Bobby Hall (aka Logic) (@Logic301) is a Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist, actor, streamer, film producer, and author of NYT best-seller Supermarket and his latest, This Bright Future: A Memoir.
What We Discuss with Bobby Hall (aka Logic):
- Why Logic’s good memories of childhood make him sad.
- The challenges of living with cervical dystonia.
- Why Logic was suicidal when his song 1-800-273-8255 became a big hit (and what stopped him from going through with it).
- How Logic got his career started like so many of us: in a ’90s rap battle chat room.
- Why Logic found the story about Helen Keller’s education to be particularly inspiring.
- And much more…
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Some babies are blessed from birth with the richest resources, loving parental guidance, and opportunities galore, and they still wind up behind bars — or worse — after dropping this perfect deck when it’s time to grow up and make their own choices. And then others, like today’s guest, somehow manage to thrive in spite of being planted in a desert of sparse empathy and nourished on crumbs and neglect in the best of times.
In this episode, Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist, actor, producer, and author Bobby Hall (aka Logic) joins us to discuss how he overcame a childhood no one would wish on their worse enemies and grew into a man who chooses positivity and love over all as outlined in his latest book, This Bright Future: A Memoir. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss our out-of-this-world conversation with Bowie-strumming astronaut Chris Hadfield? Catch up with episode 408: Chris Hadfield | An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth here!
Thanks, Bobby Hall (aka Logic)!
If you enjoyed this session with Bobby Hall (aka Logic), let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Supermarket by Bobby Hall | Amazon
- This Bright Future: A Memoir by Bobby Hall | Amazon
- Bobby Hall (aka Logic) | Twitter
- Bobby Hall (aka Logic) | Instagram
- The 5 Levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Verywell Mind
- Smokey Robinson | Instagram
- 1-800-273-8255 [feat. Alessia Cara & Khalid] by Logic | Amazon
- FLCL | MyAnimeList.net
- Eminem | Twitter
- “What Would You Do If Money Were No Object?” | Alan Watts
- The Incredible True Story by Logic | Amazon
- Ocean’s Eleven (2001) | Prime Video
- Toro y Moi | Instagram
- Cervical Dystonia Symptoms and Causes | Mayo Clinic
- Download Old Versions of Cool Edit Pro for Windows | OldVersion.com
- Snoop Dogg | Instagram
- Helen Keller | Perkins School for the Blind
- The Miracle Worker | Prime Video
- Ghostface Killah | Twitter
- Dave Chappelle | Instagram
- Mac Miller | Website
- Logic Gets Booed Off Stage In Canada | Fossick Media
- Moby | What to Do When Success Makes You Miserable | Jordan Harbinger
- Logic Told Not to Cuss, but Says ‘(Expletive) That’ in San Jose | The Mercury News
- Daniel Day-Lewis’ 10 Craziest Method Acting Stories | Far Out Magazine UK
- Logic Raps “Gang Related” with Fan (Everybody Tour) | Visionary Music Group
- Logic Ft. Alessia Cara, Khalid: 1-800-273-8255 (Live at the MTV VMAs) | Logic
- I Think Everyone Should Get Rich and Famous: What Did Jim Carrey Actually Mean? By Leonard Kim | Medium
- Samuel L. Jackson | Twitter
- Cat Boyd | Simon & Schuster
- Stuart Roberts | Twitter
- Tanner Colby | Website
563: Bobby Hall (aka Logic) | The Bright Future
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:02] Bobby Hall: I am so surprised that I'm rich. Like I'm just being real, bro. Like I can't believe it. Like this sh*t is crazy. I'm like a rich guy and I don't say that to sound — this is coming from the guy from food stamps and welfare and nothing and powdered milk with roaches in my cereal and starving. Like I'm saying like I can't believe it. I'm proud of myself. You know what I mean? And I'm proud of myself that I did it for the right way, like the right reasons, a positive message, peace, love, and positivity. Be yourself. You know, the message of equality for every man, woman, and child, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation. These are things that I believe. These are messages that I've preached. And I was also made fun for doing and saying these things, especially in hip-hop.
[00:00:48] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, psychologists, even the occasional rocket scientist, extreme athlete, or a former Jihadi. Each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker.
[00:01:13] If you're new to the show, or you're looking for a handy way to tell your friends about it, we've now got episode starter packs. These are collections of your favorite episodes, organized by popular topic to help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started with us which of course we always appreciate.
[00:01:33] Today, Bobby Hall, who goes by the moniker Logic. Learn to escape his world by creating a new one in the form of music and rap. At one time being one of the most visible and most listened to rappers in the world. His upbringing was just bonkers. He grew up around drugs, mental illness, crime. His life was so bad. At some points, he met kids at the skatepark who were wealthy. And he used to literally imagine being a dog at their house because he thought that life would be better than his. Just imagine that. Imagine wishing you were somebody else's dog. Now that I think about it, probably not so bad, but not a great place for a kid to be, not something kids should be thinking about. And he in fact told me that, "Finding love in people was fickle and unpredictable, but music would never leave me. So I chose music." That's something that he had mentioned. And I just thought that was so heartbreaking, but also resulted in a great artist. Today, we're going to hear some wild stories of chaos, abuse, hustle, talent, and redemption. So let's get after it.
[00:02:29] And if you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers and creators every single week, it's because of my network. And I'm teaching you how to build your network for free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. That's our Six-Minute Networking course. By the way, most of the guests on the show, they subscribe and contribute to that course. So come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[00:02:47] Now, here we go with Bobby Hall.
[00:02:53] So your childhood was, I mean, it was wild to say the least, but not necessarily, always in a good way. You said, "It's actually the good memories of my childhood that make me sad." Why is that? Obviously that's counterintuitive. Usually the good memories of someone's childhood make them happy, right?
[00:03:10] Bobby Hall: Yeah. It's because I have so few of them.. It's like literally just a couple. It's Easter egg hunting with my mom once and skateboarding at the skatepark was nice. But yeah, for the most part, dude, it was a bunch of BS. It was really difficult, kind of growing up and knowing that the stuff that I remember and the only really good memories that I have are things that other people, most people would just take for granted because they have so many good memories, which is cool.
[00:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: The memories that I have from childhood that are good are so few and far between and so small that they're the ones that other kids would just throw away. You mentioned the Easter egg hunt, right? Staying in an apartment with no electricity and no furniture and making shadow puppets which like as a current parent, I'm imagining that you have the same thoughts as I do where you're like, "Wait, wait, that's red flag city," right? But when a kid's like, "Oh, it was so fun. We had no furniture, no electricity." You're like, as a kid, you're like, "Ooh cool." But as an adult, you're like, "Whoa, tell me again, where are you sleeping? Where you don't have a bed? Where are you sleeping? Where there's no food?" That's like not the environment you want to raise a kid in. And I assume as a parent now you're like, whoa — actually, how's this? You as a parent now must every day have a feeling, where you're like, "You know, when we did this, when I was growing up, we did it this other way. And 20/20 hindsight, that was a little f*cked up that they did that that way."
[00:04:27] Bobby Hall: Yeah, totally. It's definitely a weird thing to like, think of my childhood — like I had a great childhood because I made it good. You know what I mean? Like I played with my friends and I played video games and I ran around and I ran through the woods and played basketball and like all these things. I couldn't play basketball on a team because we were too poor to afford jerseys and sh*t. But yeah, it is definitely weird. I remember talking to my wife and I was like, "Okay. So if he does something like really, really bad, like really bad, like, do we still spank him?" She was like, "No," I was like, "Really?" but this was like years ago before we even had a kid. And I was just like, I don't know. I feel like dah, dah, dah. I was like, "Well, if he calls you a bitch, he might get a little smack. I'll tell you that."
[00:05:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And she's like one, he's literally going to do that like once when he's 19 and we're never going to have to deal with it again. And it's a whole sit down conversation. Two, like, what do you mean? Are we going to lock them in a closet for three hours? Like, no, we're not going to do any of that sh*t.
[00:05:21] Bobby Hall: No, no, for sure. Yeah. I'm like half kidding.
[00:05:24] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:05:25] Bobby Hall: Obviously, not in the sense of like abuse, but like I just came up where it's like, if you do something wrong, you get a little like smack on your wrist or something like that. But now as a parent, I realized you don't need any physical — I mean, except for possibly restraining, you know?
[00:05:38] Jordan Harbinger: Well yeah.
[00:05:39] Bobby Hall: If they're like in their little hitting phase and they don't know how to express themselves and things like that.
