Mic Logik: As I Was Saying

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Photo courtesy of Miroslaw Pomian

Chicago area emcee Mic Logik ended 2021 with the release of an 11-track album titled “As I Was Saying.” As I Was Saying is Logik’s sophomore solo release and finds the emcee lamenting race relations, relationships, and depression.

As I Was Saying features appearances by IAMGAWD, WRDS, Krystal Scarlet, Willow Wells, I.Deal, Doc Wattson, ThrowEmC, Kastaway, and Ronesh. The album is produced by Ronesh, Max Julian, ThatKidGoran, Treymxn, Profound, RP, Torrice Albarakat, and Krikit Boi.

The Real Hip-Hop chatted with Mic Logik about battling depression, why he chooses to speak on social injustices, and his new album, As I Was Saying.

TRHH: Why did you title the new album “As I Was Saying”?

Mic Logik: Because I needed a catchy title. [Laughs] Nah. I was really fighting for a while with a title. I didn’t want something cliché. My last album “Overdue” was cliché, but what Overdue meant to me, that’s why I went with that title. As I Was Saying is kind of like, “I’ve been saying I’m nice with the pen.” The way I say things, I don’t think anyone else can say these types of things the way I say them. It’s kind of prickly too. I have this nice guy persona and it’s kind of a little bit of a change like, “Yeah, man, as I was saying.” I do this! I was listening to your interview with Illogic and he was talking about the Autopilot title and it had a really dope meaning. There is not a deep meaning to As I Was Saying. 1. Catchy 2. I been saying I’m nice, check me out.

TRHH: I’m interested, why Illogic? Why did you listen to that one?

Mic Logik: First of all, I like Illogic. I’ve been listening to him for decades. And then I listened to the one with Matteo Urella. And then I started going down a Sherron rabbit hole [laughs]. I wanna keep up.

TRHH: That’s cool. I appreciate that. The hooks on “As I Was Saying” stood out to me; they’re all very good and catchy. What is your writing process like? Does the chorus come to you first or last?

Mic Logik: I think it all depends. A lot of these choruses drive the songs. 80 on the 94, I wrote that before I wrote the verse and got Ronesh on it. Whiskey on the Rocks I wrote before the rest of the verses. So, yeah, I would say for the most part before I start writing the verses I let the chorus kind of paint an idea for me. It gives me a direction to go. Not every song, but more than fifty percent of the songs I wrote the chorus first. I just had it in mind that I wanted the choruses to move. I didn’t want them to be stagnant. I wanted them to have movement and catchiness to them – repetition. I’ll be walking through the house and I’ll hear my lady singing the So Low chorus and I’ll be like. “I did it! I did it!”

TRHH: That’s gotta be rewarding, man.

Mic Logik: It’s fun. I think I took some risks on this album and I think they panned out for me. I love the album. I think that’s most important, right? It’s much different than what I’ve done in the past.

TRHH: You mentioned 80/94; I’ve never been on 94 when it wasn’t bumper to bumper traffic. Did you really do 80 on the 94?

Mic Logik: Absolutely. Sometimes I’ll just be cruising on there listening to music. That’s my favorite place to listen to music – in the car. Sometimes I just like going on a cruise on Friday night or Saturday night.

TRHH: It must be the middle of the night though.

Mic Logik: Nine, ten o’clock, yeah. I’m not talking about 3 or 4 in the afternoon when it’s bumper to bumper.

TRHH: I feel like it’s always bumper to bumper [laughs]. Every time I’ve taken it, it is.

Mic Logik: At night it clears up a little bit and you can responsibly put the pedal to the metal. I will definitely do 80 on the 94, for sure. That’s a fact.

TRHH: On the songs “It Seems So Simple” and the title track you speak on race relations in America. Why is it important for you as a white male to touch on those topics?

Mic Logik: Kastaway, who is also on that song “It Seems So Simple” was like “Mic, I really like the way you speak to people who look like you because you do it in a way that I can’t do it.” Kastaway is a black man. Sherron, it’s always been so important to me – seeing people get a fair shake. The fight for equality continues on and people are always like “We’ve come so far!” Yeah, but I’ve seen things behind closed doors where people’s actions speak volumes. It really shows their character and doesn’t paint them in a good light. So, yeah, we’re better off than we were fifty years ago, but there is so much more that we can do. We can’t get complacent here.

I observe and report. The George Floyd death was big for me. I was watching a lot of news. I’ve actually met Jacob Blake – I know the family. That hit home, everything that happened in Kenosha with the riots and Jake Blake being shot by the cops. I said in the song, “There’s blood in the streets and the city’s on fire.” It has to do with Kenosha, it has to do with Minnesota, these are things that I’m seeing. I don’t hold my tongue for nobody. I’ll let you know exactly how I feel. You might not agree with me, but I’m going to be speaking what I call “my truths.”

