2017 has been another successful year for Logic. Born Sir Robert Hall II, the Maryland rapper released the album Everybody to both critical and commercial praise. Logic’s musical career has served largely as an outlet for the issues he has faced throughout his life. At only 27, Robert has found a large audience eager to hear his personal and societal concerns. His third certified gold album, Everybody has solidified Logic’s status as a major driving force in the world of conscious hip hop.
Sir Robert Hall II was born in Gaithersburg, Maryland to a Caucasian mother and African-American father. Both of Hall’s parents suffered from addiction to both alcohol and drugs, with his siblings following a similar path. His parents’ addiction brought with it violent encounters experienced by the entire household as well as an early exposure to the world of drug dealing. His undesirable home life and his biracial heritage led to adversity throughout Logic’s formative years, culminating in being kicked out midway through high school.
First releasing music in 2009, Logic has put out three full-length albums, along with half a dozen mixtapes, that share with listeners the problems that the young rapper has encountered throughout his life. His first album, Under Pressure, can be looked at as a sort of autobiography, detailing the negative impact that addiction and prejudice had on his upbringing. Despite his eventual success, Logic still feels a level of disapproval on a day-to-day basis due to his being biracial, his involvement in hip hop, and his outlook on life. Whether this disapproval comes from those in the hip hop community or the general public, Logic has not allowed the criticism to change him:
“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m not.”
Logic’s 2017 release Everybody contained features from musical icons like Chuck D, Black Thought, and Killer Mike, who brought their acclaimed MC skill to the tracks “America” and “Confess.” One feature on Everybody that came as a surprise to many was Neil deGrasse Tyson, who can be heard on the album’s final track ”AfricAryaN.” Inspired by his biracial upbringing, AfricAryaN is a commentary on present-day racial prejudice. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s role on the track is that of an all-knowing entity, explaining to the listener the truth that we, as humans, should be treated as equals as, regardless of our differences, we all come from the same basic place.
One of Logic’s most impactful releases is Everybody’s single ”1-800-273-8255.” Named after the phone number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255 tells the story of a young person on the verge of suicide:
“I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic
And my life don’t even matter, I know it, I know it
I’m hurting deep down but can’t show it
I never had a place to call my own
I never had a home, ain’t nobody callin’ my phone
Where you been? Where you at? What’s on your mind?
They say every life precious but nobody care about mine.”
By the end of 1-800-273-8255, however, the song’s subject has found the resources to help combat their depression and suicidal thoughts after seeking help through the NSPL. Logic’s single resonated with the American public, especially those who, like the song’s subject, suffered from depression:
“On the day of the song release, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received the second highest daily call volume in its history. Several crisis centers reported that callers have mentioned Logic’s song. A third of those reported callers were in emotional distress or shared thoughts of suicide.”
This statement by the NSPL proved to Logic that 1-800-273-8255 was the most important song he has ever written, both for himself and for his listeners.
Logic is a textbook example of an artist with a message. Sir Robert Hall II was surrounded by addiction and violence through his formative years and still faces adversity for his biracial heritage. Rather than allow these aspects of his life to weigh him down, Logic harnessed the negativity and created something positive. A song like 1-800-273-8255 is proof that one’s artistic output can even save lives.
If you are experiencing feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide, do not suffer through them alone. Residents of the United States can seek help at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and those of Canada at Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868). If you are outside North America please visit www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html for information on where you can receive help.
Author Bio: Justin Bruce
Justin Bruce is a graduate from the University of Saskatchewan where he studied Medieval and Modern English. When he’s not writing or playing music, he can be found behind the stack of comic books he’s trying to keep up with.
- Logic “1-800-273-8255” Official Lyrics & Meaning | Verified
- Logic “AfricAryan” Official Lyrics & Meaning | Verified
- Logic & Neil deGrasse Tyson on Their Collaboration & Black People in the Louvre | The Complex Cover
- Logic Tavis Smiley Interview discussing Anxiety, Depression, and Education
- Logic Tells His Story, Looking White, Using the N-Word, & 1st Album Being Strictly for Hip-Hop Heads