Louis Logic conducted by Todd E. Jones  

The Roar Of The Drunken Dragon

August 2003

MVRemix: When did you first begin rhyming?

Louis Logic: I guess around 16 or so.

MVRemix: What song made you fall in love with hip-hop?

Louis Logic: The first record that I ever got where I loved the song so much, I actually went out and bought the record was U.T.F.O.'s 'Roxanne Roxanne'. Also, Nucleus. I guess I really didn't think about rhyming myself until the whole Native Tongue thing happened. I'm from Long Island originally. De La Soul were like hometown heroes to me. I am originally from a Rapper Louis Logic Interviewlittle town called West Babylon from way out there. So, I'd have to say it was probably the '3 Feet High And Rising' album. I kind of missed the whole Tribe 'People's Instinctive Travels' album. That was an album I got into retrospectively, after it came out for a while. I went right into 'The Low End Theory' by A Tribe Called Quest. Those albums were what made me rhyme.

MVRemix: Hell yeah! 'The Low End Theory' by A Tribe Called Quest is probably one of the all-time best classic hip-hop albums ever made. When I first heard that bass line to 'Buggin Out', it blew my mind.

Louis Logic: Oh yeah! My favorite joint on there was 'Buggin Out'. I was also real partial to 'We've Got The Jazz'.

MVRemix: How did you get the name Louis Logic? What is the meaning behind it?

Louis Logic: It's the worst f*cking name ever! I'm well aware of it. Everybody always makes fun of it. They say 'Logic? You're more like a drunken *sshole! I don't understand what is logical about that.' I guess you can say that it's a misnomer in the same tradition as bald guys named Curly and fat guys named Tiny. I was trying to think of something that started with an 'L' for the sake of alliteration. Back when I came up with my name, I didn't have anything all that creative cooking. I knew I wanted something that still used my real name because I had tried a few alias names that were not my name and I felt like a spaz. I felt dorky and terrible. So, I wanted to make a name that people could still call me by the name my mother gave me. That way, I could still feel comfortable about the whole thing. 'Logic' was the only thing that I could think of that began with an 'L' that wasn't humiliating. I thought of 'Louis Lethargic' and 'Louis Loser' but they didn't work out.

MVRemix: People also call you 'The Dragon'. What's that about?

Louis Logic: Vinnie from Jedi Mind Tricks actually started that. That's my brother, man. He's a funny motherf*cker! It's a little known fact that he could have a career as a stand up comedian. Anyway, that's something that Vinnie used to say, that we were 'Drunken Dragons'. I said it in a rhyme and it kind of stuck. My mom is like totally ashamed that I have that as a moniker. She's like 'Nice work, the drunken dragon?' (laughs).

MVRemix: The song 'Fair-Weather Fan' is a funny and astute song that is through the eyes of a fan. What do many of the fans expect from you?

