Logic started rapping as therapy. Now, his music is helping fans get through their darkest moments
In a Q interview, Logic revealed how he turned his darkest moments into songs that speak to troubled fans
Warning: This story contains distressing details.
Before Logic became an internationally revered rapper, his life was unimaginably dark.
"I've got records where I talk about sexual assault, witnessing my mother getting beaten bloody, my dad doing drugs, guns in and out of the house, cooking crack — like the craziest stuff," the two-time Grammy nominee told Q's Tom Power.
Logic's new album, College Park, is in his words "a biopic on an album." It details his early years in Maryland, his turbulent upbringing, and his unique approach to artistry. The 33-year-old star is no stranger to getting personal in his music — in fact, he sees it as necessary to be truthful in his art.
"A lot of people probably can't relate … so I have to always tell my truth and be honest," he said.
Music as therapy
College Park is Logic's first album without Def Jam Recordings. He told Power that the ups and downs of the music industry has inhibited his ability to enjoy making music — a process that's very personal for him.
Although his early years were fraught with pain, Logic knew he could find a way out creatively and music became his therapy.
"It came into my life as a source of therapy when I realised that I could actually do it and it made me feel something," he said.
I love that I'm going to be known as the mental health guy and the guy with a positive message for the rest of my life- Logic
The moment he knew that music could be a pathway for him happened at an open mic night when he was 14.
"I never will forget the feeling of, 'I just got up and I performed,'" he said. "I did that with other people who did it, who are way better than I am."
College Park is a mixture of tracks and scripted scenes, with some songs featuring cultural touchstones from beyond the world of music. Family Guy creator and voice actor Seth McFarlane appears on the track Self Medication, while Kevin Smith of Jay and Silent Bob fame directed the video for Highlife.
WATCH | Logic's interview with Tom Power:
Connecting with fans
The experiences articulated in Logic's music are very personal, yet it's still managed to resonate with his fans.
"I was just recording music. I was talking to myself, I'm saying, 'You can do it, bro,' because there was nobody there to tell me that," he told Power. "And then lo and behold, I started getting fans and they're like, 'Thank you for your music.'"
Logic said that his fans often relay to him how his music has helped them in meaningful ways.
"I went to see fans all over the country, surprising them, eating with them, their families, and playing them the music," he recalled. "A majority of these people after I played the album were like, 'Your music saved my life.'"
The artist is perhaps best known for his 2017 hit 1-800-273-8255, featuring Canadian singer Alessia Cara. Titled after the phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the song was associated with a rise in calls and a reduction in suicides, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.
"I'm going to be honest, there was a time when I was upset that this was my song," he said. "I think it doesn't matter who you are, when you have your first big hit I think you hate it."
Now, Logic has embraced the song and his role as a rapper who talks about tough issues.
"I love that I'm going to be known as the mental health guy and the guy with a positive message for the rest of my life," he said. "I am honoured at that, in fact."
Optimism is the message
"I think I actually leaned into a lot of the depiction of the negativity, but more so how to get out of it as well," he said. "I'll be like, 'Man, I really want to follow my dreams.'"
Ultimately, music is still an incredibly personal outlet for Logic, but he acknowledges the role that it's had in helping his fans get to a better place in life.
"I started getting fans and they're like, 'Thank you for your music,'" he said. "That means so much to me: 'Thank you for telling me that I can get out.'"
Now, as a husband and father, optimism is a daily feeling for the artist. He takes pride in the life he's built and continues to build.
"I'm most proud of who I am as a person. I'm not perfect, I'm flawed, but I'm a good person — I care about the people that I love," he said. "I'm me, and even when it was hard to be me and I was scared to be me, I was still me."
The full interview with Logic is available on our podcast, Q with Tom Power. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Written by Oliver Thompson. Interview produced by Vanessa Nigro.
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