Written by Emilee Lindner • Photography by Sachyn Mital • June 5, 2017
"What's up Nicole?" Logic calls from the middle of the Big Apple stage Governors Ball on Sunday (June 4). He has spotted one of his die-hard fans in the audience and speaks to her by name. He's mid-set, taking one of his many between-song breaks, where he likes to talk to the crowd and hit them with inspiring words of wisdom. He scans the front row: "Kai!" he shouts out, recognizing another fan, who makes it to many of his concerts. "Where's your mom?"
After playing hundreds of shows and his most recent album, Everybody, debuting at No. 1 on the Bilboard 200, Logic has a lot going on. But he still makes time to connect with fans, and his knack for remembering faces and names is part of what attracts other people to him. His mind is something of a lightning-fast machine, known for its ability to spit rapid freestyles and solve Rubik's Cubes in a blink -- once, he did both at the same time. His photographic mind is also paired with a heart, which needs to reach out to those who show up at his concerts. "What's your name?" he asks a young kid with a skateboard in hand and a phone in the other.
"Ari," the kid yells, taping the experience with his phone. Ari's 13, Logic finds out, and the rapper starts a chant for him, getting everyone to repeat, "Ari! Ari! Ari!"
All this is from the same guy who spent $100,000 to rent a tour bus and meet fans in their homes to play them his second album, The Incredible True Story, in 2015. The same guy who set up a pop-up shop online for his fans, so they could get special merch along with their purchase of Everybody this spring.
Throughout the show, Logic made it very clear that he would be nowhere without his fanbase, and he spread his contagious positivity right back to them. "I was in the studio last night for 16 hours and I slept for five," he admitted. "When I ask, 'Do you wanna go home?' You say, 'Fuck you!'"
He included songs from his new album and took it back to older songs like "Flexicution." He brought out his friends, like actor Ansel Elgort, who's featured on the song, "Killing Spree," and Big Lenbo, who came out for "America" and two others. He introduced his keyboard player, Kein Randolph, and shouted out his wife, Jessica, who watched from the wings. "I love you, Jessica."
There was 2015's "Like Woah, " 2016's "Super Mario World" (which featured video game visuals with his logo plastered atop them) and 2017's "Black Spiderman," representing songs from each year of his come-up. Scarlet hues swamped the set and smoke flumes curled around on the screen behind him.
At one point, a fan tossed up a Rubiks cube, which Logic caught with one hand. He solved it under a minute. "That's my guy!" someone in the crowd yelled.
Logic, who has a song titled after the suicide hotline number, also got serious about mental health, detailing the panic attacks he'd have on a daily basis last year, which kept him from going out in public. "You belong here," he said to other fans who might be struggling with the same anxiety.
He stretched his set time to its limit, ending on 9:15 on the dot. And as festivalgoers shuffled out through the gate on the last night of the event, there was a kid there greeting all his new friends.
"Hey, Ari," I said.
"Hey!" he said. And Logic's positivity continued to spread beyond his live show.
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