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Monday, December 11, 2017

Loose Logic: Commercial Hip-hop Is Missing Originality

by Gary Schwind (writer), Laguna Niguel, March 10, 2008

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Long Beach-area hip-hop artist Loose Logic talks about the origin of his name, getting started in hip-hop, and what's wrong (including ringtone artists) with commercial hip-hop today.

Loose Logic is a hip-hop artist in the Long Beach area. At Hennessey's in Dana Point, he spoke about getting started in hip-hop as a teenager, his early songs and performances, as well as what he thinks is missing from the hip-hop that gets a lot of airplay.

I’m sure you get this a lot, but what’s the story behind the name Loose Logic?

It’s not too much of a crazy story. Before I started making music I was playing basketball in high school and we were on our way to a game. I liked hip-hop. I listened to it. Me and my friends, on the way to a game, we were talking about if we had an emcee name if we were a rap group. It came out of nowhere. This was a couple years previous to when I started. Then I made my first song with a buddy from school. We put it on Napster and I used the name Loose Logic instead of my real name, so people wouldn’t know who I was. In case they were like, “That’s kinda whack.” It just kinda stuck after that.

What were your first songs and performances like?

I always tried to have flow. I was always on beat and had timing. The patterns weren’t as intricate and the lyrics weren’t as good. They were more basic. My friends liked them. Now, looking back I wonder, “How could anyone like that?”

The first performance, I can’t remember where it was. I was really nervous because I’d never done it before. It was for a talent show. One of my friends was like, “You should just do it.” I didn’t really move or anything. I had a videotape of it somewhere. I haven’t seen it in a while. It just progressed from there, gaining confidence on stage. It kind of becomes natural.

What was it about hip-hop that drew you in?

My cousin who is four or five years older than me, when we were younger, he introduced me. He’d come down for holidays and he’d ask, “Did you hear this new song?” I was only seven or eight years old. I wasn’t into hip-hop that early. I would just be like, “Yeah, yeah. I heard it.” So he’d stop bugging me about it. Eventually, I kept listening to it and I was like, “This is pretty dope.” I remember back then it was the sincerity of the lyrics. I remember listening to some people on the radio like, “I might retire.” I’m like “Why would you ever stop? How could you stop this if you love it?” I remember thinking about that and one day I decided I’m going to do this. When I started, I didn’t think it would be anything I’d try to make a career of.

What’s your take on commercial hip-hop right now?

Right now, I’m not really digging it. There are some songs that come out that I can hang with. For the most part, it’s turned into pop hip-hop. It’s so commercialized. You know how pop bands are one-hit wonders? That’s basically what the industry has turned new hip-hop artists into. They don’t think they’re going to have any longevity. They’re going to lose money, so they create a ringtone artist, put that out and make a lot of money right away. Then they don’t have to worry about them again and they can find someone else who can do the same thing. There’s no real depth to anything. To me, it’s not really music anymore. There’s no storyline to it, not a bunch of lyricism or sincerity. I heard people that are twelve years old that could write better stuff. There’s some good stuff that still comes out. To me there’s nothing wrong with a commercial song, or a club song, or a party song that’s part of the music. It’s just all about how you do it.

You kind of hit on this a little bit, but what do you think is missing from commercial hip-hop?

I think what’s missing is originality. They’ve kind of clung to one sound and are too afraid to step out and take risks now. Everyone sounds the same. You can hear three or four artists and be like, “Was it this guy, or was it that guy?” Or “Who made this beat? This beat sounds exactly like that beat.” I think it’s missing originality. It’s turned to a business more than an art form now. It’s missing that love of music, and art, and why they really want to be there.

Easy way to make money, right? I like that term ringtone artist.

That’s what they do. There will be a song that I haven’t even heard on the radio. You know on MTV they have that commercial, “You can get this song.” They have a song for this person who doesn’t even get radio play. They’re making all their money with downloads and ringtones.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?

Well, I was always into art. I used to draw. I was actually where I wanted to go with my art before music came about with me. maybe pursue graphic art. I used to want to be a cartoonist, so probably something like that.

For more information about Loose Logic, visit http://www.myspace.com/looselogic.



About the Writer

Gary Schwind is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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