Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, better known as Logic, exploded into the mainstream in 2017 with his chart-topping hit ‘1-800-273-8255’ and follow up number one album, Everybody. The overriding image which emerges from the music of the rapper is wit and creativity, with the boundaries of hip hop constantly being stretched with each release.
The 28-year old grew up in hardship. Raised by his alcoholic mother and cocaine addict father, he was expelled from school in 10th grade and took to following his drug-dealing siblings around to pass the time. It was only when he was 13 that he found his salvation: rap music. Initially inspired by the RZA curated Kill Bill soundtrack, Logic began to produce and rap, releasing a string of mixtapes which explored the troubled events of his youth. His first studio album was titled Under Pressure and was an immediate hit, selling over 70,000 copies and widening his reputation beyond hardcore hip-hop fans. Immediately notable for the fact that it possessed no features, the album explored a number of issues from his childhood, including the remarkable racist abuse he experienced from his own mother.
His next studio album, The Incredible True Story, was the first time I truly became aware of Logic. The album epitomises the rapper’s creativity, as across 18 tracks he presents a vision which is described by the artist himself as a “motion picture sci-fi epic.” Combining skits and inventive lyrics with a ferocious rapping style, Logic created a wonderfully surreal and transcendent listening experience which can be considered relatively unparalleled amongst modern rappers. Stand out tracks such as ‘Like Woah’, ‘Innermission’ and ‘Fade Away’ all encapsulate the traits which make Logic stand out from the crowd: resourcefulness, innovation, energy and the feeling that the artist has had a huge amount of fun making the album.
Yet despite the success and excellence of his previous albums, it was 2017’s Everybody which truly put Logic on the map. Headlined by the moving and unforgettable ‘1-800-273-8255’, the album is a tour de force stuffed full of hits. ‘Hallelujah’ is a seven-minute long track in which Logic examines his relationship with God and the questions which his faith throws up. ‘Confess’ hums with energy and sees the artist once again questioning his faith and the value of life. ‘Anziety’ is a remarkably honest track which cleverly deals with the anxiety attacks he has faced in the past, with the tempo and style of the track changing in tandem with the mood of the protagonist. Meanwhile, the final two tracks of the album are one of the finest finishing couplets in music. Beginning with the incomparable ‘Black Spiderman’, in which Logic proudly and brilliantly articulates the pride he feels in being black whilst listing all of the superheroes and characters which should be black. The finishing salvo is ‘AfricAryaN’; an emotive, extended look at his life which brings up questions of race, mental health and the state of America.
There is no one quite like Logic in music at the moment. No one who displays quite as much creativity. No one who is quite willing to strip themselves utterly bare in the name of their art. And no one who brings such a majestic combination of fun and emotion to their music. A splendid orator, as witnessed by the extended monologues delivered at the Grammys and VMAs, Logic has the aura of a person who can scarcely believe the success he has achieved. Having now firmly established himself in the pantheon of mainstream rappers, the pressure will truly be on the next time he decides to drop music. It is my belief that, like every other challenge in his life, he will exceed expectations and continue to delight his ever growing fan base.