Hailing from the DMV, more specifically Maryland, 22-year-old rapper Logic has been steadily cranking out music over the past couple of years that, at times, makes you feel like you're back in '96. The funny thing about it, though, is that's precisely his goal.
Never one to conform to "what's hot" or "what's buzzing," Logic has been inspired by the Hip-Hop that helped redefine the genre and culture throughout the 1990s. Artists and groups like Nas, Wu-Tang, Jay-Z, and Gangstarr, are all influences of the young rapper, who has found a way to combine what he loved about each artist and give you something that is raw, lyrical, innovative, and fresh, while at the same time being 150% Logic.
AllHipHop.com spoke to the newly anointed Breeding Ground artist to hear his story, discover his inspirations, and find out what's to come in the future from the Maryland native. Find out below:
AllHipHop.com: When did you first fall in love with Hip-Hop and decide that you wanted to be a rapper?
Logic: Well, I first started for real when I was about 15 years old. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie Kill Bill, but the whole score is done by RZA from Wu-Tang. I didn’t really know Wu-Tang. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I knew your Nas’ and your Biggie’s and stuff but I wasn’t really that big into it. I always loved the music but when I listened to the score, I was into Anime and Kung-Fu movies and stuff and when I heard that I was just like “wow!” The combination of Kung-Fu and Rap blew me away so I started listening to RZA, Raekwon, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, everybody, and it just opened up a whole new life for me, I guess.
AllHipHop.com: That’s definitely a great place to start. What about beyond Wu-Tang?
Logic: From there, I went to Nas’ Illmatic, of course, and I Am, and then I got into Jay’s Reasonable Doubt. A lot of the stuff that I was listening to when I first started was the more Old School stuff like Big L, Gangstarr, Blackstar, all of that stuff; I was really into the rawness of it all. I think that’s what helped me develop the flow that I have today that comes from that respect for the Old School, and then blending it with new beats, I guess. But yeah, I was about 15 years old when I first got into it.
AllHipHop.com: How old are you now?
Logic: I’m 22.
AllHipHop.com: Do you remember what the first Hip-Hop or Rap album you bought was?
Logic: Yes, I do. The first Hip-Hop album I ever bought was The Roots’ Do You Want More?!!!??! At that time, I was really into Wu-Tang and I was looking for something to listen to and my friend told me to get Wu-Tang Forever, but the store didn’t have it so he told me to get The Roots album ‘cause it’s really good. It was just phenomenal and incredible, and Black Thought is one of my biggest inspirations.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I hear that. He’s personally my favorite rapper, so that’s a cool story. What about the first Hip-Hop concert you went to? Do you remember that?
Logic: Actually, this is funny. The first Hip-Hop concert I ever went to I actually performed at, too, and it was incredible. It was 2009 and Ghostface Killah came to town. It was so cool to idolize this person from Wu-Tang and be able to open up for him. I remember I was 19 at the time, and my manager begged the venue to let me perform. The police ended up escorting me to the stage. I rapped for like 15 minutes, did my thing, and then they escorted me out. I couldn’t even get a seat for the show, which sucked but that was my first concert experience.
AllHipHop.com: That is awesome, man. Switching it up a little bit, you know that nowadays everyone’s a rapper or at least claims to be one, and everyone that wants to has the ability to put out music almost instantaneously online. So I must ask, what sets you apart from everyone else who’s trying to become the next big thing right?
Logic: Well, I actually wrote this line for my album that goes, “Everybody think they can Rap, stop it just cease / got it? Kapeesh. This is my house, you f*ckers just lease / Waiting on a record deal that’s never coming like a priest.” The thing is, I feel like so many artists, well, not really artists but so many people think they can rap and they just want a deal and the glitz and the glamour and the women but they don’t understand that all I do and want to do is rhyme. I engineer, mix, master, write, record, produce all of my own music and I think I’ve sacrificed so much from my relationships to my friendships to my family; I’ve literally sacrificed my entire life and I’m honest.
I talk about sh*t I did when I was younger, being stupid and being dumb but still growing into becoming a man and being so truthful on a track. I think what separates me is definitely my love for Hip-Hop and the honesty and not being a hypocrite, and portraying all sides, ‘cause that’s one big thing about me is versatility and being able to spit, not to sound arrogant, the rawest, most lyrical sh*t you’ve ever heard that makes you feel like you’re back in ’96. At the same time, I can also spit on a mainstream type of joint because, sh*t, you don’t want to just listen to the hardcore stuff but never jeopardizing the flow or the lyrics.
AllHipHop.com: Well, it’s very apparent from listening to your music that you’re not just stuck in a “one-lane” state of mind, and that you can actually spit over all types of records so props on that.
Logic: Thank you very much.
AllHipHop.com: Now, I know you’re from the DMV, but whereabouts specifically?
Logic: Yes, I am from Maryland. A lot of people get it twisted with the DMV stuff, and we never get any shine [laughs]. I do love the DMV don’t get me wrong, but, I’m from Maryland.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me about the Hip-Hop scene in Maryland.
Logic: Well, you know just like I know everybody wants to be a rapper so there’s rappers everywhere but for me, nah man, not here, there’s really nothing here. I think what’s really cool is the fact that there is nobody here, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have homies who do rap, like Phil Ade and my man Castro. There are rappers out here who are dope like Wale who’s originally from Maryland but he reps D.C. a lot. So there are people out here, very talented people but at the end of the day there’s been no “superstar” to come out of here. That might take people to a place where they’re like “that’ll never happen,” but not me. I saw it where I could be, I know I will be, that person to break out and actually give Maryland a name.
