Interview: Logic Talks New Album, The Biggest Misconceptions About Him, Being Biracial
Looks can be deceiving—just ask Def Jam signee Logic. The 24-year-old MC has fought against misconceptions most of his life because of his cream colored skin aka he’s biracial. Logic grew up in surrounded with poverty, violence and substance abuse which forced him to have to use his better judgment at a young age. Now he has escaped the madness and is gearing up for his major label debut—slated for a fall release. During his last press run in New York City, the Maryland native stopped by the VIBE offices to talk about his upcoming album, misconceptions about him, his worst job and more.
VIBE: You’re from Maryland. What does the hip hop scene look like there?
Logic: I think it looks like a lot of other places. Just like in New York everybody is in their own different worlds there are people who are known but its hard to break out on a national level. [In Maryland] only a few people who can do it. There’s a lot of love, there’s a lot of hate. There’s a lot of grinding. There’s a lot of people who never make it so I find myself very fortunate. So when I think about it the only other rappers that have really made it out so far are myself, Wale and Fat Trel. Shy Glizzy is doing a great job too. So yeah, its kind of crazy to know that I’m repping my state which is really cool.
How did the DMV inspire your sound because when I listen to your music it doesn’t sound like go-go or Baltimore Club Music?
I grew up on Wu-Tang and Tribe and Nas , all the raw, very New York driven music. Then when I got older in my late teens early twenties and that’s when I started to listen to Drake and J. Cole and so it wasn't just East coast. Now I was trying to make really cool songs and something melodic and something fun and listening to Wayne and just all of these different people and really opened up my mind and I guess that made me it less regional and more universal. So it was something that everyone could enjoy, just innovative music. So it definitely does not sound like where I'm from where there’s like a lot of go-go. My dad played with Chuck Brown and EU and all them out there.
Listening to your music, I hear you talk about there being a lot of misconceptions about you. What's the biggest one?
The legitimacy of my story and who I am. I think a lot of people look at me and--first and foremost not take into the account that I'm biracial. There's a lot of soul to the actual flow and shows how much I love this genre. Not to name drop but like how Wale is from the same city and I can talk about narcotics and the guns in my household and all these things I witnessed as a child growing up people might think its not be legitimate just because of how I look. The fact that I look 100 percent white or because I carry myself in a honorable manner-- which is really funny to think that if you're positive or a good person and that's what you're about its almost of corny or not cool but if you're talking about semi-automatics or degrading women and all types of shit. I definitely think there's a difference between a bitch and a woman but its just weird to think that that’s more co-signable or believable than someone who looks like me and went through shit that's just as bad as some of their favorite rappers sometimes its even worse. I think that's something I face but I think its something that people are going to get over. Another person who I feel went through that is Eminem . He's from Detroit. He witnessed a lot of things, went through a lot of things and at the end of the day I think his perseverance not only through his music but his talent is undeniable and that's how I feel about myself as well. By all means I'm not trying to sound arrogant but I've worked for 10 years and I'm a student of the game and I'm still learning everyday and I know how good I am and I think that that is going to overshadow everything at the end of the day.
Speaking of hard work, at a young age, like 16 you had like two jobs and you were living on your own.
Yeah, long story short I was living with my dad and he was getting social security checks and he was on welfare and food stamps as well.
And he wanted you to pay rent?
Yeah!! He wanted me to pay rent and I was like 'Get the fuck out of here!' You’re getting assistance from the government and he was like ‘it’s my house my rules’ so I moved out. I didn’t have my own apartment because I was still working jobs that suck so I wasn't making that much money so I had to rent a room out.
You worked at Jiffy Lube, right?
I’ve worked at Jiffy Lube, a flower shop, a day care center, Giant which is the supermarket where I’m from, Safeway which is a supermarket, Joe’s Crab Shack, I’ve worked at a lot of places man and it really fucking sucked. Wingstop with the chicken. But I was kind of like the cliche’. I was in cooking the fries and rapping and shit like on some 8 Mile shit.
What was your worst job?