[00:05:44] Jordan Harbinger: I got to wonder though, when did you first realize that you didn't have a normal childhood? Right? Because when you're young and you're eating donuts for dinner and like your mom's yelling at people on the phone and cursing sometimes at you and like it's every day, there's got to be a time — like when you're that age, you're like, "Aah, this is what families are like." There's got to be an age where you're like, "Wait, you know what? This is so weird. My family is weird as hell," because I went to my friend's house or whatever, you know, the contrast was. And you're like, "So your dad got mad at your mom and they like sat down and talked about it. And also you didn't have donuts for dinner and like, what the hell planet am I on?"
[00:06:15] Bobby Hall: Yeah, that's definitely when you go to your friend's house. You know, when you're at the skatepark, especially, there's just all walks of life. People who have money, people who don't, it doesn't really matter, you're just skating. And then you make a friend and you go spend the night at his house and his house is a mansion in Potomac, Maryland. And you're like, "Holy sh*t!" And it's not even about the wealth factor. It's just a lot of people with money tend to be happier and it's not because of the money. It's because I think the money has given them comfort. And when you're comfortable, you can focus on other sh*t. So when you're not stressed out all the time, you know what I mean? Like, and every penny matters, which it did for me my whole life. I understood that, but I just kind of see these people with like stable job. Good mom, also has a job or stays at home or whatever, and it's just like, they have champagne problems. There's still problems.
[00:07:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:07:02] Bobby Hall: You know what I mean? It's like, oh man, I got in a little accident, a little fender bender or this or that, or blah, blah, blah." But it's not like, "Oh this bitch stole my crack rock." You know what I mean? Like that's the sh*t I was doing with.
[00:07:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Some of the stories about your mom, you got to find it strange to tell the stories, right? Because sometimes when you write this down, I wonder if you thought, "Are people going to believe this?" Because there has to be a point at which you're writing this down and you go, "People are going to think I'm exaggerating this," right? I come from this crazy place and I've built a successful career for myself. People, they're going to look at this and be like, 'Yeah, this is like, for a fact, he's writing this down. It's embellished.'"
[00:07:35] Bobby Hall: You can ask my brothers and sisters.
[00:07:36] Jordan Harbinger: I believe you. I'm just saying, did you think that people wouldn't believe you? Because it is crazy.
[00:07:41] Bobby Hall: I said that even in the book, I was like, you know, when I look back and discuss my come up in my childhood, I always feel like I'm lying. Like there's a part of me that's embellishing or this or that, or whatever the case may be. And then, you know, the book opens up with my mother screaming on the phone and going crazy. It's because I'm listening back to a 16-year-old recording while I was recording music, I stopped it and you can hear my mom going crazy in the background. And the funniest part is like, it's in the audiobook. And it's gnarly. And that just gives me that feeling of like, "Oh right. It's worse than I thought it was." You know what I mean?
[00:08:20] People could, for sure. It's like, yeah, my dad smoked crack. My brothers sold my dad crack, or they were gangsters who ran around and taught me to cook crack. You know what I mean? Brothers on drugs, mom was a prostitute. She was raped, had miscarriages. Beat me for no reason. Almost choked me to death one time. I mean, it's just crazy. You know, I've been kidnapped, held hostage. Like bro, like my mom got stabbed once. Like it's just like what? It's like, this cannot be real. And this is like all before you even get to like the music, because it's like three parts.
[00:08:51] And so two of those parts are over 200 pages. Like at first it wasn't even going to be that it was just going to be like, "Yeah, I'm Logic rap," but I didn't really give a sh*t about that. And I just started talking about my life, man. I feel like fans of mine, like real fans know all that sh*t anyway, like about my music. Now they might not know certain things like what I was going through or what I was experiencing or the height of my career and what was going on in the background. So I explained that, but for me, I was just like, this needs to be personal. I don't really think anybody gives a sh*t about my rapping technique at 3:00 AM in a studio. So I was just like, let me just tell my story.
[00:09:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That's interesting because there probably actually are tons of people that wanted to learn that. And in fact, I kind of expected some of that from your book and there is some of that in there, but it was more interesting than I thought it would be to get an autobiography of somebody that you — when the book starts out with that audio sample of your mom having a meltdown, I was like, "Oh man, that's kind of a rough moment," and then you realize at that moment actually stretches out through your whole early childhood or your whole life actually, until you became an adult and moved out and made you who you are. So that becomes interesting because a lot of people who go through that kind of thing, and you mentioned this at the end of the book, you say that your parents or whatever broke your brothers and sisters, but they didn't break you. And the scoreboard says that you're a really successful person and I'll go over some of your accolades in the show close if people don't know and in an intro. You like, definitely, are not a f*ck-up, right? Like 100 percent, you have succeeded in life.
[00:10:21] Bobby Hall: Oh, that's very sweet. I'd like to think so.
[00:10:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:10:25] Bobby Hall: There was no role model. There was nobody to really look up to. So every time I saw my dad smoke crack or saw a man hit my mom, or my sisters came back from being raped or sexually assaulted, it's like, "Oh, so you don't beat a woman. You don't take advantage of a woman. You don't smoke crack. You don't smoke PCP. Ooh." It was just something that in me that was just like, "Right. I'm not going to do that."
[00:10:50] Jordan Harbinger: Well, you had common sense of a high — you know what it is, it's probably, it's got to be some sort of social intelligence. Because a lot of people would go, "Well, this is what adults do. They do this horrible stuff. And it's just a part of life." And you were like, "Oh, avoid that. Because that makes you sleep outside in a dumpster, that makes you go violent against your family members. And then you get arrested." Like you had an option reaction from that. You know, your mom yelling at you and saying things like, "You deserve to feel pain. You don't know what pain is. I hope you feel pain." I wonder in the moment, was it hard to hear things like that from your mom? Or were you kinda like, "What the hell, mom? I'm just trying to watch cartoons." Like how sort of did you handle that in a moment?
[00:11:28] Bobby Hall: It's definitely a bit of both because it's just like, then you get used to it. And she's also saying these things and like, as I get older and begin to question her faith or her way of life or whatever, because I'm a child and I just want to know things and ask questions. That's when those things start to happen. So like even the first time I heard bipolar or mental problems or all this other sh*t of her screaming on the phone that doesn't resonate at four or five and then six and then seven, you start to be like, "Bipolar? What the hell is that?" We're in the therapist's office and she's screaming and running out. So this is about the time where I'm like asking these questions and she's like, "Shut the f*ck up," and screaming at me. And I'm like, "Oh my God." And then that's when she's like, "You deserve pain. You deserve to feel what it feels like. You don't know what I've been through. I was sodomized and had a red hot knife pressed up against my throat by two men at the same time." And I'm like eight, then I'm like, "What the hell is sodomized?"
[00:12:20] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you're like Googling this.
[00:12:21] Bobby Hall: Yeah. But my mother was a sick person.
[00:12:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course.
[00:12:24] Bobby Hall: That's the biggest thing I discuss in the book is like, yeah, there were times in my life where I was totally angry with her and upset and the same with my father, but everything, no matter how honest it is and sometimes the truth just hurts. And sometimes the truth is just gnarly. But the fact of the matter is I've forgiven them. I understand that they are mentally ill people. I get that. I don't hold it against them. I wish they weren't that. And I think there were times in my life when I could see the kind of pure little kid inside of them. Like there were times when I could see that and it was a really beautiful thing, but it's like, I don't say anything, any of this, like with disdain, it's just what happens or what happened. What happened to me? My mom tried to kill me. She was the definition of a hypocrite. If I stubbed my toe and was like, "Jesus!" She'd be like, "Don't take the Lord's name in vain. God dammit, you motherf*cker," like that. You know? And so I just kind of accepted it and I was like, "All right. Hopefully I don't do that when I'm older."
[00:13:16] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it was just like reading the book when you realize like her religious fanaticism was just probably her trying to gain one percent control over anything in her life when she had no control over anything else in her life.
[00:13:29] Bobby Hall: Yeah, for sure. It's a crazy thing. And that's why it's like, when I do speak on religion in the book, dude, like I'm not personally religious, I believe in something, you know? And like I said, I don't think it's sky dad. I don't think some white dude with a beer on a cloud, but I also can't disprove it at the same time. You know what I mean? But I don't hate anybody's faith, anybody's religion. I don't think it's weird. Nothing like that. But my mother, when I just got it's like, dude, I mean, you read like, we were Christian forever and we're going to like the black church, the white church, the Spanish church, the Pentecostal homosexuals are going to hell church. Like all this stuff that a kid is like, what is a homosexual?
[00:14:05] Jordan Harbinger: And became a Catholic until she got pissed off at somebody. And then you're like, "We're not Catholics anymore." "All right. Whatever."
[00:14:10] Bobby Hall: Literally.
