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Louis Logic: Past,Present And Phuture
by: Andreas Lad

Nestled somewhere on the LIE is the exit where Louis Logic spent the early years of his life. The adopted child of an ex-cop and a very Italian mother, Louis grew up in mainly white Long Island and then a small town in Pennsylvania. Looking back at the path he has followed, Louis informed me that he could have never prophesized that he would one day become a rapper. However, at around the age of 12, he realized that God had bestowed him a talent (besides his ability to rap): that of skateboarding.
So at a very young age, Louis spent a lot of his time skateboarding.

Like everyone that skates, no one can improve without his or her share of falls, but after several years Louis got good. Not the kind of good, like doing a kick flip (practically every 13 year old can do that), but actually reached the point where at the age of seventeen he was actually being sponsored. A year before being officially sponsored, Louis was introduced to hip-hop and began chilling with a kid who was big into hip-hop.

He started off freestyling, and eventually began taking it seriously. Two years later after completing his senior year, Louis was accepted to Penn State University. It was here that his career in hip hop kicked off. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Louis and talk about debut album, books and movies, and beer (DUH!).

DRE: So Louis Logic. Where to begin. I guess firstly, the name? How did you come up with Louis Logic?

Louis Logic: Alright, I’d have to say that would have to do with a lack of creativity on my part. As a burgeoning emcee, I called myself Mr. LOUE (laughs). I couldn’t think of anything else. It’s funny like I had all the head in the world to think of crazy punch lines, odd word plays, and phrasings. But I couldn’t find a name that I felt comfortable with. So I went through a couple of aliases that weren’t involving my own name.
It was so awkward for me having people calling me something that wasn’t my own name that every time they would say it I would get all embarrassed and shit. Then it was Mr. LOU, which you can see is a far stretch from Mr. LOUE. It’s very impressive. Then I tried alliteration. I tried to think of something that began with an L that applied to me. Which is not to say that Logic does.

If you listen to the music it’s anything but logical. You have a real classic Fat guy named Tiny, Bald guy named Curly thing going on with Louis Logic. I couldn’t think of a lot of L words that sounded cool but didn’t mean something disgraceful like Louis Loser. So when I thought of Logic, I was like I could call myself Logic. But then I remembered how embarrassed I was when people didn’t call me Louis. So, I decided to add Louis in front so I would hit the alliteration factor. A name that means something. It kind of set the tone for when I write. I mean I try to have every line mean something. As it turns out however, the content of my rhymes is rather illogical.

DRE: As a young kid growing up, who were your inspirations?

LL: I’m a nut about rock. I don’t listen to rap and I don’t like it. I’m strictly classic rock and a couple of select current rock bands like Portishead and Radiohead. My all time favorite is the doors. As far as early rap influences, I’d say De La Soul partially because of the quirkiness of their music and production. They had a good sense of humor. It was about humility and funny shit. They weren’t so serious. They were having a good time. 3 feet and rising is a classic record.

DRE: From Skateboarding to Hip Hop, can you explain how you began on one side of the spectrum? What I mean is normally skaters are known to circulate more around the punk scene?

LL: Well yeah, I was like ten years and I skated for about ten years. It wasn’t until the last two years of my skateboarding career that I got a sponsorship. It ended abruptly and unpleasantly. I don’t talk to the team manager anymore. I was definitely a punk fan. I listened to Black Flag, Fugazzi, and Minor Threat. Skateboarding actually got me into rap music. I met a kid who was also a mutt like myself.
He was half black and half Korean. So when we met, like we had this funny little bond because we both skated and what have you. He was real big rap fan and he also rhymed. He was good. He started getting me into his collection of tapes and stuff like that. And I was like “yo what’s up with this rhyming stuff man?” He’d try to coax me into rhyming. He was a good freestyler. I’d make an ass of myself trying. But eventually he got me out of my shell. He got me into rhyming.
That’s how I did it. From this kid Charlie Tucker. He actually disappeared. He disappeared from his mom’s house when he was 16. Shit got so thick for him that no one could find him. I wish I could. One day if I become famous, I hope I‘ll say his name on TV and he’ll be on the other end of my phone.

