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It's been less than a week since rapper Logic dropped his third studio album Everybody, a project that explores with abandon a number of topics long considered to be taboo. And at the Los Angeles screening for its accompanying documentary of the same name, Wiltern Theatre viewers received insight into not just the making of the LP, but how Logic's seemingly contagious uplifting and grateful demeanor, boundless creativity, and prideful individuality awarded him the freedom to explore such subjects (and nabbed him a bunch of uncommon co-signs in the process). We'll get to that in a second.
To note, despite being told from several different perspectives, Everybody follows the story of "Atom," a man who died in a car accident and, upon trying to enter the afterlife, is told by God that he must complete reincarnation in order to do so. But, as told by Logic on screen, he's "reincarnated so many times, he's been every human that ever existed....[so] that he will know what it is to appreciate life."
This story, from a biracial man who, during the post-screening Q&A (see below), admitted he'd be "dead, in jail or addicted to drugs" if it wasn't for rap, and who created Everybody for a few reasons both selfless ("Being discriminated against by own people made me wanna talk about everyone who's been discriminated against, I'm speaking for those who don't have the voice that I do") and selfish ("[This album] set me free; I don't give a shit what anybody else thinks.")
In the documentary, we get to see Logic candidly disclose his battle with physically-crippling anxiety, record a lyric an innumerable amount of times with frustration and determination until its perfect, get the inspiration for his album cover while visiting the Louvre in Paris (peep "The Wedding at Cana" by Paolo Veronese to compare), and cry after watching the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra record the instrumentals for his "Black SpiderMan" track.
Among those who were willing to join his journey? Along with Juicy J, Killer Mike, and a Bahamian resort singer Logic met while on vacation with his wife, there's also astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson playing the role of God ("That's like the most gangster feature of all time"), super-producer No I.D. coming out from behind the board to rap ("I haven't recorded a song in 20 years"), and Mr. "Platinum-With-No-Features" himself, J.Cole, gifting an uncredited verse for the album's closer.
The Q&A following the screening was both entertaining and emotional, and proved to be a manifestation of Logic's reach and influence. He encountered a notably diverse crowd of fans who differed in their means of expressed adoration, but not in the magnitude.
From one who'd just begun listening to his music less than a week before to another who, knowing Logic to be a fan of film director Christopher Nolan, asked if the rapper preferred Inception or Interstellar, Logic continued to seemingly be in awe of so many of the fans' admissions and inquiries: the one who came bearing customized Jordans as gifts, the one who revealed a tattoo declaring his "peace, love, and positivity" mantra, the one who called him the "closest thing to a father figure in [their] life," and the woman whose boyfriend died in car accident a few months prior who publicly recalled, "The best moments I ever had with him were with your music."
Here are a few other things learned:
ON J.COLE'S UNCREDITED GUEST VERSE:
I gave him my word that I wouldn't really discuss that for a little while because I didn't want to use his name to promote my album. And the reason that is, is because that verse that he sent me meant so much and was so personal to me that I wanted it to be for only real fans who would stay to the end of the album to actually listen to it. And it also meant so much to hear this man that I idolize rapping from the perspective of Little Bobby and a young man growing up as a rapper, and then him also turning the page and rapping from his own perspective giving me advice. And, to me, that was a dream come true and I'll leave it at that. All I can say is, when I heard it, I couldn't believe it, and my wife actually has footage of when I got off the phone with J. Cole and I was like, [shrieking] 'Oh, my God!' because he said I could use it.
The reason it took me the longest [to make] is because it's a song that I didn't want to talk about or do....And obviously I don't hate the song, but I had to put myself in that dark place because I'm very blessed and, right now in my life, I'm so happy, but because I love my fans and fucking people, I took myself and put myself there as if I wanted to take my own life just so I could create an anthem for those who hopefully won't.
ON HIS FAVORITE BIBLICAL VERSE:
I always thought that it wasn't my job to talk about race, religion, or politics, and I realized, no, it's okay to have a voice just as long as you're respectful….Whether you're Christian or Catholic or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist or whatever, I think we should just respect other and what they believe. Even if we think it's wrong, even if you think they're gonna burn in hell, just shut the fuck up and let them live their life....My favorite passage from the Bible is, 'Pride cometh before a fall.' That's why I try to [channeling Kendrick Lamar] 'be humble' and 'sit down.'
ON ADVICE, DRIVE, AND INDIVIDUALITY:
Like I always say: persistence, determination, and wanting success more than your next breath. You have to envision it, see it and do it. There's people in this crowd who know that there's a secret language of success and it's, 'Go out and do it.' There's no 'buts.' And that's a real thing. You have to go and do it. You have to say you're gonna do it and then do it. And there's some people in this crowd who are like, 'Yeah, that's easy for you to say, bro, you did it so you can say that....but there's bills, but I gotta do this, but I'm in school.' Well, they fucked up....it's the person who says, 'I'm gonna do it' and does everything and anything on a realistic level to achieve their dreams. Just be yourself, a hundred percent. I gotta be honest; I got so much shit for being who I am. I'm a fucking Rubik's Cube-solving, anime-loving, wife- and puppy-loving, rapping motherfucker. And that's me. And so many people told me 'that's wack' or 'it's corny.' Well, yeah, I can be corny all day, but at least I'm me because I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I'm not.