The Everybody Tour feat. Logic, Joey Badass and Big Lenbo
Revention Music Center
July 21, 2017
Three hundred eighty-five days ago, Logic found himself sandwiched between two notorious rappers who are knee-deep in regional aesthetics (YG’s modern twist on creaky, blaring West Coast hip-hop; Yo Gotti’s flashy take on Memphis’s rugged idea of trap). Over him was G-Eazy, who figured crafting shiny, if not faceless, hip-hop for Oakland was the way to go. And then there’s Logic.
Logic found his space in that particular sandwich as a technically proficient rapper whose raps didn’t necessarily say much. Friday night, fans rocked jerseys, T-shirts and all other kinds of memorabilia and tour merch to show their support for him. They wanted to feel like a piece of “everybody.” When the Maryland rapper took the stage for his first major Houston gig as a headliner, the crowd roared with minor yips. “We love you, Logic!” they chanted as he blazed through a few cuts from his latest album, Everybody. Here is when an easy realization set in: Logic is America’s safest rapper.
From delivery to message, Logic spent Friday's 60-plus-minute set at Revention Music Center playing up like he was a rapper you could easily be. He’s the unlikeliest of rap stars, a biracial kid who barely sounds comfortable saying “nigga” in his raps but by sheer will and determination has found his voice. Or rather, a voice he believed was missing in rap right when far better versions of him in regards to empathy and vision exist.
“Did somebody pass out? Okay, stop the show. I want everybody to be safe,” he said after wrapping up Everybody’s “Killing Spree.” In typical concert fashion, more than two young fans found themselves dehydrated before the main act even began to get some footing. “Don't worry, everything’s fine. Make sure you drink water, stay hydrated. If you're thirsty, go get something to drink. It's not cool waking up in the hospital tomorrow.”
If one were to express what a Logic live show feels like, imagine foul-mouthed youth pastor rap. There are curses, there are moments of saccharine positive messages and sophomore-ish dick jokes. I didn't know it could truly be a thing but to paraphrase Kevin Garnett, anything is truly possible. Logic can challenge his audience made up of primary 16 to 19-year-olds with the occasions pre-teen tossed in somewhere and they won't get his obvious “nerdcore” references. That includes up to the following items: C+C Music Factory’s “Gonna Make You Sweat,” Street Fighter, Super Mario World and more.
He can carry legions through records about suicide prevention (his biggest hit, “1-800-273-8255,” doubles as the number to the Suicide Prevention Hotline) and anxiety (“Anziety”), but those records only do the bare minimum. Acknowledgment without actually giving credence to the why. Performing those records is one thing, but Logic never truly showed his work there. Which is probably a lot of people’s main detraction from Everybody records who aren’t Logic diehards: it’s an #AllLivesMatter album from a guy who got more traction when he didn’t attempt to walk in muddled waters.
“When I say, do you wanna go home, you say ‘Fuck you!’” he told the crowd. They responded back. When he pointed out people in the crowd, he centered on a 12-year-old who was probably going to get laid later in the night. Nobody, I repeat nobody, gets laid after a Logic show, no matter how great and fun the “Young Jesus” video is.
By comparison, Logic’s tourmate, Joey Badass, made an album discussing race relations and youth — but successfully dives into these prickly concepts. Badass’s actual growth from a teenaged Brooklyn whiz kid to serious-eyed young man took place over years but manifested when his All American Badass album arrived earlier this year. When it came time for his performance, every record from AAB knocked it out of the park. Joey gets the empathy of being black and maligned in America. Logic? Maybe. Though you could argue that the legion of teenagers and few drinking-age adults speckled in the crowd couldn't care less. They liked old Logic and only swore by Everybody because it was Logic.
By the end of the night, as he was building toward his closing crescendo, Logic put himself at dead center stage. He’d let his band play a somber, low version of “1-800-273-8255” before getting some things off his chest about being dismissed and how he didn’t feel like he fit in with current rap standards. How he concerned himself with the opinions of others. It was earnest and sincere, to him at least.
“Fuck that, fuck people. All that matters is how I think about myself. I created this album for everybody who needed it. I could get on this stage and talk about guns, bitches and hoes, but when you wake up the next morning, I want you to listen to a real motherfucker like Logic.”
Logic may be real, even if his message still needs a little work.
Personal Bias: If there are tiers for being captivating while also wading through heavy material, it goes Kendrick, Cole, Logic.
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The Crowd: Imagine if every kid who went to the same high school as the boys from Stranger Things showed up to a rap show. Also imagine if the rapper told a 12-year-old he was gonna get bitches just for going to a Logic show.
Random Notebook Dump: You take a minor bathroom break during a Logic show, you’re bound to miss something. Such was the case as I walked back inside and realized there was a small hush over the crowd. There, Logic had decided to play a round of Street Fighter on the large videoboard behind him. A boss, geek move indeed.
LOGIC SET LIST
Super Mario World
Take It Back
America” feat. Big Lenbo
Young Jesus feat. Big Lenbo
Stupid feat. Big Lenbo
I Am the Greatest
Things Will Never Be The Same
Black Spider-Man feat. Damian Lamar Hudson