Probably working in the supermarket because I had to work in this bakery and we worked with this bitch. We all called her the ‘bread Nazi’. Have you ever seen Seinfeld where they joke around about the ‘soup Nazi”? It’s funny because she was just like this real bitch unfortunately. Like she was such a bitch that like I would be doing my job and putting the bread together or whatever and there would be a woman next to me and that’s my co-worker so we would be having conversation while were doing our work and she’d be like ‘you cannot talk to each other!’ and I’d be like holy shit! Bitch!
Wow! It sucks when you have a terrible boss.
But you know what? It makes this that much better. I think about how we just did this tour and I have a lot of things going on in my life that people don’t see behind the scenes and there’s no reason for them to see. When there’s a Behind the Music on me they’ll know one day. But now its like I’m dealing with a lot things from personal to business to shit that’s so overwhelming and it’s kind of hard where the person that’s leading the pack because by all means I feel like I’m partners with everybody on my team. Everybody is there holding their own with what they do but at the end of the day I know I’m the leader of this circle. So you have to be strong all the time which is hard because you just wanna let everybody know that everything is gonna be okay and that everything is fine. I say all that just to say my worse day doing what I love couldn't even compare to my best working at some regular fucking job. You know what I mean?
I know you talk about what you go through a lot in your music especially with your family with the substance abuse.
Yea like I never really delved into that. I smoked a little weed but it wasn’t really crazy. I think I witnessed these things going on in my household with my brothers selling it and even selling it to our own father. I think that had a great effect on me in a positive way because I’ve been through a lot of shit and a lot of people are like I can’t believe you’re not fucked up mentally like for real. I think it just comes down to God and what I saw. I was just like ‘let me not do this dumb ass shit that everybody in my family is doing’. It just happens.
Watching them just makes you not want to do it and makes you want better for yourself.
I think that’s rare though.
Definitely because substance abuse can be genetic.
Oh 100 percent! That’s why I never delved into it. I’m just weird. I don’t know I just never really wanted to take any drugs because who knows what could happen because its so deep in my genes.
You talk about your biracial heritage in your music as well.
I was raised in a black household. I am the only one who looks white in my entire family besides my mom. I was raised with this beautiful culture around me. Everybody has culture, even white people have culture but its different with me. So in high school I was hanging out with the black and Hispanic kids. I’m not hating on white people. I hang with white people too but that’s where I felt most accepted because I could relate to them more. Especially here I’m from in Montgomery County. Its like multimillion dollar homes and you go down a little bit and there’s Section eight housing. I was the kid that was over there. So when we went to school I couldn't really relate to the kids who had summer homes. I related to the other kids who have never left--like I’ve never really been on vacation. I’ve never really been to any other state until music. For awhile I didn’t want to talk about it because it was so annoying but then I embraced. I was just like I think people should know this. I remember one day, it was like a year ago, I tried to find other mixed people like myself and its like impossible, totally insane.
No just mixed people who look white and its really hard to find and its so funny. I just try not to think about it too much. I know who I am and I know my story and the things that I talk about are authentic and real and I always say this: I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.
Yeah it doesn't define who are, it’s just a part of you. It’s really not a big deal, like look at Drake.
Yea look at Drake! He’s Black and Jewish and even Cole. I think my situation was a bit more dangerous in the household as far as my brothers and the things that they were doing. But for the most part white mother, black father. Black dad was no where to be found and I was raised by this white woman. My family is big so I had the other brothers and sisters at a different time because I’m the only child between my mother and my father. So all my siblings are different moms and dads. They weren’t there for a majority of my life because they were with their father over here or with their mother over here. It was just me and my mom growing up and then they came into my life.
So Dad came in later?