Louis Logic: What I think they expect from me? I can't really say for sure what they expect. I can think what they expect. From what I get from the feedback from fans is that over the course of my career, my first 12-inch to the present album 'Sin-A-Matic', I guess I confuse people. There was a time where everyone expected that if they were going to listen to a Louis Logic record, you were going to get raps that are just packed with punch lines and sh*t like that. I'm not really into doing that. I got real tired of the whole punch line thing and I felt like a lot of people were sensing that what I was writing was becoming more accessible with the General Principal records and the Loudmouth Secret Agent records. I had choruses that were a little more memorable and catchy, beats that were a little bit more lively and flashy, and more polished even. By the time we got around the various guest appearances that resulted in Louis Logic records and the Demigodz EP, people could see that my entire crew of associates were making music that was, I don't want to say radio friendly, but adjustable. It had a wider appeal to it than just kids who sit on the Internet, trying to think of punch lines and trying the battle each other via Instant Messenger. When the tracks really started to come together for the 'Sin-A-Matic' album, there were a few that we thought 'Jesus! These are real poppy songs. Some of these could be on the radio, in rotation. They're almost pop songs.' We tried to craft them intelligently and detailed enough so that there would be a sound of professionalism to them and people would respect them regardless. You may picture your 13-year-old sister singing along to the chorus of 'Idiot Gear'. I guess 'Fair Weather Fan' and my thoughts about how fans react, were a paranoid reaction to the possibility that people may react negatively to songs like 'Idiot Gear' and 'The Rest' as well as 'Street Smarts' and 'Mischievous' too, just because they are so different to what I have previously done. 'Street Smarts', having more of a street polished sounding beat and having the theme of being a tough guy, was somewhat like a double-time rhyme in the bounce tradition. It's not necessarily favorable in the underground. 'Idiot Gear' and 'The Rest' have really poppy samples and choruses with lots of singing in them. I guess 'Fair Weather Fan' was a pre-emptive reaction to something that never really happened. Kids didn't mind it. They really dug the songs. 'Mischievous' is an exception. Kids aren't really into the bounce thing but I like doing it and I think it's a great song. I was trying to say something about how fickle fans can be. They say that they love an artist but let that artist take one step in a different direction and people start to panic and say 'Yo! He's falling off!'. It's not like that with rock music. I'm a big Radiohead fan and those guys have been all over the place musically. I don't understand why kids aren't willing to give an artist a chance to experiment a little more.

MVRemix: Do you go into the studio with pre-written rhymes, lyrics and themes or do you hear the beat first and write then and there?

Louis Logic: Usually, I drink beer first. Then, I write rhymes. Then, I'll be over at J.J.'s listening to the beats. Then, I'll think to myself 'Oooh, that really fits with that song that I'm cooking in my head.' But I'd say that a little less than half of the time, J.J. will play new beats for me when I go over to the studio and I'll be like 'Holy sh*t dude! I have to have that beat!' I'll take it home with me and I'll sit down, watch a movie, read books, so I start getting ideas about what the song makes me feel like. Then, I just try to follow whatever it sounds like. It doesn't always work.

MVRemix: Alcohol plays an important role in your music and your life. What is your favorite alcoholic beverage?

Louis Logic: Beer. I'm a beer guy. I'd probably say that the beer I drink most often or the kind I look for when I'm out and about in New York is Brooklyn East India Pale Ale. It is a hop, biter flavored beer with a relatively higher alcohol content. 7 1/2 or 8%. I try to stick to dark or super-bitter beers with a high alcohol content. I like micro-breweries and sh*t like that.

MVRemix: Did you ever go to Harvest Moon in New Brunswick, NJ?

Louis Logic: Oh, yeah. I love Harvest Moon. Actually, that's one of my hobbies. I travel around with my best friend, going from brewpub to brew pub, collecting coasters and sh*t. I drink liquor too. I have a distinctive favorite liquor too. I am a Jameson man. I love Irish Whiskey.

MVRemix: Do you drink every day?

Louis Logic: Probably.

MVRemix: When do you usually start drinking?

Louis Logic: Usually nightfall. It depends on what's going on. Like when I hang out with my man Checkmark, from the brewpub in Boston. You can't put 2 drunks in the same room together. It's going to be a problem. Every time he and I end up getting down for a weekend, bugging out together, the drinking stops at 5 or 6 in the morning. He wakes up at 9 in the morning anyway. He spends the next 2 or 3 hours trying to wake me up. By like noon, I'm out of bed with a beer in hand. He'll go to the fridge and get one like 'Here ya go! Breakfast is served.' So, those are the only times when sh*t like that happens. Mostly, I wait until nighttime. I don't drink if I have to do something really important.

MVRemix: Do you write when you drink?

Louis Logic: Sometimes. When I get real drunk, I'm real worthless. Sometimes, I can have long, tired rants about things that I think I know more about that I do.

>> continued...

Related content:
  • Louis Logic 2000 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • Louis Logic 2001 Interview by Hugo Lunny
  • Louis Logic 2003 Interview by Todd E. Jones
  • Louis Logic 2008 Interview by Hugo Lunny

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