Logic is one of the most successful rappers of the last decade. Born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, the famed rapper hails from Rockville, Maryland. His accolades include a Grammy-nomination, and twice topping the Billboard 200 album chart.
Aside from his success as a rapper, Logic’s ethnicity is often discussed in the hip-hop community. As the artist has expressed in both interviews and lyrics, he is not usually the first one to bring up race. He talks about the topic because other people bring it up so frequently.
In this article, we will answer the most common questions about Logic’s ethnicity, along with sources and songs that reveal Logic’s thoughts on the topic.
Is Logic black or white?
The simple answer to this question is that Logic is mixed race, or as he has put it, biracial. Logic’s father, Robert Bryson Hall, is African-American. His mother, Mary Bryson Hall, was white.
The reason that people are so curious about Logic’s ethnicity is that his complexion is very fair – that is to say, his skin colour is light. For that reason, many people assume that he is caucasian, when he is actually mixed race.
Logic has discussed his ethnic background in various interviews, and addresses the topic in many songs. Let’s dive in and learn more about Logic’s thoughts on his ethnicity.
What does Logic say about his ethnicity?
Logic mentions his ethnicity and people’s perception of his ethnicity in many of his songs and in interviews.
Both his lyrics and interviews reveal that misperceptions about his race have followed him around his whole life, and that it has caused him considerable frustration and hurt.
In an interview with MTV he expressed this frustration, saying:
People try to tell me like that, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be proud or you’re not this or you aren’t that’ or whatever the hell… I’m just kinda here to say, like, who is anybody else to tell me who I am or what I’ve gone through or what I haven’t gone through?
In an interview with NPR, Logic delves deeper into his experiences. He revealed that he is the whitest amongst his seven brothers and sisters (a topic that he also addresses in the song ‘AfricAryaN’). He said:
I look as white as white can be… people would be like, oh, you cracker, you white boy, you this, you that, and I didn’t understand. And one thing that I think’s really funny – I just want to say this – is, like, I’m never the one to bring up race.
It’s always somebody that’s like, oh, what’s it like being a white rapper? – you know, early in my career. And then I have to explain to them, like, no, I’m actually – I am just black and white. I’m biracial, just so you know. You know, let’s move on.
By Logic’s own admission, it appears that he talks about race mostly because other people bring up the topic, and he is responding to that in his music.
Logic songs that talk about race
Many of Logic’s songs talk about his race, and he talks about it most of all on his 2017 album Everybody. However, a few of his earlier songs also address the topic.
Race in Logic’s Earlier Releases
One of the earliest mentions of race in Logic’s music is in the song ‘One’ on his 2011 album Young Sinatra.
He says “white boy at first glance but when I rhyme they know / race don’t mean a f****** thing the second that I flow.” This line alludes to a certain disregard for race – that to him, his art is more important than race.
In ‘Soul Food’ on his Under Pressure album (2014), he says, “Yeah, my skin is vanilla, but bitch I dare ya to test my killa.” In this line he is alluding to his skin being white, but him not being “fully” white.
On his 2017 album Everybody, Logic really gets deep into the topic of his race, and talks about his experiences in depth. The title track needs quoting at length:
White people told me as a child, as a little boy, playin’ with his toys
I should be ashamed to be black
And some black people look ashamed when I rap
Like my great granddaddy didn’t take a whip to the back
Not accepted by the black or the white
I don’t give a f***, praise God, I could see the light
Everybody talkin’ ’bout race this, race that
I wish I could erase that, face facts
These bars highlight several issues that come up repeatedly in Logic’s lyrics. Firstly, that he was made to feel ashamed of being black.
In an interview, Logic revealed that his own mother, who was white and married a black man, would nonetheless call him the N-word.
In this powerful verse, Logic also highlights the fact that even though he may look white, his grandfather “took a whip to the back.”
Interestingly, Logic concludes that he wishes he could erase everyone talking about race – highlighting the common theme that Logic really wants people to stop obsessing about his race.
In ‘AfricAryaN’ Logic goes even further into the topic, talking about his complex relationship with his family, and the way that black people and white people treat him.
Even though my daddy, you know he blacker than the street
With a fist to match, more solid than concrete
Tell white people I’m black, feel the need to retreat
Like I should be ashamed of my granddaddy Malik
But my beautiful black brothers and sisters
Want to act like I’m adopted
Go back in time to when my n**** daddy
Impregnated my cracker momma and stopped it
In these lines, Logic touches on a sense of shame and conflict about his identity. He compares himself with his siblings who have darker skin than him, and people who have said that he should have never been born.
In the next verse, he goes on to reflect on experiences from being rejected by both white and black communities, and admits that he is affected by what both black and white people may say about him:
Somebody pinch me
Black man screaming, trying to convince me I’m not black
So why the white man wanna lynch me?
Damn, my skin fair but life’s not
And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care what whites thought
Or black people said
‘Take It Back’
In the song ‘Take It Back’ he touches on similar themes of people telling him who he is or isn’t.
Everybody wanna tell me what I am, what I am not
“You ain’t black, you a mothaf****** white boy
Shut ya mouth, do it right boy, a’ight boy?
Man, why you such a hype boy?”
“Why you always talk about being black?
Skin too white, n**** f*** that”
These lines reveal his oft-expressed frustration at people telling him that he cannot be black because his skin colour is too white.
Also on Everybody, Logic’s song ‘Black Spiderman’ offers a slightly more light-hearted take on the topic, with the lines:
Black is beautiful, be black and proud
F*** everybody hatin’ on me right now, I’m black and proud
I’m just as white as that Mona Lisa, I’m just as black as my cousin Keisha
I’m biracial so bye Felicia
These lines offer a slightly humorous message in which Logic simply embraces being both black and white.
As Logic’s fans and haters remain preoccupied with his race, Logic touched on the topic once again with the title of his 2022 song ‘BLACKWHITEBOY.’
However, that song does not offer as much insight into Logic’s views on the topic as the above songs from Everybody.
Logic’s Ethnicity: Conclusion
Logic repeatedly addresses the topic of his ethnicity in both interviews and lyrics. In my analysis, there are several key points that he tries to get across again and again.
- Fundamentally, Logic considers himself to be mixed race or biracial – both black and white
- His skin is very light-coloured, and people often tell him that he can’t be considered black for this reason
- The main reason he talks about his ethnicity in his songs is because other people obsess about it
- Although he does entertain the topic in his songs, from what he says in his lyrics and interviews, Logic wants people to stop talking about his ethnicity so much
I am in no way claiming to speak for the artist here – I’m just summarising some of his lyrics and interviews. Disagree? Drop a comment below.
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