Dad was peppered into the years. Dad never really lived with me and when he did live with us he would steal things. I remember one time he stole my identity. My name is Sir Robert Bryson Hall II and his name is Robert Bryson Hall and he used my social security card and got like 10 credit cards under my name and was buying and doing all these things and potentially could have ruined my credit before it even began but I was 10 years old and the government realized it. But its insane man. There’s a pre-release center back home and when you are released from jail you go there. I remember I would go visit my father and even my stepfather. I don’t know why I’m bringing this up but there was this pre-release center where I lived where the drug addicts are and I went and played chess there while my mother was visiting her mans (laughs) I would visit with these other criminals at seven and eight years old and eventually learned to play chess. I don’t know why I’m bringing this up but I’ve never told anyone that. I guess what I mean by all this and this story is that the dark times and the negativity when I grew up I always did my best to find good things there so its like I learned to play chess at seven at the pre-release center. I try my best to look for all the good in every situation. That’s why when I look back my childhood was terrible like it was so fucking bad but in hindsight when I look back it was great too.
You mentioned people having misconceptions and being accepting of you because you’re biracial. There are gay rappers on the rise...
I support everybody for the most part as long as they are positive people and what they’re doing is positive and they’re not forcing shit on other people.
Do you think its going to be hard for gay rappers? Because now in hip hop people are allowed to be themselves. Do you think they will be able to comeup?
I feel like if someone is able to market themselves the right way then they could do it, you know what I mean? Not every homosexual man is flamboyant.
Right. So let’s talk about the music. When’s the While You Wait EP coming out?
That should be coming out. Honestly, I am so focused on the album and the fans are so focused on the album that I’m probably going to drop it but who knows. Certain samples could get cleared and we could just drop the first single for the album and ain’t nobody gon’ care about the EP because its the free songs I’ve been putting out anyway. So hopefully that should be coming out. That’s the plan but the album is my main priority right now.
Do you have a name for the album yet?
I know what I’m going to name it but its a surprise right now. The only thing that is not out there is the album title and the release date but its looking like fall and a lot of things in between.
Any collaborations on the album?
No collaborations on the album just because I wanted to tell my story and I didn't want anybody to tell their story on what I’m doing. I kind of wanted to “Illmatic” it for the most part. However, that doesn't mean that they won't be any dope ass features on the deluxe or the bonus. Just because it’s a very raw hip hop album doesn't mean there isn’t going to be anything for the radio on the deluxe.
A lot of those are happening and have happened which is really cool. But definitely Nas.
You met him and he was a really big fan, right? You’re one of his favorites.
Yea he’s a really great guy. Very honorable and he has like the presence, you know what I mean? And he looks 22. I’d love to work with Drake, I’d love to work with Cole who is also a homie of mine, Kanye obviously. More than a verse I want a Kanye beat.
Speaking of beats who are some of the producers on the album?
The main producer is Six who is my in house dude. I’ve known him for years and we started together on the mixtapes and everything so he’s done a large majority of the entire album by himself. I did a couple of records on there which is weird to think about.
That was your first time producing?
Well I produced a little bit here and there but to this extent yes it’s like the first time. NO ID has a joint on there and S1 who did the song “Power” for Kanye. Tae Beast from TDE is on there too.
How will the album be different from your previous projects?
On the mixtapes I told you my dad smoked crack, I told you my mom has been stabbed I told you I grew up poor but now I’m going to show you. I’m going to open up that dialogue and explain what it was like to view this or to be here or experience that and paint that picture of that bedroom or the street that I was living on or the gunshots going off outside as a child and just explain that and depict in a way where you feel like you’re there and you can just close your eyes and do that in a coming of age story of me in my adolescence and childhood into my manhood.
So it’s going to be a story sort of like how Kendrick did it on GKMC?
Its not all over the place but it definitely shows different points. So the story is all there but its not like how Kendrick did it. Where it was literally a day from chillin with his homies to being in the backseat on “Backseat Freestyle” to the “Art of Peer Pressure” so no it’s not like that. But it does have that feel of that honesty and its very grand and its very musical with the live strings and basses and guitars and pianists and there are very few samples on the whole album. It’s very musical. The album has been done for almost six months. I didn’t want to rush. I wanted to make sure everything was perfect.
What are some things that the fans would be surprised to know about you?
I love movies. I own like every movie ever.
I sensed that you like comedy from your last mixtape.
I love Sci-Fi , like that’s my shit. I’m a fucking nerd. I think the reason I love Sci-Fi is because of time travel and distance and visiting other planets because that’s something I wish I could see so fucking bad.