Logic doesn’t like the internet — specifically social media: the masses who send hateful messages about him, the unmoderated horde of people who feel empowered to say “go kill yourself” to someone they deem big enough to be faceless. And Logic, better known offstage as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, isn’t a stranger to the churn of comments that power social media; it’s how he made his name, he tells me, reaching people where they were by putting out his music for free online. “I was at the birth of the modern internet. I was at the birth of social media,” he says when we talk on the phone. Because he’s sold millions of records and is, by many people’s measure, one of the biggest artists in the world right now, he’s become one of those faceless people. And he knows how famous he is, though it seems to make him feel a little uncomfortable to talk about. (“I hate the term ‘celebrity.’ It’s so annoying,” he says, and I believe him.)
But he’s talking to me about it now because Hall has decided to get back on social media. He’s signed exclusively to Twitch, where he’ll stream weekly, some set number of hours a week — which he assures me he’ll easily exceed. “I’m not this rapper guy, man,” he says. “I’m just a nerd. I love video games.” That isn’t surprising — not really — when you consider how closely the worlds of rap and gaming have been bound up together over the last 30 years. “I’m blessed enough to have millions of fans and followers. So it is a great partnership,” he says. “I’m going to bring new eyes to their service, they’re going to bring new money to my bank account, and — I’m just kidding.” But he’s not; he tells me his deal with Twitch is worth seven figures.
Even so, Hall says he’s not doing it for the money. He was streaming on Twitch anyway and says he’s been an active user since 2015 or 2016. The other big draw for him is Twitch’s moderation, more generally, and the way you can customize your stream chat to block any hate you might get from people just stopping in. “I think it’s a powerful platform that allows me to connect with my fans in the best way possible. And the safest way possible for someone in my position,” he says, perhaps a bit self-consciously.
It’s an axiom of Twitter that the more followers you have, the worse your experience of using the site is because people start seeing you as more of a collection of funny tweets than a person. The rest of social media is the same way because the dynamics of having a following aren’t that different across platforms. (The term “influencer,” as you may recall, is platform-neutral.) So Hall hasn’t been engaging. “Remember Men In Black? I’m like that little alien,” he says of his social media activity because he has a team running it for him, though he does tell them what to post. He has 2,347 unread text messages on his business phone. (His “wife phone,” as he calls his other device, is up to date.) Twitch, Hall says, is going to be his paradise.
“This is the place where if you want to interact with me, you’re going to do it here,” he says. He’s adamant that Twitch is going to be a place for him and his fans to relax. “I’m not going to be on Twitch, having political debates. I’m going to be on Twitch, helping people after they’ve had a day of protesting or political debates, unwind and laugh and smile. And if you want to know how I feel about the world, you listen to my music.”
To me, it seems like Hall is shifting gears. “I announced my retirement from music because it came to a point where I felt forced, like I had to do certain things,” he says. “And it’s not that the label made me feel that way. I was doing it to myself, because I’m such a businessman, and I was pushing myself to the brink of insanity.” Even so, he says quitting music and streaming on Twitch is explicitly not a new phase of his life.
“I think if I said, ‘Yeah, this is a new era’ and all this shit, you could put it on the headline and it would like make it sound cooler,” he says. “But it’s like, of course, it’s a new era, but I’m not gonna... I’m not fooling myself. I’m a musician, I’ll always be one. I’m still gonna, like, rap on songs that probably won’t come out.”
So it’s not a new era. But it is new. This is Twitch’s first official exclusive partnership with a musician; it’s the same kind of deal that creators like Ben “DrLupo” Lupo and Imane “Pokimane” Anys have. Hall’s deal with Twitch is also only the latest acknowledgment that music is huge on the site. Since the pandemic, Twitch has been courting DJs and musicians whose tours and shows have been canceled, and it’s become something of a hub for those creators and their fans. Entering an official partnership with someone who’s been in the Twitch community feels like a very logical move.
Naturally, Hall’s first partner stream will be an album release. He’s scheduled to go live at 5PM PT / 8PM ET on Tuesday, July 21st — where he’ll be premiering No Pressure, his final LP (or so he says), ahead of its release on July 24th. If you’re a fan of Logic, tune in. You won’t be able to find him online anywhere else.