This past Sunday, Jan. 28, was the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The Grammys is an award show in which artists are given awards for certain achievements in the music industry. During the show, performances are given by top, rising or summer bop-releasing artists, many of which tend to use their platforms to advocate for causes to raise more awareness amongst their audience. Two years ago, Kendrick Lamar used the stage for an electrifying performance of his song "Alright" from his album, “To Pimp a Butterfly." During his performance, there was actual on stage as he made countless references toward political conversations, such as police brutality, the mistreatment of minorities and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This performance resonated well among his audience as "Alright" has become the theme song for the BLM protestors.
At this year’s performance, rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Logic gave a riveting performance of his song "1-800-273-8255." The title of the song is the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and the song itself was released with an intent to save lives, according to Logic, born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II. He was joined on stage by both guest vocals on the song, Alessia Cara and Khalid. Logic called for unity and action and stated, “Black is beautiful. Hate is ugly. Women are as precious as they are stronger than any other man that I have met. And unto them, I say stand tall and crush all predators under the weight of your heart that is full of the love they will never take away from you.” At the end of the song, he also said, “Be not scared to use your voice, especially in instances like these when you have the opportunity. Stand and fight for those who are not weak, but have yet to discover the strength that the evil of this world has done its best to conceal.” While giving his plea, Logic had the attention of every single eyeball in the stadium. He even went on to address President Donald J. Trump’s recent deprecating comment about foreign citizens. “To all the beautiful countries filled with culture and diversity and thousands of years of history — you are not sh**hole countries,” he said.
It is imperative that celebrities use their platforms to reach their fans. The internet, television, magazines and especially social media, are all ubiquitously available to people worldwide. By posting, tweeting and sharing to their millions of followers, celebrities are able to start movements and create conversations. By using the stage on Grammy night, Logic stole the show as his performance was simply scintillating. The breathtaking moment of the whole performance was when actual suicide-attempt survivors came to the stage, joined later by the families of victims of death by suicide. The performance touched many hearts as members in the audience were seen wiping away tears, mesmerized by the execution. The singer directly connected to the minorities by addressing the social constructs, struggles and marginalization they face on a daily basis. He also reached out to those with mental illnesses and disorders with his powerful deliverance. At one point Logic directly addressed the other celebrities in the room. “Be not scared to use your voice, especially in instances like these when you have the opportunity," he said. Because what better way to send a compelling message than through a highly-watched award show stacked with influential people while televised on national TV?
The music video for the song was up for a Grammy nomination and told the story of one of the most marginalized people in today’s date — that of a Black teen who is just learning to accept his sexuality while being rejected by society, and more hurtfully, his family and friends. The music video made a great impact as it has motivated many to seek help. the day after Logic performed the song at the MTV Video Music Award show. A similar performance of the song was shown at the Latin Grammys back in November of 2017, where Logic was once more joined by Alessia Cara and Juanes, a Colombian singer. This bilingual version of the song advocated for the Spanish-Language hotline: 1-888-628-9454.
Logic gives a voice to those that do not have one through his performances. He calls for attention to those that are oppressed and reminds us all to fight for those who cannot fight and spread positivity. It is a strong optimistic message to spread early into 2018.
Harleen Singh is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in cell biology and neuroscience. Her column, "Got Rights?", runs on alternate Tuesdays.
*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.
YOUR VOICE | The Daily Targum welcomes submissions from all readers. Due to space limitations in our print newspaper, letters to the editor must not exceed 500 words. Guest columns and commentaries must be between 700 and 850 words. All authors must include their name, phone number, class year and college affiliation or department to be considered for publication. Please submit via email to [email protected] by 4 p.m. to be considered for the following day’s publication. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.