2017 No. 1s: Logic Reveals How '1-800-273-8255' Set Him Free

BB30 DO NOT REUSE
Rebecca MillerĀ 
Logic photographed on Nov. 6 at Fishbowl at Dream Midtown in New York.

EVERYBODY
Billboard 200, Top Rap Albums, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (one week each)

“1-800-273-8255”
R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales (three weeks)

“I used to think that having a No. 1 album was the most important thing,” says rapper Logic, whose The Incredible True Story hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 in 2015. “Then I realized I was trying to attain [that] for a happiness that was not deep-rooted. When you stop giving a shit what people think, it sets you free.” It was that freedom that actually secured him his No. 1, Everybody. On the album, Logic, 27, confronts bigotry, his biracial background and mental health, and it was his powerfully uplifting take on the lattermost topic -- “1-800-273-8255,” named for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid -- that earned him a wider audience (and, recently, a song of the year Grammy nom). A performance at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, alongside 50 suicide-attempt survivors, fueled the song’s climb to No. 1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart -- and, soon after, to No. 3 on the Hot 100.

Logic: I’m not the first person to talk about [mental health]. But nobody has been able to do it on such a mainstream, in-your-face level. I’m happy I can be that guy.

Steve Bartels, Def Jam CEO: I had no concerns about pushing that single. It’s like bringing it into market. It already had resonance.

Noah Preston, Def Jam vp A&R: When you see someone work as hard as [Logic] did, you often see them compromise in the journey to get there. The best part is seeing him make it with the exact same routine that was there from day one.

Logic: So many people told me, “This isn’t going to work; it’s too positive.” Freeing myself of others’ expectations made me super happy.

Billboard Year in Music 2017

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 30 issue of Billboard.