[00:14:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:11] Bobby Hall: Yeah. We were Catholic for like three weeks, dude. It's just the craziest thing. So I had to learn about even just like a quality it's just, my mom was so weird and mind you, she was also like systemically racist. I don't mind f*cking saying it, but I don't want to blast it on your podcast, but she'd call me the N word with a hard R. She called all my brothers and sisters, the N word with the hard R. She called any black person that she could that. But then at the same time, she'd be chilling and hanging out with black folks like the next weekend until she dropped something like that. I mean, it's the reason she got stabbed in the park when I was 17 or 16 years old. Like it's crazy. So I had to learn. Like, there was levels of self-hatred that she was like embedding into my mind, but I was like, "No, black is beautiful. What the f*ck is wrong with you?"
[00:14:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:52] Bobby Hall: Like gay people are just people like that just happened the same — like, who gives a sh*t? You know what I mean? But for her, everything was, yeah, it was gnarly.
[00:15:01] Jordan Harbinger: And for people who are listening to us, which is the majority of the audience, your mixed. So it's like, she would use the N word with the hard R and it's like, "You know that my dad is black and that your son and all of your other kids are like mixed," but she just couldn't. This is like she just wanted to get a rise out of you. Or who knows? I mean, who knows what's going on?
[00:15:19] Bobby Hall: No, what it is I say, she went for whatever would cut deep. So it's like, if you're fat, she calls you fat. If you're ugly, she calls you ugly. If your teeth are messed up, she'll just go in on you about that. But then, you know, she'll also like, "Turn the other cheek, Robert," like on these other moments and then she's like going off on the pastor at the church. It's just crazy, dude. But that's another thing, you know, when I've said that in hip-hop that my mother has used racism as a tool of anger and a weapon against me. So many people are like, "Yo, they don't even make sense." And it's like, I know it doesn't. I never tried to make sense of it. I just did my best to have empathy for a woman who had serious mental illness problems and realize you're right. It doesn't make sense. And it doesn't make sense that any child in the world should have to experience or go through that. But I did, I'd like to think I learned from it and I hope I'm a better father than my parents. You know what I mean?
[00:16:11] Jordan Harbinger: Luckily, you'd have to try really hard to be worse. So there's that, right? The bar is so low. It's like, you're just skipping over it without any effort at all.
[00:16:20] Bobby Hall: That's funny, man. And it's funny too, because like even talking to you about this right now is very therapeutic because I'm not try to sh*t on these people, man.
[00:16:29] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:16:30] Bobby Hall: My number one — and I think I make that very clear in the book.
[00:16:33] Jordan Harbinger: You do, yeah.
[00:16:33] Bobby Hall: I'm not trying to hurt anybody, but you could read this and be like, "How could you say this about your mother? How could you say this about your father?"
[00:16:40] Jordan Harbinger: It's clear. You're telling it from like, this is a retelling. That is so crazy. I hope you get some entertainment from it. And it's like, your dad, just the stories your dad tells, for example, you're just like, "Bro, what are you talking about? You were not Smokey Robinson's backup singer, like stop."
[00:16:55] Bobby Hall: It was pretty funny, man, but it's like, it's also not funny.
[00:16:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right, yeah.
[00:16:59] Bobby Hall: So it's like Chandler for Friends. This book is very funny.
[00:17:04] Jordan Harbinger: It is.
[00:17:04] Bobby Hall: It is funny, but I take things that are painful. Like, dude, I remember, basically the biggest rapper in the world. And I had the song 1-800 out and it's about suicide prevention and all this other stuff. There's a part in the book where I was dealing and talking about suicide so much. I was malnourished. I was unhealthy. I was mentally going through the craziest time of my life. I was in the middle of a divorce. TMZs follow me out around everywhere. He can be like, oh, these are, but no, like, dude, I wanted to kill myself like a hundred percent, like for sure. I was thinking about it. And then I was like, "Oh, wait a second. I can't kill myself because then it'll be the suicide. 1-800 guy killed himself and then I'll just be a meme on the Internet. I was like, I have to stay alive.
[00:17:42] Jordan Harbinger: That's the only reason I can't die right now is because I'll be a caricature that people laugh at.
[00:17:47] Bobby Hall: Yeah. Mind you, that's all like sick and dark and f*cked up and all this other sh*t. But it's like, I try to find the comedy in it. And for me, it ended up being like a funny page. Suicide isn't funny, dude.
[00:17:58] Jordan Harbinger: Well, of course.
[00:17:58] Bobby Hall: Like mental health, it isn't funny. But like, so what we got to make fun of it, we got to — I don't know. I just think sometimes people are too sensitive, even if you're the one dealing with it.
[00:18:07] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:18:07] Chris Hadfield: And you're like saying it.
[00:18:09] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:18:09] Bobby Hall: But it's just like, that's what I've done my whole life. I've tried to turn everything that I've gone through into a source of entertainment while also allowing that to have some therapeutic measure over me while doing so whether it's through music, whether it's through writing, it's all cathartic. You know what I mean?
[00:18:23] Jordan Harbinger: No, you're totally right. Look, comedians, you've seen interviews with comedians, how half of them anyway or at least like they're so miserable and the jokes all come from this like sort of dark depressed place, not with all of them, obviously, but a lot of it. And they're like comedy and making fun of other people like mercilessly at these roasts is what gets them through all these dark times. And they're watching all this really dark, horrible stuff that you're like not supposed to make fun of. And they're like, "Oh, I love that we can sit around and commiserate like this." This is like their therapy. So it makes sense. And look, the book, like you said, it's really great especially in audio format. You create for audio, which is great. So the audiobook is probably even better or at least more entertaining, then it would be on paper.
[00:19:04] Bobby Hall: It's crazy. I'm doing all these voices and sh*t.
[00:19:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And you do the voices and you're imitating your mom. Obviously, no one else can do that, right? And when you're reading it yourself, you're just reading it, at least in my head, I read paper in my own voice. So it sort of sucks because all the voices are my own. So your narration is funny. It's hard hitting. I was going to ask if it was cathartic to write this, you sort of just answered that. Like reading the book will kind of make you angry and it makes you want to hug the kid version of you because your parents were just, you were like an orphan with parents. I think you said that in the book, right?
[00:19:34] Bobby Hall: Yeah. For sure.
[00:19:35] Jordan Harbinger: So what would you tell your childhood self if you could go back and like appear in a dream or like at the skatepark and be like, Bobby, "Here's something important you need to know"?
[00:19:44] Bobby Hall: It's funny because there's just nothing I could tell myself. Like, do you know what I mean? Like, I think about it, I'm like, I mean, what could I say? "Hey, man, I love you."
[00:19:51] Jordan Harbinger: Or like, it gets better. It's not always going to be horrible like this. I don't know.
[00:19:56] Bobby Hall: I think now we're getting into like primer time machine kind of like territory where I feel like if I told myself that I'd be like, "F*ck, yeah." I'll kick my feet up, start smoking dope. And I'd be like, "Everything's going to be all right, like anyway," and then it actually turns into this like alternate version of myself.
[00:20:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. The butterfly effect, only with crack.
[00:20:14] Bobby Hall: Exactly, dude. I don't know. Yeah, you snapped. That was funny. I don't know, man. It's not a cop-out, but I'd love to give you an answer. I just don't know.
[00:20:24] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's fine. Look, I don't have a good answer to that either. So I just always wondered if, because sometimes people are like, "I wish I could tell my younger self that they should brush their teeth more," whatever it is. I don't know. What do you think like Bobby, the child would think of Bobby the adult? Like, are you surprised that you turned out well?
[00:20:40] Bobby Hall: I'm surprised I'm successful. I've always been a good person. You know what I mean? I'm not perfect. I have flaws. I made mistakes, obviously. I spit into a kid's Gatorade once but we won't get into that. It's like I think I would have turned out to be a good person. I might've made a few more mistakes because if I wasn't so focused and didn't have a dream that was, you know, music and just utterly committing myself to this one thing for my entire life as also a form of escape and therapy at the same time. I don't know what would have happened, but I am so surprised that I'm rich. I'm just being real, bro. I can't believe it. Like this sh*t is crazy. I'm like a rich guy and I don't say that to sound—
[00:21:20] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:21:20] Bobby Hall: —in any way.
[00:21:21] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[00:21:22] Bobby Hall: This is coming from the guy from food stamps and welfare and nothing and powdered milk with roaches in my cereal and starving. Like I'm saying, like, I can't believe it. I'm proud of myself. You know what I mean?
[00:21:33] Jordan Harbinger: You should be.
