Logic is on top of his game right now. With his latest single, ‘1-800-273-8255’, riding high on the US Billboard chart and climbing the top 20 on the UK’s Official Singles Chart, the Def Jam rapper has a lot of eyes on him.
Named after America’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), ’1-800-273-8255’ is a lifeline to those in need. Whether it’s suicidal thoughts, depression, bullying, racial abuse or any other issue, we as human beings can often feel like we have to face our demons on our own. Logic’s latest single aims to help people by letting them know that they’re not alone.
“On one of my early tours I visited a lot of my fans at their homes and I played them my second album - ‘The Incredible True Story’ - before it came out,” Logic tells Clash, from a tour stop in Atlanta. “It was after going from house to house that I realised not only did I change the way in which these people perceive the world, or the way they view life, but I also saved some of their lives with my music.” He pauses, still struck with disbelief: “I was like, ‘Damn! I saved your life and I didn’t even try to do it.’ I wasn't trying to save anybody’s life but could you imagine what would happen if I actually did try?”
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Logic’s performance at MTV’s Video Music Awards in August really cemented the power of ‘1-800-273-8255’. Joined on stage by featured artists, Khalid and Alessia Cara, Logic also shared the platform with suicide loss and attempt survivors wearing shirts with the NSPL phone number on the front and "You Are Not Alone" emblazoned across the back. He closed with a truly heartwarming and powerful speech that left many in attendance - celebrities included - with tears in their eyes. After his performance the volume of calls to the NSPL went up by 50%, and a week later he’d find himself sat opposite Ellen Degeneres, who was touched enough to invite him on her show in order to spread his message further.
The 27-year-old rapper from Gaithersburg, Maryland was destined for big things from the very start. Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, he went from waiting tables to spitting raps to appearing on the cover of XXL magazine’s annual Freshmen cover in 2013 and signed to Def Jam Records that same year. His breakthrough ‘Young Sinatra’ mixtape series, complete with boom bap-influenced beats and sample-heavy hooks, established him as a favourite amongst those who prefer their rap music delivered with a socially conscious message. Logic’s ability to connect with fans through his message of peace, love and positivity aided him in building an organic fanbase that continues to champion him to this day.
His pop-primed third album, ‘Everybody’, is an audio-cinematic experience about cultural evolution and living the life of every man, woman, and child, race, religion, colour, creed and sexual orientation. At the core of the album is a narrative about self-worth, inspired by the writing of Andy Weir, particularly his story ‘The Egg’. Laced through the album is a conversation between main character Atom - who has just discovered he’s died from a car crash - and God, played by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
One topic that Logic was originally scared to discuss was race - that is until Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike convinced him to speak his truth. “I was so scared to talk about racism in America,” he begins. “I always felt like you could go and listen to my music and escape what was going on in the world. But I felt like what’s going on in the world today is so intense that I finally needed to make a statement in my music and Mike was the one who said don't be scared to do it and do it unapologetically.”
Mike appears on the song ‘Confess’, facing up to God himself as he declares: “I’m starting to hate the man in the mirror, and it’s getting clearer that society was designed to keep me on the bottom.”
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But Logic’s scope on ‘Everybody’ goes far beyond a single issue. “I have a list of everything I talked about in my phone,” he says, scrolling through his notes. “I talk about mental health, domestic violence, mass shootings, drug abuse, racism, indigenous people, anxiety, depression, suicide, happiness, money, education, homophobia, upper, middle and lower class, fear, hate, acceptance, fame, religion, politics, money, childhood, gang violence, therapy, slavery, the universe, individuality, peace, love and positivity. Too many people want to focus on one thing or another when there’s so much more to address.”
Something Logic has never shied away from talking about in his music is family. Having endured a particularly difficult upbringing, he’s recently been building bridges with his father, who was once a drug addict and alcoholic: “He's not a super duper everyday part of my life but it’s baby steps and he is a good man. I’ve mended certain other relationships too, yesterday was the first time in seven years that I saw my nieces. Now they’re like 15 and 16 years old and they’re beautiful young women - it’s crazy!” Unfortunately the same can’t be said for his mother, who he believes is too far gone to re-enter his life. “I hate to say this, but my Mom is not a good person. I just can’t let her back into my life,” he says frankly. “I would rather have a real relationship with someone who deserves to be in my life than waste my time talking to somebody who makes me feel like shit.”
Logic sees these relationships as lessons as to how he will shape his own future. They’re teachings that play an integral part to his marriage to YouTube personality and fellow musician Jessica Andrea, and will influence the family that they intend to start together. “I think there are many people that dwell so much on the past that it just ruins their future,” he says. “With me I refuse to do that and I always focus on the future. I’m excited for the family that I will have and the family I already have.”
Despite having extended his reach further than ever before with his third album, Easter Eggs spread throughout the albums narrative and its artwork (which have been expertly excavated by Reddit users) suggest that his next album, ‘Ultra 85’, will be his last. Unfortunately, when grilled on the topic, Logic prefers to remain cryptic about the clues. “Is it my last album?” he fires back at us. “Yes and no. And that’s all you’re gonna get from me right now.”
One thing we do know is that Logic has arrived on a world stage. His latest single and new album has put him in a lane where more people are absorbing his message of peace, love and positivity than ever before. With platinum plaques, three major label albums, a huge co-headline tour alongside G-Eazy and a hit single under his built, Logic has already achieved more than most artists can ever dream of. But at just 27, it feels like he still has plenty left in him. Rest assured we’ll be here watching with eager eyes.
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Logic’s new single, ‘1-800-273-8255’, and album, ‘Everybody’, are out now.
Words: Will Lavin
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