Local rap artist battles suicide with music

A local rapper battles suicide with music.

GAITHERSBURG, MD (WUSA9) - Did you know in Maryland, suicide is reportedly the leading cause of death for 10- to 14-year-olds? It’s also a significant problem for teens and adults in Virginia.

A local rap artist is taking on the tough issue with his talents -- a song playing on DC-area radio stations.

WUSA9 played the song for activists with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The reactions were emotional.

The artist is from Gaithersburg and goes by Logic. His real name is Bobby Tarantino. He was interviewed about the song on the Genius Video Series called “Verified.”

RELATED: Preventing teenage suicide & depression

“Hopefully I am never there, but I know a lot of people who have,” Tarantino is heard saying.

The song’s called 1-800-273-8255. That’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“I’ve been on the low, I’ve been taking my time. I feel like I’m out of my line,” are the first few lines of the song. Then the first chorus goes, “I don’t want to be alive…I just want to die, I don’t want to be alive.”

The three women listened to the entire song. Leigh Boswell said she was holding back tears.

Ali Walker told WUSA9, “That deep, emotional pain that people are feeling, that’s really tough to listen to as somebody who has lost someone to suicide.”

“That’s a very difficult thing to hear and acknowledge," said Ellen Shannon.

Shannon’s the Area Director for the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In Virginia, which is where she works, the AFSP says suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people ages 15-34.

“My daughter’s had two suicides at her school, I live in Loudoun County – Stonebridge High School, in the last six months,” said Boswell. Boswell organized last year’s Walk to Fight Suicide in Fairfax, Va. 

The song starts off as dark and difficult to hear, but then it takes a turn. “I want you to be alive,” the lyrics say, “You don’t gotta die today.”

“As difficult as it is to listen to, it ends on a positive and hopeful message and one that resonates with me and I hope resonates with a lot of people: is that there is a lot of help out there available…unfortunately I lost my friend but hopefully if we work together, a lot of people will hold onto their loved ones,” said Walker.

What can be done? Click here for upcoming AFSP events in the National Capital area. 

The AFSP works with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Shannon says since the song came out, the volume of calls to the lifeline have increased.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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