Jay Shetty is a big fan of Bobby Hall, otherwise known as the rapper Logic. He appreciates his lyrics and enjoys his music. A pre-pandemic chance meeting at an airport revealed that Logic is a big fan of Jay Shetty as well.
“The only time we’ve ever met is when we bumped into each other at an airport,” Jay Shetty shares. “I saw you. I already knew who you were, so when you came up to me, I thought, ‘Cool, Logic is stopping me at an airport.’”
That chance meeting led to the opportunity to sit down together to talk about how Logic overcame the odds of growing up with a crack-addicted, absent father and a mentally unstable, drug-addicted, prostitute mother.
Both Logic and Jay Shetty agree our past does not define our future, and the choices we make will influence where life takes us.
Breaking the Cycle
When most others would just accept there was nothing outside the life they’re shown as a child, Logic took the lessons he learned and chose to break the cycle instead.
Today, Logic is a Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist with three number one albums and ten platinum singles. His book, Supermarket, was the first book written by a hip-hop artist to reach number one on The New York Times bestseller list. His new book, This Bright Future, is on shelves now.
With as much as he’s accomplished, it’s no surprise that work/life balance is a challenge for Logic.
“I think the search for balance is very important,” Logic tells Jay Shetty. “I need to relax more, but my mind is always going crazy. It’s been full of creativity, working on music, and books, but my big thing is with my family. I just love spending time with my family.”
Most people see the Rubik’s cube as a fun game to try to solve. For Logic, it was an opportunity for mastery. While sitting in his room on Thanksgiving Day in 2014, he decided to learn how to solve it. He went to YouTube and searched for a tutorial on the algorithms.
“I wanted to learn how to do it,” Logic tells Jay Shetty. “I’m a freak. Anything that I want to get into—no matter what it is, whether it’s acting, whether it’s music, even just video games—I love mastering things or at least trying to do my best to. So I sat down, and I literally just studied this algorithm. I worked on these algorithms until my fingers felt like they were gonna fall off, and like 10 hours later, I did it. Then I learned how to do it without having to look at the algorithms or how they were done. So it became muscle memory.”
The combination of Logic’s Rubik’s cube skills and his freestyling talent led to one of the craziest multitasking opportunities he has ever attempted. He decided to freestyle rap while solving a Rubik’s cube.
“It was intense and pretty crazy,” Logic shares with Jay Shetty. “I just kind of did it constantly. One day, I decided that I was going to take my nerd sci-fi raps on the radio with Big Boy’s neighborhood. I also decided to do a Rubik’s Cube while I freestyle. It could have ended badly because I was nervous, but it didn’t. It worked out, and it was really cool.”
Logic’s drive for mastery stems from his childhood. His mother had many different things that she loved, including writing, music, and dance, but she never focused on mastering one thing. Instead, Logic, like Jay Shetty, puts everything he has into learning new things.
Do you ever reflect on how your childhood formed your habits, ideologies, and behaviors? What are the lessons that you carry, good or bad, from your life growing up? For Logic, childhood lessons provided him with a roadmap of how NOT to live his life.
The only child of unstable parents who were dealing with addiction and mental illness, Logic was left to his own devices. Surrounded by drugs, violence, and guns, Logic witnessed his older brother selling his dad crack, then running around in the streets.
Logic had eight half brothers and sisters from both parents, but he was the only one the two had with each other. They never spent time together as a family, and Logic considered himself an orphan with parents.
Logic went to the skatepark as a child to escape the chaos that surrounded him. It was there that he realized his life was far from that of an average child.
“I would see your normal average run-of-the-mill kid and his parents, and I would realize that my mother never came to the skate park to watch me skateboard,” Logic explains to Jay Shetty. “These kids have their parents coming. All races and colors of people and they’re just there. I saw this and just thought, ‘My life isn’t right.’”
His family’s dysfunction took Logic down some dark paths, like the time he was five and choked on the sandwich that he was eating. His mom yelled at him when he threw it up because he could not breathe. Instead of consoling him, she made him clean it up. Around the age of seven, things took an even more dangerous turn.
“She almost killed me when I was about seven or eight years old,” Logic tells Jay Shetty. “She almost strangled me to death, and then stopped in the middle of what she was doing and realized what she was doing. I remember very vividly looking at her and seeing so much anger. I didn’t really do anything. I was just bouncing off the walls like a kid having fun. I remember crying and having tears in my eyes. I was looking at her, through like, underwater glasses. And then she stopped after realizing what she was doing.”
Most people who grow up in that world would just accept that their lives are destined to be filled with the same kind of abuse they grew up with.
Not Logic. He believes each person has a choice, and he chose to get out.
