Logic is trying too hard
There has always been a clear and necessary school of multi-media artists able to successfully and respectably bridge the gap between various disciplines in order to exercise the full extent of their creative ability. The unfortunate truth of it is that every artist - everyone in fact - has a need to express themselves not just in one way or another, but in any way possible, and yet, we live in a world where most people don't indulge in any form of a passionate creative outlet, and even those that we consider the artists are more often than not held to a single discipline.
In many ways, such an unfulfilled collection of talent at an individual level is what leads to the bold and oftentimes unsuccessful experimentation of our most beloved artists. There is after all, a case to be made that Lil Wayne would have been better off taking up watercolor instead of rock music, but the world's audience is under the impression that the two leaps are not equally challenging and unlikely to be successful simply because Wayne is a musician.
Let it be a reminder that even if you're a great artist in one arena, it doesn't mean you'll successfully be able to make the leap to another. But let it be a much more important lesson that success is relative, and the monetary kind should never be the goal when pursuing a creative outlet. Which is why Lil Wayne should never feel the need to apologize for the whole Rebirth project. What he should apologize for however is using his existing platform to so blatantly force upon us an alternative artistic direction.
There is something respectable and enjoyable about an artist masterful in their preferred craft instead of an artist simply adequate at many. There is something admirable about when these masterful artists indulge in alternative means of creativity without using their existing stature to pimp them out into monetization. And ultimately, there is something breathtaking and mesmerizing about when an artist is able to have such an outstanding grasp over multiple creative outlets, and is able to share them with the world organically instead of using pre-existing success to skip the necessary struggle and hardship of quality art.
Take into account perhaps the most prolific of multi-disciplinarians in recent memory, Donald Glover. Finding his start in show-business with a career highlighted by writing for 30 Rock, it wasn't such a wildly impossible notion, though still unlikely, that he would be able to make the leap to the upper tier of stand-up comedy. But beyond that already impressive collection of achievements, the subsequent additions to his résumé and the continuance of simultaneous, organic artistic growth across a multitude of media has been unprecedented.
His musical career under the moniker Childish Gambino has been a genre-transcending highlight reel of experimental, influential, and innovative creativity since the release of his debut single, Bonfire, and following debut album, Camp, in 2011. Though primarily and correctly labeled a hip-hop artist for most of his career, a grand sense of experimental and envelope-pushing creative direction from his sophomore album, Because the Internet, to the 2014 releases of Stone Mountain and Kaui to the modern day where “Awaken, My Love!” and currently This is America continue to be insanely powerful and important projects not just musically, but socially and politically as well.
If that weren’t enough, his TV show Atlanta for which he conceptualizes, writes, produces, and acts in the primary role, is not only a critically-acclaimed series aimed at both the simultaneous exposé of hip-hop culture and the socioeconomic turmoil effecting America’s underrepresented communities, it’s also essentially a side hustle – a passion project – one of many to which he has granted so much time, attention, and genius in the name of art and art’s powerful social implication.
Now, it is completely unfair to compare someone to such a creative, artistic, and sociopolitical force, but when an artist goes out of their way to so continuously and aggressively discuss their alternative passion projects in the works in the hopes of them becoming as successful as their primary indulgence while Donald Glover has come about his widespread success entirely organically, a comparison has to be made, and the loser has to be that other artist.
"I just finished my first novel. I started the second one. I just wrote and finished a movie that I'm really excited to star in now. I've been working really hard.” – Logic, E! News, 2018 Grammy Awards.
Sorry Logic, but you’re trying too hard.
Before we go any further, it should be noted that Logic is an undeniably gifted musician – unarguably one of the top lyricists alive, and arguably one of the best MC’s across the complicated current hip-hop spectrum who has used his platform to promote discussion of mental health and suicide prevention.
But what he has also discussed a lot of is his library of forthcoming novels and screenplays as well as an apparent transition into acting. Whether quotes like the one above taken from a variety of red carpet posturing or simply his twitter account, it’s clear that Logic wants you, the fans of his music, to pick up his novel, supposedly titled Supermarket. The difficulty with the proposition isn’t necessarily that making the leap from hip-hop to novelization is bound to be a difficult one – in his defense, he, through his music, has never given us any reason to doubt his knack for storytelling – it is instead that the novel quite simply doesn’t exist yet.
We get it. Editing and publication can be a long process. But surely, under a similar sort of impression about the release of a full-length book, Logic would know better than to so outwardly pimp out an as-of-now non-existent passion project outside of the realm of his generally accepted outlet. Why not let the book come to publication and let it, like Donald Glover let Atlanta, grow naturally as a piece of art should always be allowed to grow?
And why mention a follow-up novel, a screenplay, and a leading role in said screenplay when the only pre-existing artistic work we have to weigh our interest in something completely artistically separate is Logic’s music?
There is an art to subtlety, and there is a subtlety to art, neither of which should ever be sacrificed for the other. But Logic, on his current string of press interviews, is axing at the throat of subtlety for the sake of success for his uncompleted and unreleased artistic endeavors.
There is a chance that Logic’s novels come to redefine literature; there is a chance that his screenplay, after he successfully acts its primary role, brings him love from the Academy. But there is, some would argue, a good chance that neither of those outcomes come to fruition, in which case, due to his insatiable, masturbatory desire to scream from the rooftops that he is trying something new and we should be excited, Logic falls short.
It’s not that we’re against the idea of artists aggressively pursuing passions that lie outside their realm of expectation. Quite the contrary, we wish that everyone would indulge in more consistent acts of creativity. What we’re against is Logic utilizing the platform that he has worked so hard to build – a platform that he has used to make a difference in the world – in order to inorganically inspire the growth and success of non-related, non-existent art.
It’s quite simply, under any circumstances other than editorial and cinematographic acclaim, unbecoming.