[00:21:34] I'm proud of myself that I did it for the right way. Like the right reasons, a positive message, peace, love, and positivity. Be yourself, you know, the message of equality for every man, woman, and child, regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation. These are things that I believe. These are messages that I've preached. And I was also made fun of for doing and saying these things, especially in hip-hop. It was very taboo. Let alone me rapping about Rubik's Cubes and Sci-Fi and people were like, "See, this is why you're not black. We're telling you," like just all this sh*t that I had to deal with.
[00:22:02] Jordan Harbinger: People don't watch anime. Yeah.
[00:22:03] Bobby Hall: Yeah, exactly. Like, yeah, that's a fact, even though it's like, I discovered anime from like my black homie Robert Naples. We used to call him Robert nipples. Anyway, it's just, I can't believe that I'm here and I'm so happy. So I think the younger version of myself would be very proud and kind of like, whoa.
[00:22:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:22:23] Bobby Hall: Because I also did it on my own. Bro, I was not myself. In high school, forget about it. I used to like steal anime from online and like take a screenshot from like this thing called FLCL Fooly Cooly and like send it to girls and be like, "Yeah, I drew this."
[00:22:36] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, I mean—
[00:22:37] Bobby Hall: Why are you lying?
[00:22:38] Jordan Harbinger: Deep insecurity—
[00:22:39] Bobby Hall: What are you doing?
[00:22:39] Jordan Harbinger: —of being a teenager? It's all so crazy.
[00:22:41] Bobby Hall: I know.
[00:22:41] Jordan Harbinger: We've all done it, right? We've done some version of that. Like you ever watch YouTube? And guys are like, "Yeah, this is my car." And you're just like, "Dude, I see myself only, you know, at age 13 only you're 30. So it's way more pathetic." And you're just like, it's so weird to see that, that deep insecurity of being there. A lot of people don't grow out of that. So yeah, good thing that happened for both of us, at least to some degree.
[00:23:02] Bobby Hall: For sure.
[00:23:03] Jordan Harbinger: You wrote that you felt like you never belonged. Not at school, not even at home, you never fit in, but the insight that you talked about it in the book was important right now you realize it's okay to not fit in. I think you say you can't stand out and fit in at the same time, which is like kind of a geniously subtle comment.
[00:23:20] Bobby Hall: Oh, thank you.
[00:23:21] Jordan Harbinger: Or it's a sh*tty cliche that doesn't mean anything.
[00:23:23] Bobby Hall: Yeah, for sure. Exactly. But yeah, man, I never fit in. I didn't fit in at home because I wasn't smoking crack.
[00:23:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:23:28] Bobby Hall: I'm joking, but it's like, I didn't fit in there really because I wasn't mentally ill. You know what I mean? Like I was a normal kid.
[00:23:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:23:36] Bobby Hall: So I was a normal kid that didn't fit in. And because I was a normal kid, I also kind of didn't fit in at school.
[00:23:41] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:23:41] Bobby Hall: I don't think most kids ever really feel like they fit in.
[00:23:43] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:23:43] Bobby Hall: You know, you might get a kind of niche or this or that, but even if you're like a jock, but the jock secretly loves anime. So he feels like he does, like, who knows? You know, I think we all go through. But especially when I got to hip-hop, I didn't feel like I fit in. Because it wasn't like, and I talk about this in the book, it wasn't like, "Oh, it's Eminem." Like he's a white boy, so he's outside of the circle, but he's really good at rap. So we'll just accept him as he is. It was like, no, we can't put you in a box. Like you're not black, but you are. But like, you're not, but what?
[00:24:10] Jordan Harbinger: Like it's not enough for us, but also not white, but also not Eminem but also — yeah.
[00:24:15] Bobby Hall: Yeah. So it was just like a weird thing to try to figure out. And then I realized there's nothing to figure out. There's nothing to prove. There's nothing — like, dude, it is what it is. That's why I've only really ever talked about it in my music. Like really that one time on the Everybody album, which the song 1-800 was on as well. Yeah, just because I was tired of people trying to tell me what my identity was, which is crazy. Because it's just like people saying you are this or you're not that or making fun of me for actually being proud about it. So it's like, I'll do an interview and somebody is like, "Oh, so you're white. What's that like being a white boy? Blah, blah, blah." And I'm like, "Oh no, my dad is actually black." And then all the comments are like, "Why is he bringing that up? Why is he trying to prove himself? Why is he trying—?" I'm just like, "No motherf*cker. I'm just telling you what I am." And it's just, you can never make anybody happy. And I'm like, why am I even trying to make anybody happy anyway? I just need to, who gives a sh*t what you think, motherf*cker? Like, this is who I am.
[00:25:07] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of people are going to be like, "Wait a minute." If you're in that situation, you know, CPS, what the hell were those people doing? You write that, "Social assistance, like welfare, isn't there to help people solve problems. It's there to keep people with problems away from the people who don't have problems. So they don't become those people's problem," which is probably really true. And I'd never thought about that, right?
[00:25:28] Bobby Hall: It's a level of power that these systems hold over you, right? So it's like, think about it, dude. My mom's been on assisted living and all this for like 35 years. Like, you know what I mean? It's insane how she's been on food stamps and welfare. She's in the same place. Like she's in the same exact place. And all of her friends are in the same place and all the people that I grew up with and their parents and all these who were, you know, more so on the mentally ill side and dealing with things and all that, they're in the same place. So I do believe that things like food stamps and assisted living and all that can and does help people but the majority of the people I've seen, it just holds them down, keeps them here, gives them just enough, to buy food, just enough money to pay the rent so that they don't go buy crack, but that doesn't stop them from doing that.
[00:26:17] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:26:17] Bobby Hall: You know what I mean? It's a difficult thing. Mind you, that's not everybody, bro. Like, look at myself. I saw that. I utilize that. I was on that thing and I used that to then be like, okay, well my food, or at least most of it is here for the month, my this, my that. And then I, even as a kid was focusing on raps and other ways to make it out of that. And I have seen other people make it out of that who were adults who were on welfare or this or that because they had a messed up situation or maybe they were on drugs when they were younger. And then they went to NA or AA and then they got in a program that helped them get on their feet and then they got a job. It really was something amazing and it is something amazing, but I've just seen both sides and I've seen a little more of the latter. And the negative of people just perpetuating the same lifestyle over and over.
[00:27:01] Jordan Harbinger: You were coached by your parents to talk to the social workers. They obviously use some fear to make sure that you. Because it seems like obviously if they come over and you're like, "Yeah, I had donuts for dinner three days in a row. I haven't eaten breakfast ever. And you know, my mom has been gone for three days. I've been home alone," you would have been yanked out of there in two seconds.
[00:27:19] Bobby Hall: Yeah. The big coaching, you know, and I talk about that in the book. It's like, "Now, remember if she asked you if you eat every day, like say yes," it's not like I was going hungry, but you know what I mean?
[00:27:30] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:27:30] Bobby Hall: Like they would just coach me. Because the biggest thing she would say is like, if you go to an orphanage, like you're going to get raped. And if you go to a foster home, like they're going to sexually molest you and all this sh*t. And I didn't even know what it was. So I'm like, "What are you talking about?" And then she's like, "You want to know what I'm talking about?" And then she'll go in description of like, "They're going to take your penis—." And I'm just like, "Dude, I'm like eight." You know what I mean? It's crazy.
[00:27:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:27:54] Bobby Hall: I remember I actually just released a little snippet online at the time my mom told me that if a man ever tries to rape me, as he's entering me to scream at the top of my lungs, that I have AIDS.
[00:28:03] Jordan Harbinger: As he's entering you, which is so graphic and ridiculous.
[00:28:07] Bobby Hall: Like, but I'm like, "What are you? Entering? What are you talking? There's no doors. What do you mean?" Like, but I'm a child man and it's crazy that like, it's just was pretty insane.
[00:28:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Well, look, your mom taught you to — she did some good things, right? She taught you to memorize a lot, to look up a ton of words. You built a huge vocabulary and a habit of building that vocabulary, I assume, from all of that dictionary—
[00:28:28] Bobby Hall: Yes.
[00:28:29] Jordan Harbinger: —work, which is like, that's a skill that comes in handy when you're a rapper, I assume.
[00:28:33] Bobby Hall: Very much so. Yeah, anytime I didn't understand a word, my mother would make me look it up. You know, like when I say in the book, which was annoying at the time, but now I actually really appreciate it because it taught me to do things yourself. If you want information or you want something, seek it out, find it. I just feel better that way. It's like you've accomplished something, which is great. Yeah, she taught me how to memorize lines. I think I was like Shakespeare and the wax museum, got a play where they would push this little sticker that was like a button on your hand. And then you say, "Hi, I'm William Shakespeare, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah." And she would have me memorize the first line, like over and over and over and over and over. And then do that first line in the second line, over and over and over, line one, line two, line one, line two, then integrate three, then four, then five. And then before, you know it you've memorized the whole thing. And that's home I memorize my raps this day, music in general.