The first time I ever went to New York I was 21 and I was recording a video for my song “Mind of Logic” and walking around the streets in a city of millions allowed me to realize how blessed I am because there’s people in New York who try to make it, and when you talk about New York, everybody is literally trying to be a rapper or something there, everybody’s got there hustle so the fact that I can be in this place where nobody is really shining, it allowed my name to illuminate a little more from this small area and if anything it’s a blessing. So, I wouldn’t necessarily there is a market or scene, but there is a lot of talent here for sure.
AllHipHop.com: Now, tell me about Young Sinatra, which was your most recent release. I know that you’ve stayed away from calling it a mixtape and instead address it as an album correct?
Logic: Yes, sir.
AllHipHop.com: I’ll call it your “project” then. So when did that project actually come out?
Logic: That came out September 19th of last year.
AllHipHop.com: And in the months since it’s release, how has the overall response and feedback been from people who are not specifically you’re original fans?
Logic: It’s been incredible ‘cause like you said yourself, I think a lot of artists are – we’re very impatient. I’ve been doing this sh*t for eight years so I know patience now like a f*cking monk you know what I mean? Imagine eight years, and then finally getting some notoriety and some credibility after only a few months of releasing this project.
Now, this is my second project, but this is the one that a lot of people are going to know me for as of now and I can say that it’s definitely been incredible. I mean it really comes down to that versatility. If I can stress anything about who I am as an artist it’s definitely that versatility, like I said, that I can rap on some raw sh*t, but I can also do some mainstream stuff but not sacrifice myself and I feel like no one’s really ever done that in Hip-Hop.
AllHipHop.com: Or at least done it very well.
Logic: Right. It’s either money and b*tches or real shit, but you can’t be hypocritical. It’s not depressing all the time, it’s not sad all the time, it’s not super-deep all the time; you’ve got to have fun, and I think I really brought that to the table with Young Sinatra. If anything, it was really just practice because this next one, I can’t wait! I can’t wait for fans and studiers of Hip-Hop to hear what’s next.
AllHipHop.com: So then, what can you tell me about the next project that you’re working on, and how does it differ from your past material?
Logic: Well, this next project is the epitome of versatility, hands down. The difference between Young Sinatra and this next project is complete professionalism. I mean, like I said, I write, record, mix, and engineer all of my own music and since then I’ve gotten so much better as an engineer and as a producer as well. I work with my man 6ix who’s my main producer, and me and this guy have been working together for the past year and a half just crafting and honing our skills together and it’s incredible.
There was one kind of party record on Young Sinatra, we have like six of them now for this next project; I’m talking certified bangers up there with your Drake’s and your Wiz Khalifa’s as far as mainstream music goes, but like I said before, it’s all about the lyricism. There’s stuff on there for the motherf*ckers that don’t pay attention to lyrics and just want to have fun, but every line is constructed with such depth that the real lyricists and nitpickers have something to listen to and analyze as well. They can never question my love for Hip-Hop if you will.
AllHipHop.com: What about the so-called “haters”?
Logic: There’s people out there who say, “You suck,” and this and that, you think I give a f*ck what they think? Those people don’t get it; they’re close-minded. I can listen to Nirvana, Mos Def, Mozart, Led Zeppelin, Wu-Tang; there’s a time and place for everything and I love all music and if for those that don’t than f*ck them.
AllHipHop.com: Instead of directly asking you your thoughts on some other white rappers like Mac Miller and Yelawolf and Eminem, I want to know if you think the comparisons are unfair just because of the color of your skin?
Logic: Of course, it’s all about, and you can quote me, “the recency effect.”
AllHipHop.com: Explain that.
Logic: The fact that they’re known right now and my skin is white is it ‘cause I don’t sound like Mac Miller; that kid is f*cking awesome and living on top of the world. He’s a great guy that makes fun music – this is what’s so stupid – there’s people out there like, “Oh f*ck, Mac Miller ‘cause all he does is rap about this and this.” It’s like “Yo! He’s from the suburbs and rapping about what he knows and he’s having a good time and living it up. Do those people want him to pretend to be something that he’s not? If that were the case then people would give him sh*t for that. You can’t make all these people happy and I think the fact that I’m even in the same category as my fellow MCs is that it just lets me know that I’m stepping my game up, and I don’t feel bad because one day they say I sound like him, and the next day it’s something else.
Let’s put it this way, in 2008, they said I sounded like Eminem. In 2009 they said I sounded like Drake because I sang. In 2010, they said that I sounded like J. Cole and in 2011 they’re saying that I sound like Mac Miller. You know what? In 2012, they’re going to say that I sound like Logic. I’m going to put out this project and it’s going to be undeniable and pretty soon there’s going to be some poor kid that everybody is saying sounds like Logic and hopefully he’ll have the balls to break out of that.
AllHipHop.com: That’s definitely true, man. Is there anything else you want the fans and readers to know?
Logic: Just that I hope when people listen to my music, that they listen to it with an open mind and I hope that the sound doesn’t distract them from the underlying meaning of peace and positivity, and truly being able to live your dreams. I came up on welfare, Section 8, food stamps, parents on drugs and alcohol; no family, no nothing, and I made it. I’m doing it everyday and actually living off of what I love, and anybody that hates that has got to be an evil motherf*cker, so just enjoy the music at the end of the day.
AllHipHop.com: Fair enough, Logic. It was great talking to you and thanks.
Logic: Same man. I appreciate the interview. Thank you.
Download Logic's Young Sinatra Here!
Follow Logic On Twitter: @Logic301