Photo of Illogic

I swapped info to set up this interview regarding Illogic’s new album, “A Man Who Thinks With Own Mind” while Aesop rock was performing.

It was heartwarming to see that some of underground rap’s finest were still friends.

“A Man Who Thinks With His Own Mind” is being released by Illogic after doing two albums with Aesop’s neighborhood friend Blockhead.

Obviously these dudes have been cutting records since Aesop’s “One Brick” off 2001 Labor Days.

Illogic and I linked up a week or so later at Fitzy’s Diner near Schrock Rd and he answered questions over coffee.

The album title stems from one of Illogic’s middle names: Korega, which literally means, “A Man Who Thinks With His Own Mind.”

This album reflects Illogic’s self-reliant cognitive abilities.

It also reflects the fact that this is the first album he has released himself. We tried to figure out how many albums Illogic has released since 1998.

Illogic quipped, “Too Many.” There was a humble answer.

Illogic is one of the most important rappers to ever come out of the city of Columbus. He has put out several underground rap classics on Weightless Records as a solo artist, and in a group called Greenhouse with Blueprint. He has worked with Slug, Eyedea, Clouddead, Abstract Rude, MHz, Aesop Rock and many more of hip hop’s elite.

Blueprint and Illogic have a podcast named Super Duty Tough Work, which obviously tips its hat to the graffiti documentary Style Wars.

Illogic’s always has been a style master building in the polysyllabic well-balanced flow, which could be described in Pharaoh Munch’s lane. “A Man Who Thinks With His Own Mind” is produced entirely by the Sound Cultivator whose production sits in between the chopped samples of Mos Def’s “If You Can Huh You Can Hear?” and the proto-Flying Lotus drums akin to some of the production on Bjork’s “Verspertine.”

Illogic had to adjust the interview date initially so he could celebrate his wife of 15 year’s birthday. The song, “Kin To Insanity” discusses how one maintains a long-term relationship once the honeymoon is over. Illogic is an internationally known rapper who has a full-time job, and is pursuing a master’s degree.

I asked him how someone who is in the spotlight stays married. The first word Illogic responded with was, “Communication.” He has a degree in communication technologies.

This also translates on “AMWTWHOM” songs “Selfies” and “Newsfeed” where Illogic discusses the myopic side effects of our ig’s and Facebook. “Technology is not bringing us together. It’s stretching us further apart. You don’t have to leave your house to do anything,” he said.

I gather Illogic leaves his house because the MC also has a song called “Pulse” which is an ode to the feeling the city of Columbus gives him.

“I’m more talking about people and the feelings of the city. Why I love it so much. It’s more of a heartfelt emotional love song to the city.”

I asked him if it was problematic having a song about civic pride called “Pulse” in the wake of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando. “Honestly when I heard that I didn’t have any correlation because it has no correlation to the song itself.” Illogic said.

Illogic added the shooting was horrible, and futile saying “…It’s useless and senseless violence for something you can’t control…you can never eradicate all the gay people in the world, all the white people, all the Black people, all of the Christians. It’s never gonna happen.”

Which led me to ask about “Guns Drawn,” a song on his album that is somewhat irrelevant to the Orlando shooting in content but timely in title. “It’s more about our relationship as African-Americans with guns. How we view white America viewing us.
Also how we view ourselves, and us not taking the initiative to do things to change the way that we are viewed in this country. So it’s kind of a two-sided song.”

Even though “Guns Drawn” is an internal dialogue discussing the African-American communities interaction with guns, the conversation drifted to recent thwarted attempts at gun regulation.

Illogic said, “The second amendment was written to protect us from the government. Not just to ‘protect our selves’ so I think that it’s a conversation that’s been skewed, for money, for political gain, power. I think if we change the focus of why we want the second amendment to be so much of a part of our culture and our fabric as a country .I think the government would be more prone to have gun reform.”

Illogic will be performing @ the 2x/2x Hip Hop Festival, 6/23/16

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