[00:29:21] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Bobby Hall. We'll be right back.
[00:29:26] This episode is sponsored in part by Firstleaf. Who else has been there? You're standing in the wine aisle, staring at the shelves, pretending to look like you know what you're doing. So many options, I find myself picking wines as gifts based on how cool the label looks, kind of a good strategy so far. Thankfully, there's Firstleaf, which is a fully customizable wine club that sends you boxes of wine, learns your unique palette and curates wines perfect for you. You can receive award-winning wine for up to 60 percent off retail. Unlike big box wine memberships, Firstleaf uses a futuristic algorithm. So there's math inside and it uses your feedback to curate future wine recommendations. So the more wines you taste and review the better the shipments get, which is funny because I'm pretty sure that's how it works with everything when you're drinking. It's super easy to get started. I just answered a simple questionnaire. And even better Firstleaf shows the points and awards for each bottle of wine so, you know, it's been vetted by an expert. Plus our box arrived in literally two days. Just in time to show off and pretend like I know what I'm talking about at our family gathering.
[00:30:21] Jen Harbinger: Save time, money, and stress with Firstleaf. The wine club designs with you in mind. Join today and you'll get six bottles of wine for $29.95 and free shipping. Just to go to tryfirstleaf.com/jordan. That's six bottles of wine for $29.95 and free shipping at tryfirstleaf.com/jordan.
[00:31:36] Thank you for listening to and supporting this show. I love the fact that you listened to what we create here. All those discounts, all those codes, all those special URLs, we put them all in one place. So you can check out those sponsors for yourself. You don't have to write anything down. Just go to jordanharbinger.com/deals. They're in alphabetical order there, little side nav. We rebuilt that whole page. I hope that's useful for you. jordanharbinger.com/deals.
[00:31:59] Don't forget worksheets for many episodes with all the drills and the exercises talked about in one easy place. Those are linked in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast.
[00:32:08] Now back to Bobby Hall.
[00:32:11] That's crazy. It's so funny that you still use that same skill. I mean, I guess it's one of the best ways to memorize anything and if you're used to it, you're used to it. But to have that be like a skill that's foundational to what you create now and having it come from like this whirlwind crazy situation of a parent.
[00:32:28] Bobby Hall: Yeah.
[00:32:29] Jordan Harbinger: It's kind of, it's like poetic in a way, almost that she's like giving you the ability to do what you do now to get out of that situation, to have gotten out.
[00:32:36] Bobby Hall: I think a large part of the forgiveness is in the fact that I would even admit that, right? Because it's like, if I didn't want to talk about my mother or the things that I'd gone through, I was so angry at her, I wouldn't want to give her that credit, but it's like, that was the good part of her. You know what I mean? Like that was the good day or like 20 minutes that my mom was around and doing something nice. You know? So yeah. I mean, even my social security number, which is fully seven, nine — no, I was kidding. She made me write it a hundred times. And I'm like 10 years old. What do I need to know my social security number for at 10 years old, but I never forgot it.
[00:33:10] Jordan Harbinger: Growing up like that, did you think that it was tough now as an adult to let's say surround yourself with good people? Because you didn't have good role models or templates as a kid for who to surround yourself with. Did you have a problem developing that intuition or that skill as an adult? Because it can be — like if you grow up around chaos and crazy people, you're not often, like, "I need to surround myself with stable, nice people who have a good head on their shoulders." Like it's tough to do that.
[00:33:34] Bobby Hall: It's my homie Josh who went to jail for stabbing this dude in his stomach and kind of gutting him open. So like he wasn't the best example of somebody that I should be hanging around with as a teenager. But he also had mental problems that he was going through at the time. And so you're kind of like hanging out with these kids and as you get older, we're all kind of doing hood sh*t and stupid sh*t that we shouldn't do. Like, you know, I was hanging around them, shooting guns and driving and just doing dumbass sh*t. But I never felt like that was me. So I was like, "I don't think I should be doing this." And that's when I got other friends and I was like, "Oh, okay, yeah, these are cool, good, normal people." And I think the only real reason I was kind of like doing dumb hoodlum sh*t is because I didn't want to be at home. And I wanted to do anything I could not to be there. And in many ways, I was searching for a family outside of my household, which is like, honestly like gang members and a lot of people like, that's what you do. That's the same thing.
[00:34:30] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:34:30] Bobby Hall: Your home life. Isn't good. Your parents might not be sh*t. So it's important to try to find people who will love you. But it's just very difficult when that love also comes from a place of like, "Let's get this money, let's sell these drugs, let's do this, let's do that." So I saw all that and I was like, "No, I don't think that's for me, but it wasn't really difficult, no. I think it was difficult to find good people outside of that circle because like good people didn't really live around me. It was very few and far between, but as I got older, as I left my mom's house, that's when I just off-chance, by going to places out there. Like I said, Alan Watts says, "Anything you can be interested in, you'll find others who are." So I was doing things. I was going to open mics and doing this and doing all this other stuff.
[00:35:12] That's another thing that taught me about why hip-hop is so beautiful. Sure. There may be a little bit of drama between two clicks or this or that, but it was never really physical. It was always more so like, "Yo, these raps ain't as good as mine," but then you see him in person, you're like, "Hey man. Good job. That was dope."
[00:35:26] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:35:26] Bobby Hall: There was a lot of love there. So when I got into actual hip-hop and saw the mainstream and how negative that can be it was very difficult, but I know, and knew then that still, like what makes hip-hop, hip-hop was always full of positivity. I was always welcomed with open arms by like the legends and the people who aren't really worried about all the BS on Twitter and Instagram. They just want to make good music and spread a positive message. So I learned to separate the two and I think I was able to do that because I was able to separate the two as a kid, trying to find what group of friends I should have.
[00:36:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. You mentioned as a kid, just laundry lists, some of the crazy stuff, like you went pimping with your dad while you were living with him, actually that had to affect — did that affect your views on women at that point? Because you're like in high school and you're out pimping with your dad. You're either looking at women differently because of that or you're just realized, I mean, did you just know that that was so crazy, that that wasn't real life?
[00:36:25] Bobby Hall: I mean, was she a woman? Yeah. Was she a lady? No things. There's a big difference. You know what I mean? It's like, I wouldn't call her a lady.
[00:36:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:36:33] Bobby Hall: But I knew that, you know, so yeah, I think it was just really weird. I don't know. I was in the car at one time. My dad was like, "Hold on, we got to go make this trip." And there's some like white bitch I'd never seen before in the front seat and she's all young. And then she goes into some house while we go to the McDonald's and wait across the street, looking at the house and then we go pick her up and she gives my dad a bunch of money. So it's like, what do you think happens?
[00:36:53] Jordan Harbinger: Crazy. That's such a weird life to have in high school. You mentioned in the book as well, that the thing about lazy people — I'm going to try and paraphrase because I didn't type out the exact thing. But the thing about lazy people was that they're not lazy at all, they spend so much time thinking of schemes and plans to get around doing a regular job. But if they had just stuck with a regular job, they'd be so much further ahead than they really were. Scammers are like this, right? It doesn't pay to do this in long term. It's a dysfunctional paradigm. So it seems like you did learn that lesson pretty quick. Right? Because you now know, "Hey, it's better to have skills, even if it seems slower because the returns are outsized, but they come later on down the line, like a snowball."
[00:37:33] Bobby Hall: Yeah. I think I referenced my dad being the Daniel Ocean of laziness of Ocean's Eleven.
[00:37:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, you did.
[00:37:41] Bobby Hall: I was a little lazy. You know what I mean?
[00:37:44] Jordan Harbinger: You were a kid.
[00:37:44] Bobby Hall: Yeah.
[00:37:45] Jordan Harbinger: It's different.
[00:37:46] Bobby Hall: You're right. I was like a teenager. You know what I mean? So it's a really weird thing. I don't know why I wore this shirt.
[00:37:51] Jordan Harbinger: What does it say? I was trying to figure it out the whole time.
[00:37:53] Bobby Hall: It says Toro y Moi. It's one of my favorite musicians, but it's — first of all, I love the shirt. Just this collar is like big and I don't—
[00:38:01] Jordan Harbinger: Do you want to change? I can wait. I got all the time in the world.
[00:38:03] Bobby Hall: Do I look like I'm just like, "Come on, Bessie. Come on in the house right now. What are you doing, girl?" And that's what you can expect from my audiobook. Voices by Bobby Hall.
[00:38:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. If you get uncomfortable and you want to change, let me know but honestly, it's fine. Nobody cares about the video as much as the audio.
