As he was building a name for himself, Logic looked up to J. Cole, among others. When the Maryland rapper heard about J. Cole making a making a “Produce For Jay-Z Or Die Trying” T-shirt in 2006, he had a similar idea.
“I remember like two years ago, I wanted to make a shirt that was like, ‘Rap For Cole Or Die Trying’ because at the time, I was just like, ‘Damn. This is my favorite rapper’ and I wanted to do that,” Logic says during an interview with the L.A. Leakers. “Then I kinda stepped back and was like, ‘I don’t want to do that’ because when I meet Cole I want it to be like a peer thing. Obviously he’s like big brother. He’s J. Cole. But [I wanted it to be] where he would respect me as a musician and not look at me like the lil’ homie that really fucks with him. I’m glad that I did that ’cause we eventually met and had a great conversation. He’s like the homie. He’s a really cool dude.”
The tables turned for Logic when he was on the road. “I was in Chicago and I was performing at Reggies at the time and this kid came up to me and he was wearing a shirt that said, ‘Rap For Logic Or Die Trying’ on it. It really put things in perspective.”
Logic then goes into a rap about his meeting J. Cole that he says he should probably save for his forthcoming album: “I remember meeting Cole for the first time / At No I.D.’s studio talkin’ business, kickin’ rhymes / Talkin’ ’bout our favorite rappers and discussing lines / Thinking to myself, ‘Damn, this motherfucker’s mine’ / But never said it, I guess it was just pride at the time / ‘Cause he my competition, but the brotherly kind / You know like Big Brother / Was Big’s brother / That type of shit when I write this shit / Paintin’ pictures like no other / Not quite on his level, so I watched him from a distance / ‘Til my skill level improved and I got closer from persistence / A real inspiration, don’t know why I didn’t say it / And even on this record second guessed if I should lay it / Like this one time a fan make a shirt that said ‘Rap For Logic Or Die Trying / I almost died cryin’ / ‘Cause Cole made the same shirt for Jay back in the day / Now that’s how my fans view me / Goddamn what can I say / Man, it’s funny growin’ up, even funnier blowing up / Went from no one in the crowd to thousands of ’em showing up.”
Logic signed with Def Jam Recordings earlier this year and is working with No. I.D., among others, on new material. He released the Welcome To Forever mixtape soon after announcing his Def Jam status. Logic is on the Welcome To Forever Tour with Castro, Skizzy Mars and Quest. The trek stops at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio tonight (June 18).
Below is a 2006 freestyle where J. Cole rocks a “Produce For Jay-Z Or Die Trying” T-shirt.