DRE: So from skateboarding where did you go? You lived originally in Long Island and then where?

LL: Actually I had a 2 year stint in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania (Logantown). I went to high school in Lockhaven. I spent 2 years going to that high school. But they hated me and called me a nigger and beat me up everyday. I was the only minority besides this huge Native American kid, Mehingus, who no one wanted to fuck with because he was huge and this hot Indian girl who everyone wanted to screw. After that I moved to Long Island with my sister where I finished high school. And then I went to Penn State.
That’s where I began making records.
The student radio station there, in particular this kid Mike Jax, helped me hook up with a Rawkus recording artist L- Fudge who guess appeared on a song for me. He liked my stuff so much that he helped me get a distribution deal. And that’s how the ball started rolling. Penn State took to me to Phily. So I moved there after I finished college. I spent a couple of years there and spent a year in the country where I wrote Sin-A-Matic before moving to New York. Most of the album I wrote in the farmland primarily in 2001. I was shacking up with a girl with a kid. She was a good girl.
But, she needed a husband and daddy, and I wasn’t interested. Anyway we were living together, and she had this little porch. If you stood outside on this porch at night, you could hear silence; the actual sound of silence, which is really weird. It was awesome dude. I would sit out there drinking beer and turning out tracks like you wouldn’t believe. I mean I’m a slow writer. It’s a painstaking process. It might take me a month to finish a song from conception to recording. That why Sin-a-Matic took me so long to make. I make everything a saga; I am a perfectionist.

DRE: When did you decide to actual make a career out of it? I mean the music industry is really tough on many. For few to succeed, many starve.

LL: Yo it’s an ugly business. But bro, I love it. I guess it was about the time that my third record came out. A and R’s starting calling. I used to put my home number on the back of my records, but I don’t do that anymore. I was naïve. So, I get all these crazy calls. People would call me in the middle of the night and leave crazy messages. Anyway, it was at the point that A and R’s started calling my crib that I realized that I could do something with this. I always thought this was a dream. The indie career isn’t that bad though. It just a matter of being intelligent about how you do things and staying real busy on your hustles. You got to do everything. I directly touch every level of my career. It’s busy but it’s fun. It’s like paying a game of chess or something, dude. Not that I am good at chess.

DRE: How did you hook up with Jedi Mind Tricks, J.J. Brown, and the Demigodz?

LL: Let’s see. I’ll start with the drunks first. That would be Vinnie Paz of JMT. We met at an Open Mic Night in Philly and had a mutual friend in L-Fudge. So he had come off the stage after an amazing performance in front of a small but packed Bobbito’s footwork store in Philly. So I complimented him on his performance and mentioned that we had a mutual friend in Fudge. He said, “You know Fudge?” The next week he was at my crib chilling and passing out of my couch for the next two years. It’s been a brotherhood. Just after I met Vinnie, a writer for URB magazine, Metaphoar, introduced me to Celph Titled via email. Celph was living in Tampa at the time. He sent me the craziest beat tape ever. It had over a hundred beats on it in like 30 second snippets.
It was insane. I was like how anyone picks beats of this thing. There were so many hot beats on it. That’s were I picked the beat for my third record’s B-side “Secret Agent.” We had such a good time bullshiting on the phone that we’ve been friends ever since. He’s my bro. Now I see him a few times a month. We get together and wile out. I try to get him drunk which is really funny if you every get to see him. Vinnie then introduced me to Apathy. So I met Ap, around the same time I met Celph and found out that they were friends. J.J. Brown I met at Penn State. He was another student there.
Originally when he was introduced to me, someone told me that “he’s going to be your number one guy one day” and I laughed. As it turned out, the kids that were making my beats disappointed me and J.J. took me totally by surprise and I realized that of anybody that I’ve ever worked or linked with J.J. has been the most pivotal and important contributor to my career.