TRHH: The song “So Low” is my favorite song on the album. On one part of the hook you say, “No, I’m not okay, but I promise I’ll be fine.” Are you able to realize that you’ll be fine when you’re in the midst of being down?

Mic Logik: Yeah, because I’ve never gotten to the point where I wanted to be suicidal. I’ve been really down. I’ve dealt with depression. Like the song was talking about and I talk about on the album a little bit, I had back surgery. People always worry about how you’re going to feel physically and I think there is not enough attention on the mental aspect of that. It hit me. It hit me hard mentally. I wasn’t really prepared for that, and I don’t know how you do get prepared for that. The whole idea behind “no, I’m not okay” is I still have days where I don’t want to get out of bed for whatever reason. I can’t tell you why. I don’t know why. You might feel like that someday. It just happens. You just gotta deal with it and continue to live your life. That’s why I say, “I’m not okay, but I’m going to be fine” because I’m not going to do anything stupid to jeopardize my health or my life.

TRHH: What happened with your back?

Mic Logik: I have a very demanding job when it comes to labor. Over the years my back’s gotten worse. Eventually I needed to get a lower lumbar fusion. It’s not fun. It’s been over a year since that surgery and I’m still not where I need to be. I’m still not back on the basketball court lighting it up in these men’s leagues. Writing “So Low” helped me with that. It was probably like three months after surgery where I really got down. I was like, “This is going bad. This is not what I thought this was going to be.” I thought I was going to feel a lot better than I was feeling. For whatever reason things just snowballed. You get all these feelings and emotions and think it’s never going to be okay, and you’re never going to return to the feeling of knowing what it’s like to feel healthy again. It was just a really rough and dark time. Not just for me, but for people who have to live with me and deal with me. That’s why “So Low” is probably one of the most important songs on this album to me.

TRHH: You end the album with “Slice” and “Hold You Down.” Those songs seem more optimistic than the rest of the album. Did you plan to end on a high note or is it indicative of you being in a better place?

Mic Logik: That’s a really good question. I think that I had it in my mind that I wanted to end on a high note, because for the most part I’m a pretty optimistic person. I usually see light at the end of the tunnel. And it just happened that I wrote those songs pretty much back to back. So, yes, it would paint a picture of a time in my life where things were going pretty good. With “Slice” the message is real simple, “You’ve got to slow down and appreciate the great things you have in your life/You can’t always focus on the negative or else you’ll miss your slice.” I don’t need the fame, I don’t need the fortune. The money would be cool, but as long as I got my family, I got my friend’s healthy, and my dog, I’ll be good.

Hold You Down is a really tough song for me now. In the second verse I was talking about my aunts. One of my aunts, Aunt Joan, she just passed away on November 16th. Every time I hear that song it hits a little different now. One of the lines was, “The heavens trying to test you/But I’m hoping that they bless you.” Well, she was in a lot of pain. A terrible amount of pain. You don’t want to see someone struggling like that. It’s very, very hard. She’s not struggling anymore. It’s really bittersweet. I’m sure you can understand what I’m saying. She’s not here anymore, but she’s also not in pain. Rest up Aunt Joan.

TRHH: I think it’s weirdly God’s way of helping us through these things. Death never makes sense, but when you see people really suffer you almost hope for it. You just don’t want to see people suffer anymore.

Mic Logik: It gives you time to prepare yourself.

TRHH: Yeah. It sucks real bad.

Mic Logik: It’s horrible.

TRHH: Do you feel like As I Was Saying is your best work?

Mic Logik: I really do. I think the lyrics are as strong as they’ve ever been. We already talked about the hooks. A lot of people have said to me that the hooks are extremely catchy. Extremely catchy hooks I think equal replay value. I think the content is very honest. It’s relatable. I don’t want to call it my niche, but it’s just who I am. This is how I write. I’m not one of those guys who puts out an album every six months. I have to live in order to put out something good that I can be proud of. I write about my life. That is who Mic Logik is.

TRHH: What do you hope to achieve with As I Was Saying?

Mic Logik: I just hope as many people can hear this album. If they can take something away from it, great. If they can get inspired by this that’s awesome. I’ve gotten a lot of messages about the song So Low from friends who were suicidal saying, “Thank you.” I say, “Don’t thank me. I’m here to help in any aspect that I can. I’m not looking for thanks, I’m just telling my story. It’s great that you can relate to it. If things get that bad, just talk to me.” It’s just a very relatable song. I found out a lot of people are not as strong as you perceive them to be. A lot of people were saying, “I’m going through something similar” but every time you see this person he’s smiling. You’ve got to check on your strong friends. Pretty much if I can inspire something along those lines, that’s great. If you ask me, you can’t really want too much more as an artist than to inspire people and to touch people in a certain way that they really rock with your music.

Purchase: Mic Logik – As I Was Saying

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About Sherron Shabazz

Sherron Shabazz is a freelance writer with an intense passion for Hip-Hop culture. Sherron is your quintessential Hip-Hop snob, seeking to advance the future of the culture while fondly remembering its past.
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