[00:38:18] Bobby Hall: So I can actually like pee whenever I want?
[00:38:20] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, yeah. If you have to go to the bathroom, just be like, "Yo, I got to go to the bathroom." We'll edit it out and then place it back together. And nobody will know.
[00:38:25] Bobby Hall: Can we keep me talking about possibly peeing and then they'll just guess when it might have happened?
[00:38:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, we'll leave this whole section in and then later on, if there's an awkward edit, they'll be like, "I bet Bobby had to pee that he had to go to the bathroom."
[00:38:37] Bobby Hall: A hundred percent.
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: We'll leave that whole thing with the color of the shirt and everything. It's funny. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who's self-conscious on camera from their colors and their shirts and their bladders.
[00:38:46] Bobby Hall: Dude, do you want to talk about self-conscious on camera? So I found out I have cervical dystonia. Do you know what that is?
[00:38:51] Jordan Harbinger: No. What is that? Cervical?
[00:38:53] Bobby Hall: Cervical.
[00:38:53] Jordan Harbinger: Wait.
[00:38:54] Bobby Hall: I know, right? I'm like—
[00:38:55] Jordan Harbinger: I was like, "Cervix?"
[00:38:56] Bobby Hall: I'm like, "Wait a second. There's something I'm not telling you." It's basically, so dystonia is a form of like, it's just like a neurological disorder, but writers and painters, their hands can cramp up and kind of go into this gnarly position when they go into that. But for me, it's not that, that's dystonia. Cervical dystonia is of the neck. And I'd like to be open about this because possibly anybody else who might be going through it out there just knows that they're not alone. So my head shakes. And if I sit here, I'll show it to you.
[00:39:24] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. On the video, you can see it. It's a slight nod. You really do have to be looking for it, but you feel it, obviously.
[00:39:31] Bobby Hall: Yeah. I feel it. And it's annoying, but at rest that goes away. So it's not Parkinson's disease, but it's just something that can become degenerate. So yesterday, I went to the doctor and I got 10 f*cking shots of Botox in the back of my neck, deep in the muscle. So I'm about to have a young ass looking neck. No, I'm kidding. It's so deep but, basically, what they try to do is weaken the muscle so that it doesn't turn back and forth. And for me, it's like, it just really sucks because when I'm doing interviews and things like that — like you haven't noticed it, but this entire time I'm like, okay, I'm going to put my hand right here for a moment. And then I'm going to put my head to the side. And it's like this whole thing that I got to think about. I know it's random.
[00:40:06] Jordan Harbinger: It's like a dance that you're doing with your neck muscles to like, not trigger them.
[00:40:10] Bobby Hall: Yeah. I don't know. It's just because otherwise I would just be shaking my head, no, and you'd think I was just disagreeing with everything you're saying.
[00:40:18] Jordan Harbinger: For what it's worth, it's so barely noticeable. But obviously, when it's you, you feel like you're just not, you're flailing your head around it and it doesn't look—
[00:40:24] Bobby Hall: I agree, but it would be noticeable if I were to just sit completely normally, which I wish I could do. Like dude, even writing like literature and novels into scripts and sh*t that I'm working on, like, I can't sit at a table. Like it sucks.
[00:40:36] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:40:37] Bobby Hall: Yeah. I kind of got to like either lean back and write. Or lean forward and write that way so that the muscles in my head don't shake. But there's a fun fact about Bob Logic guy, mixed boy.
[00:40:47] Jordan Harbinger: I think it's important to share that stuff though, because people have that stuff and then they're like, you know, it makes them feel like a freak or something or it's like, everyone knows this. It's so rare. Nobody who has this is doing anything interesting because people are hiding it and it's not fair, right? It's not true at all either.
[00:41:02] So, all right, I'll skip ahead a little bit in the story here. So you get assaulted at random by just some guy who thinks you're like a creep or a blood or one of the others, and like he freaks you out and you start going on AOL as all of us good nerds do to escape in the '90s. And you get introduced to Cool Edit Pro, which is funny that you mentioned it took like all night to download, because I remember those days so much, I downloaded like a Snoop Dogg mp3 and probably like 1995. And I was like, "Oh, three more hours, I'm going to have this track on my computer."
[00:41:31] Bobby Hall: Yeah. You could have driven to the store nine times and bought the album.
[00:41:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. I could have just reproduced the actual track myself without the vocals on that amount of time. And you find these like online rap battle chat rooms, which actually sounds really fun.
[00:41:46] Bobby Hall: Yeah.
[00:41:47] Jordan Harbinger: I can't imagine what those were like in the '90s though. Tell me about that sort of process because that's obviously where you start cutting your teeth, right?
[00:41:52] Bobby Hall: Yeah, this is like mid 2000s actually. So it was like 2005, six, seven, and yeah, you kind of just go to this forum and everyone sucks.
[00:42:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:02] Bobby Hall: Everyone's really bad, including yourself.
[00:42:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, they're like 13 years old.
[00:42:06] Bobby Hall: I mean, yeah. Or maybe even older, you know, they just always wanted to rap, but it's kind of like poetry. I ended up being the number one ranked because there was like a ranking system and there's like number one. And I went by Lord Subliminal and I had a picture of Bruce Lee as my avatar and I was number one. And it was the first time I was number one at anything besides being poor. It's really crazy.
[00:42:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So at that point, are you thinking, "I should become a rapper," or are you like, "Okay, I'm the best — I'm the world's tallest midget, so to speak because I'm like the best rapper in this chat room where everyone sucks."
[00:42:36] Bobby Hall: No, I was definitely just — I was still rapping too. Like I was rapping at my house over beats and instrumentals and certain things like that. So I think I did have an advantage. I'm sure there was other people — like I met this guy named Well Aware who used to write raps and he was from England, but he made beats. So it's like, if I'm rapping and he's making beats, there's people here who actually do love, care, appreciate, and know about hip-hop. So it wasn't really like all that bad, but it was like, it was pretty garbage. Just the raps, especially mine. Mine was, it was like, "Yeah, I'll contort you then distort you, come back and then report you." Like, what? What are you talking about?
[00:43:10] Jordan Harbinger: At least, it rhymed.
[00:43:11] Bobby Hall: Yeah. But it was like a walking thesaurus. It was like, what do you do? I was literally, I had the thesaurus and I would just look at thesaurus and be like, okay, the source, of course, go to the divorce. And like, it was just so stupid.
[00:43:22] Jordan Harbinger: At least you're not rhyming the same — it drives me crazy when somebody who's like on an actual CD is making a one word rhyme with that same word another verse later, I'm like, there's so many options and you rhyme cake with cake. It's not creative when you do that but I mean, who am I.
[00:43:37] Bobby Hall: Unless it's a double entendre, like, unless it's like, it makes sense if you say it that way, which is cool. Or if it's like, you're saying like homey, like, I don't know, like some, you ain't never know me, homey, I sit down at the dinner. How are you feeling homey? So it's like, if you're addressing kind of maybe the listener or something, it's okay. But I know what you're talking about and it could be kind of annoying.
[00:43:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Especially when it's a word like feet, I'm like, there's so many words that rhyme with feet. You just didn't bother to find one, Kanye, anyway.
[00:44:05] So how did Helen Keller, how did Helen Keller inspire you? Because this is somebody where I'm like, okay, I remember reading about her in school, but I don't remember — I've never heard anybody be like, "My inspiration is Helen Keller," which I thought was kind of — it was unexpected.
[00:44:18] Bobby Hall: I watched this movie called The Miracle Worker, long story short. And it's basically about this woman who's a teacher who goes to Helen Keller's house. Back in the day and Helen Keller was blind, she couldn't speak or hear. So she was deaf as well. There's a scene in the movie where she's basically walking around and she's like low key living on a plantation, like her parents are, super wealthy and got all these black folks working for them. It's like, kind of weird actually to watch it now. But anyway, so they're at this like really long a table eating breakfast and little Helen's just going around, putting her hands in people's sh*t and just eating it, you know, eating eggs and bacon and whatever. And the miracle worker, Annie, I believe is her name in the movie.
[00:44:56] Jordan Harbinger: I think her name was like Anne Sullivan or something, or am I making that up?
[00:44:58] Bobby Hall: Yeah, I think so. So she sees this little girl eating all this stuff off the place. She's like, "No, this is like, this is not going to work. Like leave me with her." And they're like, "Oh no, that's just the way Helen eats." And they're like, "No, you're like, y'all hired me to come out here and help this girl. So they leave her in the room and long story short she's — how many times have I said that right? She's taking the eggs and throwing them. And she sits a little Helen down and Helen doesn't want to eat the eggs and use a spoon. She doesn't want to use a utensil and they're fighting and she's like throwing these eggs on the floor. And I remember watching this in black and white and it's raining outside and I was starving and we didn't really have anything to eat. And I was like, "This bitch got more food than I do." Like, this is crazy. By the end of the scene, it's a really beautiful moment where the mother comes in. Once all the fighting has kind of stopped and Helen's there. And she's like, Annie tells the mother, "Helen used a spoon to eat her eggs." And she's like, "Oh my God, a spoon." But this is huge. Like this girl has never done anything like this before.
