Prior to frog leaping his peers nationally, Logic slyly ensconced himself as the DMV’s hidden gem. The DMV affectionately refers to the DC, Maryland, Virginia trifecta in the US, an area that’s proven to be a hotbed for new musical talent. He embarked on his journey to fame by tapping into his alter ego Young Sinatra in hopes of gravitating towards success. Like the legendary Frank Sinatra, Logic entrances his audience with unapologetic candor. From family struggles to the complexities of being a bi-racial child growing up in Maryland, every bar Logic packs is equipped with undeniable truth.
From 2010-2012, Logic released three mixtapes which inevitably expanded his reach. Those mixtapes— centering around his Young Sinatra persona—landed him a spot on XXL’s Freshman class of 2013, in addition to a deal with Def Jam last year. To celebrate his new found success, he released his fourth mixtape entitled Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever which to stellar reviews. Rather than be paralyzed by his demons, Logic has overcome his shortcomings and is now on the verge of standing eye-to-eye with his childhood heroes.
He sat down with us to talk about his first punchline ever, why he chose the name Logic, Frank Sinatra’s impact on his music, comparisons to J.Cole, and why he dreams of having Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and Adele all on one track. Get to know him below!
A lot of rappers started with different rap names before finally settling with one. Was Logic your one and only rap name? Why did you choose that name?
Well Logic came from Psychological which was a name that I kind of picked when I was eighteen. I remember just looking through the dictionary and I was kind of thinking like, “What word in here really defines just me and how I feel with Rap.” I’m just all about the mind and making you think and hitting different aspects and parts of that. So for me, I was just going through the dictionary one day and came across psychological. But, as I got older, I realized that I really wanted to enter the business and make this all real. I kind of shortened it to Logic. It’s very simple and to the point.
You’re a very great lyricist and fond of lyricism. We’re curious to know can you backtrack to when you came up with your first punchline? What was it?
Damn. First punchline ever?
First punchline ever.
I know this is really kind of weak but it was, “My train of thought is followed by mad cars.” That was basically me talking about my train of thought. But, it’s like you know, I carry a lot of weight. You know what I’m saying? Like cars on a train. That was probably the earliest one I could remember.
That wasn’t bad at all. You know your mixtape series Young Sinatra is centered around the legendary Frank Sinatra and his influence on you. What made you decide to go that route and describe his influence on you?
It’s funny man because I remember at that time a couple of years ago; I would look at artists like Wiz. You know he had Taylorgang. I remember Mac Miller had Most Dope. There were all these dope artists out there and they all had these themes. [J.]Cole had Dreamville. Everybody had something. I wished I had something I loved.
I loved movies. I loved Star Wars. I loved all types of stuff like that coming up. So I tried to find and kind of force names and themes, but nothing ever just fit. When I kind of gave up on it one day, I was just listening to Frank Sinatra and realized, “Wow. Why not just give them myself and give them what I love.” And it kind of came together. Plus, I mean I’m black and white but I look white. I’m skinny, a thin guy with curly wavy hair, and blue eyes. I said, “Hey. It kind of fits the theme too.”
You mentioned you being biracial. That’s definitely a major topic of yours in your music. How did your fare with that identity crisis during your childhood?
At the end of the day, I feel like it was a positive thing. You know, black father, white mother. It’s just who I am. I’m proud to be me. Sometimes people be like, “Yo, Logic talks about his race too much.” But I just see it as a good thing. There’s plenty of artists out there who are proud to be black, or proud to be Hispanic or whatever, and they rap about it. So it’s like me. I know where I come from. I know who I am, and I just love that. I just love telling the story from both sides because you never really hear that. You never hear a mixed rapper. Like Drake is black and white. J.Cole is black and white. But they always kind of tell from the perspective of the side of the brother. But I tell it from the site of both of what it’s really like.
One of our favorite tracks on your last mixtape was the “Just a Man” track. You said, you “strive be the greatest lyricist dead or alive.” With that said, where would you rank yourself right now among the top lyricists?
I think I’m one of the greatest lyricists to ever do it. But I mean if I don’t believe it, then why would I be doing what I’m doing. I’m not sitting here saying that I’m the best. To be quite honest, I don’t think there is a best or a number one. You have people from the South. You have people from the North, the East, and the West. You have different subjects. You have Gangsta Rap. You have commercial rap. So one man’s best is another man’s wack, you know what I mean?
If you could have three guest appearances for one super track, who would you choose and why?
I would say Adele on the hook, and Drake, and Kendrick on the verses. And produced by… (Pauses) Kanye. Whew!
Name five albums you can’t live without.
Good Kid, M.a.a.D City, [by Kendrick Lamar], Illmatic, [by Nas]. Nirvana, Unplugged. [Also], J.Cole, The Warm-Up – even though it’s a mixtape but I still consider that an album. I’m gonna give you six. Midnight Marauders [by Tribe Called Quest], and 36 Chambers, [by WU-Tang]
You mentioned J.Cole and I know you get hit with the comparisons a lot. How valid do you feel those comparisons are? Do you take it as an honorable thing or are you tired of hearing that?
We live in an era now where people are scared to…Man, yeah. I’ve been listening to Cole for many years. He’s a big inspiration. So is Drake. So is Kendrick. It goes on and on. It’s not just Hip-Hop. You look at Kanye. He’s goes to 80’s Pop power ballads, and Rock, and all that stuff. He takes flows, raps, ideas, and reformats them. At the end of the day, it’s music. As long as I’m telling MY story, from my heart, the way that I do, it’s all good.