How Logic became one of hip-hop’s most unlikely stars

Logic defies logic upon occasion.

Sometimes, it’s audible, such as those moments when he rhymes so fast, you wonder if his tonsils get windburn.

In other instances, it’s less about his mic skills than his unlikely path to stardom. As in, how did this skinny, often bespectacled, generally unassuming 28-year-old who acknowledges that he’d rather spend time at GameStop than in the club become one of the biggest rappers around?

In the past year, Logic has released two No. 1 albums (2017 studio record “Everybody” and this year’s “Bobby Tarantino II” mixtape), graduated to headlining arenas and amphitheaters and turned in a much buzzed about performance at January’s Grammy Awards with an emotionally wrenching take on his suicide awareness song, “1-800-273-8255.”

His impact is being felt beyond the charts and packed concert halls: In the three weeks after the release of “1-800-273-8255,” which takes its name from the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the NSPL reported a 27 percent increase in calls and a 30 percent jump in visits to its website.

So what makes Logic, whose flow is a blend of Kendrick Lamar’s often-speedily-delivered social consciousness and Drake’s melodic lilt, a standout?

A quick primer:

He can hold his own with Chuck D and Black Thought

Public Enemy’s Chuck D and The Roots’ Black Thought are two of the greatest MCs of all time. To do your thing alongside those two is akin to throwing down with Nic Cage in a crazy-eyes contest: Most humans simply cannot compare.

Not only did Logic (Robert Hall) have the chutzpah to recruit both for a cut from “Everybody,” he somehow managed not to get lost in their skyscraper-sized shadows.

That song, “America,” is easily Hall’s most political tune, a throwback to Public Enemy’s late-’80s insurrectionist anthem “Fight the Power.”

Confronting what he sees as systemic racial inequality, Hall questions the treatment of African-Americans in this political climate — and then offers some answers.

“Everybody gotta fight for equal rights,” he argues, rhyming so breathlessly fast, it sounds as if he’d need to spend some quality time with an oxygen tank afterward.

“To make it happen though we gon’ need patience / And not violence, giving hospitals more patients,” he continues.

“Don’t burn down the mom and pop shop / I’m just as angry another person got shot / Don’t be angry at the color of they skin / Just be happy that as a people we could begin again.”

He also addresses his biracial heritage.

“I know some people wish I’d act white instead,” he raps. “Say I’d use my pigment as a manifestation to get ahead.”

Speaking of which …

He’s one of the more articulate voices for diversity

His skin tone is the opposite of what life can be like for a biracial child: fair.

“I’m just as white as that Mona Lisa / I’m just as black as my cousin Keisha,” Hall rhymes on “Black Spiderman,” and yet, as the son of an African-American father and a white mother, Hall struggled to find acceptance from either community as a kid.

“White people told me as a child, as a little boy, playin’ with his toys / I should be ashamed to be black,” Hall recalls on “Everybody.” “And some black people look ashamed when I rap / Like my great granddaddy didn’t take a whip to the back.”

Growing up, Hall felt caught between these two worlds, his identity drawn and quartered along racial lines.

Of course, biracial rappers are hardly unprecedented — two of hip-hop’s biggest stars, Drake and J. Cole, also have white mothers — but few of them address the feelings of insecurity and alienation that such a background can foster as candidly as Hall does.

He has taken it upon himself to stir this melting pot.

“This is for every color, every creed,” Hall announces on “Everybody.” “Music does not discriminate / Music is made to assimilate.”

He’s a conscientious capitalist

Hall’s thing: empty G-strings, full pockets.

“You in the club throwin’ dollars, but I’m savin’ mine so my kids go to college,” Hall explains on “44 More.” “Or maybe whatever they wanna do / Just as long as they never say / Daddy blew 20 million dollars.”

Sure, Johnny Depp levels of conspicuous consumption have long been a hip-hop staple, and you can understand why: If you come from poverty, as plenty of rappers do, you may very well want to revel in the fruits of your success as publicly as possible.

For other MCs, adopting the trappings of wealth, even if they’ve yet to really earn said riches, is a way of dressing the part while striving toward their aspirations — yeah, there may be Lamborghinis in the video, but in plenty of cases, they’re promptly returned to the dealership afterward.

Now, Hall isn’t above flaunting his considerable bank account.

“I just paid $10 million in taxes,” he announces at the outset of “Wizard of Oz,” alluding to the signing of his most recent record contract, allegedly worth three times that.

But on that song’s chorus, he also puts his affluence into perspective.

“If they tell you money make you better than others, then somebody lied,” he asserts.

“Money don’t mean (expletive) without self-respect,” he elaborates on “State of Emergency.”

This from a man rich in both.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Get a sneak peek at Palace Station's newest renovations
Station Casinos spokesperson Lori Nelson gives a first look at what Palace Station's $192 million renovation will bring. Some areas will begin opening to the public next week according to Nelson. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas
You Can Only Get The 11-pound 8-person Burger In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like