[00:45:54] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:45:54] Bobby Hall: It's insane. And then she's like, "And she folded her napkin." She was like, "Oh my God." So then they go off to the woods. She's like, "I can't be here with y'all." Because like the dad was kind of an asshole and like anytime Helen was making progress, he would kind of like take her back by just letting her do whatever she wants because she's kind of testing like a baby, like to see what she can do.
[00:46:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:46:12] Bobby Hall: So Annie's like, "All right, I'm taking her to the middle of nowhere," in like cottage house. And they go out there for like weeks or months and she just makes so much progress. It's insane, but she's still not necessarily comprehending what the spelling in her hand of sign language actually means. And then at the end of the movie, when Annie's like, "I can't do this anymore. Like your father's telling me to leave." She tries one more time and she pumps water from a spring over her hands and spells water. Helen doesn't get it and she doesn't get it. She doesn't get it. And then Annie's like, "Okay, well, bye, my train's here, I'm about to leave." And then she gets it. It always makes me cry. I'm actually surprised I'm not in tears right now because she understands water, water, and she's going to the ground and she spells ground and she goes to a tree and spells tree. And then she goes to her teacher and spells teacher. That's the part that always gets me very emotional because it's such a beautiful moment. And I was like, "If this f*cking blind deaf girl who can't even speak can like become educated. And make a life for herself. Well, then I can. I could do that. I'm more well off." Not in that. I'm saying I'm more—
[00:47:15] Jordan Harbinger: More privilege like you have all your senses.
[00:47:17] Bobby Hall: Exactly.
[00:47:17] Jordan Harbinger: Fortunate or whatever.
[00:47:18] Bobby Hall: I'm fortunate and blessed. Like I can make it. And I have always kind of equated a lot of my thought process to that. If I didn't understand something, if I didn't know how to rhyme the best or rap the best or produce and make beats the best or record myself on Cool Edit Pro the best, it was just about the process of understanding and comprehending what water meant and how to spell it. And I kind of have, I've used that way of thinking with everything that I've ever done.
[00:47:44] Jordan Harbinger: What do you think when kids from like loving homes where they have everything and they get a new car at age 16 and they're totally fine, they go to a private school, what do you think when they turn out terrible when you came from terrible environment and turned out pretty good? Like that has to be a little confusing, right?
[00:47:59] Bobby Hall: No, that was my best friend Josh growing up. You know, he went to prison. He just did a bunch of drugs. His parents paid for college and he was like, "I'm taking a year off," which is what every kid says before they f*ck their lives up.
[00:48:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:10] Bobby Hall: So it was just kind of like, "All right. Wow, this is weird." And he was like a gangster, but he wasn't, this family, they were just so sweet, there for him, supported him. Like, it's not like they didn't have money, money, but he never needed for anything. He lived in a three-story house. Like it was incredible, but he was walking around with shotguns under his trench coat sh*t. Like it was wild man. This dude was like watching Tony Montana and all this stuff. And it's funny because you know, people who are actually aren't about that life, if they believe it and they live in that delusion, they become about that life. You know, they go from just like a, want to be white Inkster to a real gangster who will f*ck you up and kill you. And that's not a good thing at all.
[00:48:48] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:48:48] Bobby Hall: You know what I mean? But yeah, I think it just comes down to them personally. I don't look at those kids or those people and be like, "You shouldn't even be this. That's who you are." That's something that even scares me as a father. It's like, I can give my son—
[00:49:00] Jordan Harbinger: Me too.
[00:49:01] Bobby Hall: —the best life that I could possibly give him, but I don't know. He could meet some stupid girl who's like doing coke in the bathroom or something. And he's just in love with her. And you never know. I think he'll be okay and I'd like to think he'll be okay. But at the end of the day, like, his parents were the best parents. Like, they're my godparents. They just visited me. I treat them like my mother and father since I didn't really have one and I don't have them.
[00:49:26] So yeah. I mean, we are all in control of ourselves and we are all still who we are. And I think that's also the difference between me and certain members of my family that kind of went down the same path. That we saw the adults doing when we were children and I didn't. So I think it might just be the fact that I'm just me. I don't know. I got common sense, like I say.
[00:49:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's scary to see kids who have everything, like because, of course, my first gut instinct is like, well, you don't know what was going on in that house, but you actually totally do because you were there all the time. You were super close with his parents. So it's like, "Okay. So if it wasn't them—" you know, you want as a father — and I know you get this — you want there to be some external cause that you can point to where you're like, "Oh, well, he had this thing happen. And then this other thing happened. And then also he had this mental condition and that all coalesced to creating a bad thing. And his parents couldn't do anything about it." Because the last thing we want is to have a kid and we're like, "So I did everything right. And then they just turned out and did this horrible, like shot or stabbed someone and now they're in prison forever." And you're like, "And I can't even do anything about it.
[00:50:29] Bobby Hall: Well, think about it, dude. My family is just a history of violence and drug abuse. I am the complete opposite. So it's an anomaly, right? Really when you think about it. So it's like, what you're describing is just like the other version of me. It's just weird. It's literally—
[00:50:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:50:48] Bobby Hall: I don't know how I'm here right now with my crazy hair.
[00:50:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It's like in alternate universe/in our universe, your best friend turned out, like you were kind of quote-unquote supposed to, and you turned out in many ways like he was quote-unquote supposed to.
[00:51:03] Your name Logic anyway comes from your old name, Psychological, which by the way, Logic, much easier to say.
[00:51:08] Bobby Hall: Yeah, trust me.
[00:51:09] Jordan Harbinger: Did you start laughing? Because it's cringe to say Psychological as your rap name.
[00:51:12] Bobby Hall: It was so cringe. I remember f*cking open it up for Ghostface. And the crowd was loving me and I was like, yeah. "Psychological, Psychological," I had like 500 people screaming, Psychological, and I got off stage. I was like, "Well, that doesn't sound right."
[00:51:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:51:24] Bobby Hall: And then my buddy, Lenny, called me Psycho for a while, but then he was like, "Well, that's weird." And then he just started calling me Logic. It's funny though, being Logic because for so much of my life, Logic was who I was like a nickname, like skinny or black, like it was just logic. His whole family would call me Logic. The kids would call me Uncle Logic. It wasn't this weird thing. But now if somebody calls me Logic, like personally that I know it's kind of f*cking weird because I'm like, "I'm Bobby." You know what I mean? For sure, like, okay, we're doing this awesome podcast right now. Bobby Hall is the author of this memoir. I am also known as Logic. We're all obviously discussing both of these things, but this would be a situation where it's like, "Hey, I'm Bobby," which is who I am. So in person, if I see somebody outside and they're like, "Oh, Logic, what's up?" But like, if I have, I dunno if my assistant's hanging out with some new girl and he's like, "I really liked this girl, man. She's really amazing." And I'm like, "Cool." And he's like, "Yeah, man, I think we're going to f*cking do it tonight." And I'm like, "Okay, whatever. All right." He's like, "Yeah. Okay. Well, I'll see you at the double date." And I'm like, "All right, cool." And then I go out to the double date and somehow she's like, "Hey, Logic, can you—?" I'm like, "Nah, man, you got to dump this bitch, man." You know what I mean? For sure. I'm like, nah, nah, I'm obviously joking. I would never actually—
[00:52:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I think most people realize that, but you never know. There's a lot of people that are listening that are like, "This is horrible."
[00:52:43] Bobby Hall: No, what's insane is like, even just the context of like — I would never actually call a woman a bitch. You know what I mean?
[00:52:49] Jordan Harbinger: Of course.
[00:52:50] Bobby Hall: I wouldn't unless she was a bitch. You know what I mean? But you know what I mean?
[00:52:55] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:52:55] Bobby Hall: It's literally, like if she walked in the room and elbowed my wife and tried to get ahead of us in line at a doctor's office, I'd be like, "Oh man, she's kind of a bitch." You know what I mean? Just like this guy could be an assh*le or whatever. It's just a phrase I could say bad person as such. For me, it has nothing to do — I call it my homies. I'm like, "Stop acting like a bitch." For me, it's not—
[00:53:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:53:14] Bobby Hall: It's not a misogynistic thing. I think you can tell by my story, how much love, reverence, and respect that I have for women. I've always thought it was really funny that for somebody like myself and entertainer who may be saying something in a joking manner way, especially when you know their heart and who they are and their intentions, also. When you know that somebody's intentions, it's like, okay, I'm a comedian or an entertainer. I'm telling a story. It's comical. I may be saying this in a funny way. I just find it funny that people get so goddamn offended.
