Logic has done a lot of interviews over the past two weeks in promotion of his new, No. 1 album Everybody, but his conversation with Hard Knock TV host Nick Huff is as good as it gets. Similar to his Def Jam label mate Vince Staples, the Maryland native is a highly entertaining interview subject who wields a strong vocabulary, a heightened sense of self-awareness and a great sense of humor.
I encourage anyone with 19 free minutes to hit play and let this YouTube video just run, but for those of you who have too many tweets to send and too many memes to share, feel free to skip ahead to the 14-minute marker (we did that for you below) when Logic shares the story behind the 13th and final track on Everybody, "AfricAryaN," which features a surprise recorded voice message from J. Cole.
As the story goes, earlier this year, when Logic was wrapping up the album, he presented Cole with the opportunity to record a verse for "Take It Back." He believed that, as a fellow biracial man, he could offer his own unique perspective on the same record. After hearing the record, though, Cole declined, telling Logic, "That's your story. When I listen to that song, that is your story."
Undeterred, Logic asked Cole if he would be open to working together on another record or creating a brand new record. In response, Cole revealed that he had already penned something after being inspired by their phone call and Logic's honesty on "Take It Back," and that as soon as he had the chance, he would lay down the track. A few weeks go by, Logic is beginning to wrap up the album, and one night, randomly, at 4:30 a.m., Cole sends him a text message with a voice message of the words he wrote.
Logic is almost moved to tears.
Fast forward to the next day, Logic calls Cole to ask his permission to use the voice message for his album but gets his voice mail. Hours later, while driving around Los Angeles with his wife, the phone rings. It's Cole.
Knowing that this call might be an opportunity he might never have ever again, Logic shoots his shot.
"I said, 'Bruh, you are my Hov. You are my Jay Z. I waited outside for you. You're the only rap concert I've ever been to.' I told him this. Ever. Ever. To this day. I've only ever been to a J. Cole concert that I went to. That I wanted to go see. When I told him that, he was like, 'Bro, this is crazy.' I was like, 'You don't understand. What you wrote, it could make me emotional right now. Like, I'm trying to keep it together. It is beautiful, it is poetic, and it's just what I needed as a man, and I'm going to be honest, you can say no, no problem, but I believe this is perfect, just like this, not on the record, not me and you but this. And this isn't about the public, and this isn't about trying to milk it and do all this other shit. Like, I'm not going to tell anybody the shit like this. The die-hard fans are going to see this and that's who it's for and obviously your community. I was like, 'I'm not going to put your name on it, I'm not going to market you, I'm going to make it a secret because this is about us and I need you to know this is so full circle for me.' And I was like, 'So I'm just going to ask, would you please let me use it.' He says, 'What I'ma say, no? After a speech like that? What the fuck I'ma say, no? I see how much this means for you and how much it means to you. Of course.' And I almost cried."
Six years ago Logic knew that one day he would get the chance to work with his "favorite artist of all-time" on an album. This story is what dreams are made of—literally.
Editor's Note: Technically, J. Cole's voice message was tacked onto "Acceptance," which is the unlisted title for the hidden track that plays immediately after "AfricAryaN" ends.