DRE: What obstacles did you face on your path to fame? You and J-Zone always bring up this question about race. Why do people bring the race issue into hip hop?

LL: For me and Zone, I think it’s because of our appearance and because of the sound of voices in our music. People can’t readily figure out what our race is based on the music. There are clues here and there. All in all, it’s just a general ambiguity of the music leads people to question what race we are. When they see pictures of us, it doesn’t click. Zone happens to be a real light skinned brother so people look at him and don’t realize that he’s black. And for myself, I am a mutt. Who can say exactly what I am? I don’t why people are interested in it. It’s not essential to the quality of the music.
But I would say it has an impact on the kind of stuff you write about, at least if race has been a factor in your development as a person where for me it certainly has. Not only because I am of mixed origin, there’s been a certain degree of confusion of where I fit in, but also because I’ve had the privilege of some good old Mississippi crossing burning racism. Most black people you talk to, if they are from a black neighborhood, are not privy to that sort of thing because hardcore racism is not accepted these days.
I am one of the few people I know that will get into a confrontation over my race. What really pisses me off are the people that tie hip-hop to being Black. The people that believe that only black people can make hip-hop deletes the quality of hip-hop that legitimizes it as a music form. Hip hop allows you to focus on the meaning and content and turn it into something that requires more than a few listens to digest the verbal content. Whereas rock, don’t get me wrong, isn’t able to express as much content in a song.

DRE: Sin-a-Matic, explain the significance of the title and the album to you?

LL: The whole album is supposed to be like a real visual ride that presents itself the way a movie would without picture. Every song on there is very detailed and has layers and layers of samples from movies and old records and skits and things and that to refer to the theme of the song. We did that with the intent to give you a movie to listen to. I wanted the album to conjure imagery of things that you’ve experienced during a certain period of your life and imprint themselves onto those time periods. So if you are reminiscing on the time you went out with that hot blond, you’d think about “coochie coup.” The title real is a nod to the fact that the album is very conceptual and detailed, and supposed to listen like a movie would. I changed it to Sin as in committing sins just to refer back to the fact that most of the themes on the album refer to the uglier side of life and just how humorous it can be. I sort of use it as my therapy.

DRE: Are you aware that Sin-a-Matic is a porn film?

LL: I didn’t discover that until after the album came out. I was starting to look around for reviews, so I would type in Sin-A-Matic and I thought it would give me stuff just on my album. And as I discovered there is an entire line of porn films by a company called Sin-A-Matic which is awesome. It is an honor and privilege to share an album title with the name of a Smut peddling corporation. The fact that it was total coincidence was crazy.

DRE: What are your projects for the future? Any artists that you really want to work with?

LL: I am currently working on a project with J-Zone. We’ve finished one song with another in the works. It’s undetermined what length the project will be, but it will be more than a single.

DRE: What about Tours?
Yea, it’s going to be called Louis Logic and the Traveling Bar Brawl. I’m gonna hit the East, West, and the South teaming up with artists that I know in that particular city. For instance, out in Cali, I’ll probably do some shit with Styles of Beyond.

DRE: If you could come up with one word to sum up your cd what would it be?

LL: Disgusting

DRE: What’s your parent’s view on your career?

LL: GROW UP! Why do you call yourself the “drunken dragon?” Everyone thinks that you are a drunk and then I say, “I am mom.” She’s an old school mother. Her baby can do no wrong. Even though I know wrong better than I know right. She’s supportive. My dad’s more of a skeptic than my mom. But even him, he loves his son what’s he gonna do? His son raps. He loves the country Kenny Rodgers. The straight country shit. He’s not really feeling hip hop. He probably scoffs behind my back, but he loves me.

DRE: How would you define a good beer?

LL: Bitter.


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