With his home in Calabasas, Logic created “my own world, but not a bubble.” There’s a movie theater with a concession stand that, while it includes Milk Duds and Junior Mints, is more like the counter at a weed dispensary, with cans of flower and vape G Pens behind it. He’s got a pool table instead of a dining room table and leaves Le Labo hand lotion in the bathrooms. The only thing Logic won’t show me is the master bedroom -- Mariah Carey’s episode of Cribs taught him to keep that to himself. “She said, ‘This is for me. This is the one thing I get,’” recalls Logic, indicating he is in what must be a tiny faction of people who regard Carey’s Cribs episode as an example of a positive interaction with the public. “That was really cool.”
We’re settled into lounge chairs by the pool when Logic tells me about last spring, shortly after his divorce became public and he released Bobby Tarantino II. He was increasingly overwhelmed by the hate he was getting on social media. “‘You should kill yourself, you’re terrible, you should quit, you’re corny, you’re wack, you don’t belong in hip-hop, stop making music,’” he remembers reading. “‘You’re a white boy, you’re not black. You’re too fucking old. You’re ugly. Your choice of clothing is terrible. Why’d you get that truck, you fucking idiot, you should’ve gotten a Lamborghini.’”
He called his friend J. Cole, another rap star who gets a lot of grief online. “I was like, ‘It’s just so fucked up that people can think I’m this way or that way. I’m a good man. Why would someone talk shit about me?’” Cole, according to Logic, responded, “ ‘Well, why do you care?’ ” Logic began to ask himself: “Why do I care that that person said my music isn't that good? That I’m a fuccboi or I’m corny or I’m a hypebeast? Why does it matter?”
Cole guided him through more questions: Are you corny? “No, I write from the heart.” But why does it hurt when someone says that about you? “I guess it hurts because they don’t really know who I am.” Well, why do you need that person to really know who you are? “Because I feel like if they know who I am, then they’ll like me.” Why do you need that person to like you? “I guess I don’t need them to like me, I just want them to like me.”
Logic turns to me. “I’ve come to truly realize that social media, personally, destroys me.” Now his assistant uploads everything to Instagram, and when Logic wants to comment on a friend’s post, he asks to borrow the phone. But there’s one way in which the feedback from social media doesn't destroy him. It’s crucial, even. In November, Logic began an experiment in which he released snippets of freestyles on his Instagram every Friday and tracked which ones got the most views and why. He pulls out his phone and, because he doesn't have the app, goes to instagram.com and plays a video of himself rapping about cocaine. It has over double the views of a freestyle he released the week before about paying the bills and kids popping pills.
“Just look at the numbers,” he says. “Talk about real honest shit and there’s almost a million people who really love that thing. And then I do the cocaine shit and it just blows it out of the water.” He explains that if you listen closely, the cocaine song is really about the dangers of the drug. That there’s a deeper message comforts him, but it’s not clear if anyone is listening that closely. He’s working on accepting the listeners either way.