There’s no denying it. Maryland rapper Logic is having a good year. In the No I.D.-produced track “Man Of The Year,” a celebratory song off Logic’s latest mixtape, Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever, the emcee gushes about seeing his dreams of a being a rapper become reality: “I wonder what it feels like/To do that shit in real life,” he rhymes. He continues with “and now I’ve got it,” a line he delivers without a grain of skepticism toward the end of his raucous, sold-out concert at Irving Plaza. And who can blame him for his unshakable confidence?
The 23-year-old, once relatively unknown, made his debut underground with Young, Broke, And Infamous in 2010. Since then, he’s released four more mixtapes and now he’s Def Jam’s latest recruit—all without releasing a proper album. Primed to be hip-hop’s latest luminary, he joins a string of dynamic twenty-somethings in the rap game, from Kendrick Lamar to J.Cole, who’ve managed to gain an impressive following before inking deals with major record labels. But his success isn’t merely contingent on his rap hustle and lucid lyricism.
Dressed in a black graphic tee with a large crown design, Logic’s charisma was as perceptible as the glistening gold chains that hung around his neck. He opened the show with “Spotlight,” a bleak warm-up that still managed to elicit earsplitting roars that ricocheted from every corner of the crammed venue, overhauling the springy beat of Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E,” which the song sampled. While the opening was faint, the stage was certainly Logic’s for the taking. He bounced around hawking swift rhymes that were punchy, but not too difficult to snare by fans who were on hand to recite the lyrics. With arms lodged upward, it was clear what the crowd favorites were: “We Get High,” “On The Low,” “Ballin,” “925,” and “Are You Ready?” along with “Numbers,” which had Logic reminiscing about a former love.
Later Ala Sole and Nyck Caution of Pro Era joined Logic on stage for “Resurrection Of Real” off the crew’s new mixtape, PEEP The aPROcaplypse. “The Flow is real like my birthright…redirect and chill while we resurrect what’s real,” Nyck declared before soaring into the crowd from a platform on the left side of the stage and dousing the crowd with water.
When there was room for a breather, Logic spoke candidly about his journey from being unsigned to being a member of the Def Jam team. He delivered some motivational messages about following your dreams and not getting caught up in rap’s flashier side. It was certainly admirable that his feet were planted on the ground, but it was, in part, superfluous considering that most of his songs that night touched on a similar theme, from the laid-back, breezy “The Come Up” to the smooth yet hard-hitting “Common Logic,” where Logic glides over the beat with flair as he raps about making it into the music industry. “Welcome To Forever” chronicled Logic’s struggles growing up in poverty and being biracial, but when the beat kicked in, he spit his bars like a speed racer causing its poignant meaning to evaporate all too quickly.
“I am blessed to say that I can sell out shows all around the world,” Logic told the crowd toward the end of the night. “But I won’t be satisfied until we take over the whole world.” With the incessant cheers from the New York crowd, it seemed he wasn’t too far from it.