Help Through Hip-Hop

Help Through Hip-Hop

Diego Peralta, Reporter

I don’t wanna be alive

I don’t wanna be alive

I just wanna die today

I just wanna die

Those are lyrics from Logic’s “1-800-273-8255.” This song reached the top 3 on the Top 100 Billboard chart. Logic’s lyrics show that the Hip-Hop genre has come a long way.

It has gifted us with legendary artists like Tupac, Eminem, Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, and many others. But in many of the lyrics, the artists often talk about their money and how they’re so big and bold. Today, rappers like Logic, Lil Uzi Vert, and XXXTENTACION have put mental health at the center stage in Hip-Hop. hey have taken themselves, and their artform, out of the comfort zone, opening up conversations about mental health, depression, and even suicide.

In XXXTENTACION’s most recent album 17, the popular song “Jocelyn Flores” features a speaker who reminisces about the loss of a close friend to suicide.The lyrics read, “Picture this, in bed, get a phone call, Girl that you f? with killed herself, That was this summer and nobody helped. And ever since then, man, I hate myself, Wanna f? end it.”

Popular music messages that focus on important issues are coming at an important time. They serve as a voice to those who sometimes feel voiceless. In 2015, suicide was the second leading cause of death for the people between ages 15-34, and ever since Logic’s ‘1-800-273-8255’ song came out, calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline have increased by 50% percent, according to CNN. This is a topic that should be taken in all seriousness and should never be ignored or sugar coated. No matter who or where you come from no human being should ever feel alone or isolated. The lyrics in this new group of hip hop tracks remind listeners of these points.

Artist like Kid Cudi is another rapper praised for opening about subjects like suicide and depression in various songs. In an interview with ‘The Breakfast Club’ a popular Radio Show, comedian Pete Davidson opens up on how Kid Cudi has been such an impactful person in his life. He said, “He saved my life, I would’ve killed myself if I didn’t have Kid Cudi. If you’re 25 and under, I truly believe that Kid Cudi has saved your life.” In an interview on a radio show HOT 97, Travis Scott opened up about his situation and the importance of Kid Cudi in his life, in the interview he said; “Kid Cudi is like really one of the main dudes I looked at or listened to all the time; he saved my life. He saved me from doing random bad things to myself and kept me focused. I felt like he always made the soundtrack to my life or like anybody’s life who was going through the same thing”

In an interview on the Arsenio Hall Show, Kid Cudi spoke about the power hip-hop has on people and explained that artists should set aside all the other themes they usually rap about and start rapping about topics that listeners can be helped through: “I feel like, you know, if you’re gonna be an artist there’s a time where, you know, you have to embrace the responsibility and understand the power of music. [It] is something so special and being able to do it on this magnitude where you can reach millions of people. “It’s like, why not use that for good? Why not tell kids something that they can connect to and use in their lives?” “ And really my mission statement since day one was to help kids not feel alone and stop kids from committing suicide” In the same interview Kid Cudi added, “ You know I’ve dealt with suicide for the past five years , you know there wasn’t a week or a day that didn’t go by where I was just like, ‘You know what? I wanna check out.’ I know it comes from loneliness, it comes from not having self worth, not loving yourself.I’m just really trying to guide people and help people because loneliness is a terrible, terrible thing man, and if you don’t know how to conquer it, it can eat you alive.”

Suicide and depression are subjects that mainstream media should be addressing more often because they are things that are happening not only around the world, not only in this country, state, city but it may be happening in your very own classroom. Please if you or anyone you know is suffering with depression or having thoughts of suicide don’t hesitate to ask someone for help directly or by calling 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-662-HELP.