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It was a perfect Saturday evening in Milwaukee for a hip-hop show. The young crowd that packed the Rave/Eagles Club was fresh out of school and ready to kick their summer off right. I was surprised to see that so many people arrived early to see Maryland MC, Logic, who is in the middle of his “Welcome To Forever Tour”, with support by Quest and Skizzy Mars.
Having seen plenty of hip-hop shows in the past, I was certain that this one would be just about the same as any other. Not surprisingly, it started out that way. With merely a simple DJ booth set up in the middle of the stage, DJ Rederic hit the stage to spin some club bangers and get the crowd warmed up for the rest of the night. After about twenty minutes, the first act; Quest, came out and astonished the crowd with his swift lyrical attack. Quest instantly had the crowd in the palm of his hand as they clung to his every word as he told stories about how he came up and how this moment was now a chapter in his career. There were moments when he would stop in the middle of his monologues to freestyle and even challenged himself by rhyming faster than any normal human should be able to do. Everyone, including myself was floored by his outstanding performance.
Next was Skizzy Mars. The reaction was somewhat different from Quest, in that the crowd was familiar with Skizzy’s songs, and so they seemed to know what was coming. There was a lot more dancing and singing this time around than the dancing and spectating that occurred during Quest’s performance. It was around this time that I realized this wasn’t your typical hip-hop show after all. There were no flashy stage props, scantily clad dancers or ignorant 808 drop beats. This was about respecting raw talent. Witnessing young artists wearing their hearts on their sleeve, spitting bars as fast as they can while putting on the most entertaining show they possibly could.
After Skizzy Mars left the stage, DJ Rederic continued to spin more tracks, even playing a new Kanye West song, until Logic finally took center stage. A short intro played before Logic ran on the stage and began spitting the first lines off of “The Spotlight”. The entire crowd instantly bounced and waved their hands as they sang along with Logic word for word. Most of the time, Logic and his DJ would pause in the middle of verses just to hear the crowd sing back at them.
Logic was all smiles throughout the entire show as the crowd chanted his name between songs, allowing him little room to speak. When he had the chance, he made sure that everyone in the room was having a good time and even singled out people that looked like they were slacking. “Tonight, it’s all about peace, love and positivity!” exclaimed Logic, “All the bullshit you’ve been through, for anyone that’s brought you down, and all the haters. Forget all that. Tonight we’re here to party and show some love and respect to each other!”
A majority of his set focused on his newest mix tape “Welcome To Forever” but managed to mix in some favorites from his other three. Unlike Quest and Skizzy before him, Logic broke in to a free style verse only once, where he rapidly twisted through a fleet of words with impressive precision.
Logic obviously isn’t out to make the most infectious beats; he’s more about crafting his own story and creating his signature flow. He’s been through a lot to get to where he is today, and there’s still a long winding road ahead of him that he’ll no doubt conquer. As adored as he is by his current fan base, he can gain much more from learning from his live performances. As meticulous as he is, at the end of this show, there was something left to be desired. With Logic’s suave and humorous persona, and the toxic rhymes he creates there’s little doubt that people will come back to see Logic and his fan base grow.
Before he left for the night, he promised to come back to The Rave, except next time he swore that he will be in the ballroom. Something I’m sure he will easily accomplish on the road ahead of him.
- Keith Gasper