth killing himself over this and attempts to reassure him that things will get better and suicide won’t solve anything.
The song progressively gets more and more positive in Alessia Cara’s verse with lyrics l like “seeing light in the darkest things”, symbolizing the ray of hope that still exists in even the darkest moments of life and how it isn’t worth losing everything over. Alessia and Khalid are portrayed in the video on screens in the hallways of the schools, almost as if they’re singing words of inspiration and encouragement to the students of the school passing by.
Unity is also represented through the school’s running team and the interactions of the protagonist in school. The cinematic shots of the bond between boy and his love interest in school is highlighted through cinematic shots of the two of them shaking hands and locking thumbs (1:03). This acts as a symbol of love and displays the unity of the LGBT community.
The video also aims to highlight the injustice and discrimination faced by the LGBT community. The struggles of the homosexual boy in the video display his lack of acceptance in school and society that he feels and how he is a victim of bullying for the same reason. The video further highlights the mental instability victims of such discrimination go through and the toll it takes on their day-to-day life. When things get from bad to worse, people resort to extreme measures such as the possession of a gun as seen in the music video. The video thus aims to showcase how to both reach out for help in tough situations and shines a light on the acceptance of all people regardless of their sexual orientation.”