His belief in a higher power combined with common sense were the stepping stones that led Logic to a life free of drugs and violence. He has broken the cycle.
Logic tells Jay Shetty he spent his entire life trying to make sense of his childhood. Mental illness was the driving factor behind the majority of his mother’s actions. She spent her time lashing out at everyone around her, not just Logic.
“My mother is systemically racist, yet all of her children are with black men because she finds black people so beautiful,” explains Logic to Jay Shetty. “It stems from her bringing a young black man home when she was a teenager and saying, ‘This is my boyfriend’ and her parents being like, ‘We don’t mix with their kind.’ It’s all really insane.”
It may seem that Logic is airing his dirty laundry when he discusses his family, but that is not the case. He shares his story for one reason—to show others it is possible to forgive.
“I look at them, especially now as I look at my son, and I don’t know how somebody could do the things I went through to a baby or a child,” Logic tells Shetty.
Looking back at all he endured in childhood, anyone could understand why he would be bitter or resentful, but Logic is at a place in life where he has forgiven his family for the struggles they inflicted on him.
“I’m also not here to excuse her actions by any means,” Logic explains to Jay Shetty. “I look back at that now and realize I’m sadder for her than me. I made it out, but this woman still has to live with herself. I wish I could have a relationship with her so bad.”
Jay Shetty agrees that forgiveness doesn’t excuse the other person for their behavior, but it does remove you from the baggage of carrying it.
Logic’s relationship with his father is on- and off-again and is centered around music. One of his last requests from Logic was for $800,000 for a music studio for him and his band.
“Every time I talk to my father, it’s always music this and music that,” Logic shares. “I realize that’s all he knows, so he talks about music to everybody, not just me. I just think it’s funny that I started to get a lot more phone calls once the name Logic started getting bigger.”
Anger about his mother’s mental state plagued Logic for a long time until he started to experience anxiety. It was then he realized that his mother’s mental health issues were not her fault.
“I remember my first panic attack at 13 years old,” Logic shares with Jay Shetty. “It was really scary. My mom had gone to the store for like an hour, and I had this panic attack. I started dealing with separation anxiety from my mother. A lot of our relationship was based on brainwashing. It sounds crazy, but I had this feeling that I needed her and that if she wasn’t there, my entire world would crumble.”
Logic admits that he didn’t know how to deal with anxiety and only got a handle on it in his late twenties. Therapy helped Logic redefine his relationship with anxiety.
“I know that when I’m feeling anxious, it’s because of something good that I care about,” Logic shares with Jay Shetty. “I’m a human that loves and cares, is compassionate, and wants to serve the family I love who love me. I’m anxious because I care about these two people, and I feel they deserve something special.”
Now that he is a father, healthy communication is the number one thing Logic strives for. His godmother, who took him in when he was a teen, once told him that it is important not to get amnesia.
“You can’t forget that kids do stupid things,” Logic explains to Jay Shetty. “If you’re in seventh grade, and your heart gets ripped out by some boy or some girl that you were dating for, like, eight days, it feels like the end of the world. They broke up with you just before the school dance, and you feel like your life is over. As an adult, it’s so easy to brush that off and tell them they are fine. Even though that’s true, don’t forget you were there and that seventh grade is your child’s entire world.”
Jay Shetty agrees and believes one of the biggest mistakes we make is that we continue to communicate with people from where we are and not where they are. We need to step back and remember we were in the same position at one point. When you pivot and communicate with them from that standpoint, it makes all the difference.
For Logic, his son is the epitome of perfection, and spending time with him is crucial. This is his chance to give his son all the love and devotion that he never had.
“When I look at him, I think about love, compassion, communication, and not getting amnesia,” he said. And Logic expresses all those things through the open communication he feels is so important.
Rise to Fame
The rise to fame was not easy. Logic received a lot of hate for standing up for who he is, a bi-racial man. The internet was overrun with negativity from all sides. Once he accepted that they were just words and that his music was speaking for itself, he was able to move his focus from the negativity on social media to things that matter, like his family.
“My relationships with my son and my wife are the greatest things in the world,” Logic tells Jay Shetty. “When I am going through it and things feel a certain way, I can look at my child and know he is healthy. So what if somebody on the internet is saying ‘You’re not black’? My wife is happy. So what if somebody on the internet says, ‘You suck at rapping’? Those things are so minuscule, and they don’t matter. I’m looking at what actually matters. I’m focusing on my family and my personal, mental, and physical health.”
In his New York Times best-selling book, This Bright Future, you can learn more about Logic’s life and how he refused to let a past that would break most people define his future.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode with Logic on “Not Letting Your Past Define Your Future” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.