Logic: Gaithersburg-born rapper enjoys a happy homecoming at Fillmore

June 24, 2013

Midway through his performance Sunday night at the Fillmore in Silver Spring, on-the-rise rapper Logic paused for a moment to reflect. He was headlining a national tour just 15 miles from his home town.

“This is incredible!” said the 23-year-old Gaithersburg native, clad in a black T-shirt and jeans and white Air Jordans. It was one of many euphoric moments for Logic, who appeared humbled by the moment, regularly rattling off short bursts of positive affirmations between songs. “We’ve come a long way, man. . . . You can do anything you want!”

For more than an hour, he ran briskly through his “Young Sinatra” mixtape series, offering inspired, abridged versions of songs such as “Ballin’ ” and “Young Jedi.” On “Walk On By,” a dream-chasing cut from his new “Welcome to Forever” recording, the rapper — born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II — used a faint vocal loop and stampeding drum kick to recall his days on the grind. “See I’m from Maryland where cats draw gats like animation / From the smallest altercation, that can lead determination.” He glided vigorously across the stage, encouraging the already frenzied young people in the audience. At one point, Logic even brought his dad up to soak it all in. Friend and fellow Maryland rapper Phil Adé showed up midway through to perform his new song “Money,” which sustained the energy.

Given the adoration, fans might not believe that Logic is a relative unknown. But his inclusion on XXL magazine’s taste-making 2013 “freshman class” list sent a collective “Who?” through various rap circles.

The list, which is supposed to signify rap’s next wave of breakout stars, included the fiery Chief Keef, Kendrick Lamar collaborators SchoolBoy Q and Ab-Soul and Trinidad James, among other notables.

Though Logic has amassed a decent online following, he didn’t garner the national headlines of those peers. Shortly after making the list, Logic signed a record deal with Def Jam and announced that acclaimed producer No I.D. would steer the direction of his forthcoming debut album.

That might explain Logic’s jovial attitude this past weekend.

“The only reason I’m on this stage is because of hard work and determination,” Logic told the crowd. “All I had was a dollar and a dream. I was so broke, I didn’t have a dollar, all I had was a dream.”

Sunday felt like a college homecoming. Members of Logic’s entourage showered the crowd with water guns and bottled water, then dived headfirst into the audience. Patrons threw hats on stage, hoping for autographs. The faint, yet noticeable, scent of marijuana wafted throughout the venue. By that point, the party was at full tilt.

Logic was completely elated by show’s end. There’s no place like home.

Moore is a freelance writer.

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