Is Logic Black

The now retired rapper Logic is half black and half white, and he explains his complicated relationship with his identity through his lyrics.   

Logic’s “AfricAryaN” Identity

  The American rapper known as Logic, born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, was born in Rockville, Maryland, to a white mother and a black father. He has seven siblings and looks the most white out of all of them.    His childhood was extremely difficult, and his heritage and skin tone proved problematic: too black for white people, and too white for black people. In his 2017 release, “Everybody,” Logic describes throughout the album what it was like growing up, what it’s like to be both black and white, and how he’s learned to overcome all the negative emotions that he’s felt about his upbringing and background.    Logic originally wanted to title the album “AfricAryaN,” but decided to go with “Everybody” instead.   Tracklist for Everybody  
  1. Hallelujah
  2. Everybody
  3. Confess (feat. Killer Mike)
  4. Killing Spree (feat. Ansel Elgort)
  5. Take It Back
  6. America (feat. Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, No I.D.)
  7. Ink Blot (feat. Juicy J)
  8. Mos Definitely
  9. Waiting Room
  10. 1-800-273-8255 (feat. Alessia Cara, Khalid)
  11. Anziety (feat. Lucy Rose)
  12. Black SpiderMan (feat. Damian Lemar Hudson)
  13. AfricAryaN (feat. Neil deGrasse Tyson)
 

Logic’s Life Experience Shared Through His Lyrics

  In the song “Everybody,” Logic sets the tone for the album and briefly touches on his background and experience growing up multi-racial:   I been knockin’ doors down like a Jehovah witness God as my witness, I’m with this But on the real I think I need another witness! If it was 171, black daddy, white momma wouldn’t change a thing Light skin mothafucka certified as a house nigga Well I’ll be God damned, go figure In my blood is the slave and the master It’s like the devil’s playin’ spades with the pastor But he was born with the white privilege! Man what the fuck is that? White people told me as a child, as a little boy, playin’ with his toys I should be ashamed to be black And some black people look ashamed when I rap Like my great granddaddy didn’t take a whip to the back Not accepted by the black or the white I don’t give a fuck, praise God, I could see the light Everybody talkin’ ‘bout race this, race that Wish I could erase that, face facts   “Take It Back,” further explores the rapper’s complicated relationship with his racial identity, childhood, and his identity as a black man: Take it back, take it way back Take it way way back to about 1990 Shady Grove Hospital in Rockville, Maryland 7:36 AM where a biracial baby was born To a black father and a white mother Father that wasn’t there, addicted to  Crack cocaine, alcohol, and various other drugs Same as his mom So I’m gonna tell you about that, I’m gonna tell you about how  All this young boy ever wanted was happiness All he ever wanted was positivity All he ever wanted to do was entertain And this boy went through hell You gotta understand, his mother was racist Which is crazy ‘Cause how in the fuck is you gonna have All these black babies with black men but you racist Like bitch, that don’t make sense But it is what it is You know, he grew up, her callin’ him a n*** The kids at school callin’ him a cracker Identifying as black, looking as white Being told what you can or can’t be   The would-be title track, “AfricAryaN,” is the final track on the album, and also serves as Logic’s final statement about his biracial upbringing. In the beginning of the song, Logic raps again about his early childhood. This hook is repeated throughout the song, hitting home the message that you can’t fully ever forget where you came from. He raps:   I feel the Aryan in my blood, it’s scarier than a Blood Been looking for holy water, now I’m praying for a flood It feel like time passing me by slower than a slug While this feeling inside of my body seep in like a drug Will you hug me, rub me on the back like a child? Tell me you love me, need me Promise me you’ll never leave me Even though you know my daddy, you know he blacker than the street With a fist to match, more solid than concrete Tell white people I’m black, feel the need to retreat Like I should be ashamed of my granddaddy Malik But my beautiful black brothers and sisters Want to act like I’m adopted   The second verse explores more about how people reacted to his blackness and whiteness, and how he wrestled with his own identity internally:   Somebody pinch me Black man screaming, trying to convince me I’m not black So why the white man wanna lynch me? Damn, my skin fair but life’s not And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what whites though Or black people said, shit Maybe it’s in my head…   Logic talked about the difficulty with his skin tone in an interview with NPR saying, “It wasn’t until I went on into the world [that] people would be like ‘Oh, you cracker, you white boy, you this, you that,’ and I didn’t understand.” Further lyrics from the song “AfricAryaN” can explain how he internalized the effect these types of interactions had on him. From the song: I won’t find solace, so where’s the logic in that? Worrying ‘bout if they think Logic could rap When it all goes back to a childhood, need to be loved By parents that was in too deep with the drugs Nigga, my advice, fuck the black and white shit Be who you are, identify as a star No one tells you you’re that  It’s something that you just know The world be stealing your glow Your mama did what she could Her life was miles from good Your father fell in the trap They set for you when you black They met when they was low And therefore you a product of that And so your trauma is deep  

Black Identity

  In an interview, Logic explained why he thought it was important to release the album “Everybody,” and clear up once and for all what he thought of his identity, saying, “I have to look in the mirror and see the man that I do, and know, that in my bloodline and in my lineage was the slave and the master, and that’s what made me. That’s what created me. And it’s kind of fucked up to think about that, but I’m not ashamed of who I am.” And he’s never the one who brings up his race first.    He says, “It’s always somebody that’s like, ‘Oh, what’s it like being a white rapper?’ And then I have to explain to them, like, no, I’m actually black and white. I’m biracial. Just so you know. Let’s move on.”   As a Grammy-nominated rapper, New York Times bestselling author, and father, Logic proves that there is much more to the human experience than what skin color you were born with, what race you identify with, or what kind of upbringing you had: it’s all about what you do with your life that makes you what you are.    Sources
  1. https://www.npr.org/2017/05/15/528159035/logic-is-ready-to-tell-the-world-who-he-is
  2. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/7744415/logic-everybody-listen
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/28/books/why-logic-wrote-a-novel.html

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