“You have to choose a side.”
Being born to a bi-racial family, I was raised to love and embrace both the (literal) Black and White sides of my family tree. Elementary school plays, family events, and random meet-ups could give any “diverse” Hallmark card a run for its money. With my family, I thought that I had the best of both worlds; and some days, I still do.
Life has a funny way of catching up with you. A walk through a mall in your white family’s neck of the woods can turn into every eyeball glued to your “nappy” hair. Being singled out as a “friendly” and “non-threatening” Black person to the point where you feel the need to include it on a job application can make things even worse. Even having to deal with ignorance, colorism keeps me a few notches up the privilege ladder from my Black family who are considerably darker than I am. I identify as Black more often than not because that’s how I’m seen and because that heritage is just as much a part of my DNA, but I relished the opportunity to fill in the newly appointed “Two Or More Races” bubble when I didn’t feel like explaining myself to anyone.
I say all of this in an attempt to be more nuanced than Logic was when he announced his forthcoming new album ‘AfricAryaN’ on the Harmontown podcast earlier this week:
I want to understand where Maryland’s pride and joy is coming from here. His message that “we’re all the same” is in a good amount of his music; “City Of Stars” from last year’s ‘The Incredible True Story‘ proved that he wasn’t even focused on the issue in the first place: “I didn’t talk about my race on the whole first album/But black vs white bullshit was the still the outcome/How come these motherfuckers can’t seem to let it go/Judging rap by race instead of the better flow/Who gives a fuck who made it, I penetrated and innovated/While they emulated, give a fuck if I’m hated.”
Then why name your next project ‘AfricAryaN?’ Why take to a podcast to boneheadedly imply that white people are a “cultural evolution” of people who came from Africa? Why the bars about how “I feel the Aryan in my blood/It’s scarier than a Blood/Been looking for holy water, now I’m praying for a flood?” I highly doubt you’re a eugenicist, but for a guy who can pass as white very easily, you could not have worded this any more poorly, fam.
You’re clearly trying to make a point, but whatever that point is (good and evil in the same body is the closest I’ve come) was lost by mixing a racist’s mythical super mensch ideal with one of the most consistently subjugated groups of people on the planet for your album title. I feel like you’re exploiting one side of your culture just to get people to stop talking about something that you brought up in the first place.
You have lots of skill and passion on the mic. You treat your fans well enough that they want to buy eight copies of your albums when they come out. Your love of film and video games rivals my own. You sell out shows and have earned the respect of your peers in all stretches of hip-hop culture and no one, least of all me, can take that away from you. What I think of your music doesn’t matter. Whether or not I think you should take a step back and check that privilege that you and I both have doesn’t matter. Though any music from the forthcoming album remains to be heard, Logic is not off to a good start. From one mixed kid to another, I’m disappointed in the initial outlook of this project.
I have never been ashamed to be bi-racial in my life, not even after having to explain yet again why “All Lives Matter” is offensive; but today, I’m uncomfortably embarrassed. If you wanna explain yourself, the floor is yours.