[00:53:40] Jordan Harbinger: Bent out of shape.
[00:53:40] Bobby Hall: Especially when they know who you are, like when I can sit here and say how I feel. Now, don't get me wrong. If I was like hanging out with my wife and she had a girlfriend and they both dressed up or something and I was like, "Damn, you bitches look beautiful." And I'm obviously like, just joking and that girlfriend of hers was like, "Please don't call me that." I'd be like, "No problem." Obviously, I was just kidding, but you may have some reason or this or that or whatever. No problem. I just think it's kind of crazy if I'm obviously joking and somebody would get so serious. You know what I mean? But when you're just obviously making a joke.
[00:54:17] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's more of like them wanting attention though. Right? That's like more like, okay, I need to get this person on the back foot. So I'm going to claim something is super offensive when it's not. Now, if something is patently offensive, like you mentioned the N word with the hard R at the end, that's when you're like, "Yo can't say that I don't like that it's offensive. It's offensive to other people that aren't me. Stop." But if you're doing that in the privacy of your own home, and it's like a friendly thing, and someone's like, "I'm going to get offended by that." I kind of question the motive there. I think a lot of it is them wanting attention. They want to get you on the back foot. Not always, but a lot of the time.
[00:54:51] Bobby Hall: It's like dude women are not bitches. They should not be called bitches. It's just what it is. Even me as a rapper, it's like a systemic thing. I've had songs where I'm like, "Yeah, I got these bitches at my crib." And then sometimes I ask myself like, "Wait, why do I say that? I think it's because Jay-Z said it and Drake said it and Kendrick said it.
[00:55:05] Jordan Harbinger: It's a rap culture thing.
[00:55:07] Bobby Hall: Yeah. And then I realized, oh man, that's kind of weird. But when it comes to actually addressing women, I mean, forget about it. I just think the concept of like — I don't know how to explain it. It's just kind of like the whole Chappelle thing, or like just stand-up comedians in general. It's like, how can you go to somebody's show who's known for being provocative? Never necessarily say something in a way that is hate speech. Like when I look at Chappelle personally, I look at a man who makes fun of everybody, every race, including his own, every gender, every this, every that, because if we're all laughing at each of these things that he's saying, we're all laughing at each other and in a way we're all being connected because of it.
[00:55:39] So to just be all pissed off about it, I don't know. And I'm like the equality king. You know what I mean? Like I'm like, we'll fight for anybody, but it's just like certain circumstances. Like, dude, it's a joke. And as long as it's not truly hurting someone. You know what I mean? Like you're not going at somebody. Like, "Oh, your grandma died. You f*cking idiot." Like that's not what, you know — I don't know. I don't even know how the f*ck we got here.
[00:56:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That was all you, man. I just let you ride on it.
[00:56:09] Bobby Hall: Sorry.
[00:56:09] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Bobby Hall. We'll be right back.
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[00:58:45] Jordan Harbinger: And now for the conclusion of our episode with Bobby Hall.
[00:58:50] To your point, the rapping is like, you can play a character and you mentioned this in the book, right? You say, "I could rap about chilling in Cabo and making millions of dollars when all I had were food stamps in the living room couch." And did having kind of an alter ego keep you from maybe feeling anxiety or imposter syndrome on stage? Because a lot of people who are in front of a thousand people are like, "Ah, who am I to be here? I don't deserve this." And it can totally mess you up.
[00:59:15] Bobby Hall: You know, it's funny that you said that because I do feel that way. And I even wrote in a book how I felt that way, that it is this kind of alter ego. It is an image. It's like Bruce Wayne is Bruce Wayne, but he puts on the bat suit and he becomes batman. But also majority of what I was rapping about actually was, and did stem from me personally, the things that I was going through, just emotionally or financially or this or that. So it was a little more nerve racking because I was so honestly myself as well. So it was a bit of both.
[00:59:46] It was kind of like, yeah, when I'm on stage, I'm Logic. And when I'm holding this microphone, I'm the best rapper in the world. That's just the way you got to to have to tell yourself that, to give yourself that courage, but it's also like I'm rapping about mental health and all this stuff on stage at the same time.
[00:59:59] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:00:00] Bobby Hall: I think there's a lot of rappers. I think majority of rappers are not themselves and they are this kind of different person. And I've always just been myself. That's why if I ever got like sh*t on the Internet or people were coming at me or saying, "You're not this, you're not that dah, dah, dah, whatever. It's just like, but I am like." So when they're attacking me, they're not attacking this like—
[01:00:22] Jordan Harbinger: Cut out persona.
[01:00:22] Bobby Hall: Fictitious rapper, yeah, this guy who's — yeah, exactly.
[01:00:26] Jordan Harbinger: That is interesting because, of course, if you're playing a character, it's hard not to feel good enough or not smart enough or talented enough as yourself, because you're making up a new identity that you're using, but if you're using your own identity, like I'm the show, like I'm myself. People always go, "Wow." When I meet them in person, they're always like, "You're the exact same person on the show as you are in person." And sometimes they're like, "Oh, you really let loose in person," which is kind of annoying because I'm like — not annoying but disappointing because I'm like, "Man, shouldn't be the most entertaining version of myself be the one on the show, not the one that's hanging out with my friends?"
[01:00:58] Bobby Hall: But it's funny that you have two different perspectives of that. So it's kind of like, it depends maybe on the day they meet you or their own personal—
[01:01:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:01:04] Bobby Hall: How they take that experience of meeting you then.
[01:01:07] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Yeah. No, of course. I mean, I think people expect me to be more — maybe more but I don't know. Maybe they think I'm performing on the show when really all I'm doing is — I don't know whatever, I'm the same person that's the point.
[01:01:19] Bobby Hall: I think you're just a good speaker. I mean, it's like, dude, as soon as it's lights, camera, action, there's a microphone in your face, like you watch what you say, you're this, you're that, I mean, honestly, that's why I said what I said about how I feel about women and like the term bitch and this and dah, dah, dah, and all this other stuff is because we live in an era where somebody could try to completely take that out of context when I've been sitting—
[01:01:37] Jordan Harbinger: Cut it out.
[01:01:38] Bobby Hall: —like singing women's praises and how much I respect women and all this other stuff and then they could try to do that. So, but there is a different you when you're on camera, that doesn't mean you off-camera is any worse.
[01:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: Fake, yeah.
[01:01:48] Bobby Hall: But I've had conversations with some big people, like big people, entertainers, actors, gay, straight white, black, this, that, that'd be saying some wild sh*t because it's the real world. You know what I mean?
[01:02:02] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:02:02] Bobby Hall: And it's just kind of crazy. And when I say wild sh*t, I don't necessarily mean something that's like even considered negative. It's just like, they're just talking extremely honestly. And even if what they're saying, whether you, you, me, the next person may agree with it, may not, may this, may that, we live in an era now where it's just — I mean, think about it, man. Public hangings in the west, everybody loved that sh*t, man.
[01:02:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, entertaining.
[01:02:26] Bobby Hall: That's what kind of social media has become now, where it's like, you might say one thing, may be even what you said isn't necessarily negative, but it's how you said it and everyone knows what you mean, but we're still going to go after you anyway.
[01:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, there's something to that. I mean, it's definitely a scary sort of — they call it cancel culture, I guess, but some of it is just accountability, but where's that line, I suppose. That's the question, right? When you started to promote your shows — oh, by the way, this was so funny, when you're talking about rejection and people throwing your business cards in the trash.
[01:02:56] Bobby Hall: My own producer, the guy who makes all my music to this day, when we first met, I was like, "Hey man, what's up? Yo, I'm Logic from Merlin. Here's my business card." And he just threw that sh*t in the trash. I don't even know how we work together today. Sorry, please continue.
[01:03:11] Jordan Harbinger: That's so funny. That's funny. Everybody who's put anything out in the world knows how that feels and it never goes away. It's always in the back of your psyche. Like, remember that time that you gave somebody this and they were like, thanks. And they just literally threw it back in your face and ripped it up. The best, possibly, rejection story that I've heard in a long time, possibly in forever was when — tell us the story where someone's announcing the man you've all been waiting for. This had me rolling.
[01:03:38] Bobby Hall: All right. I'm opening up for Mac Miller, right? RIP, rest in peace, great kid, great guy. I'm opening up for Mac Miller. This has got to be 2011, maybe even 10, but I think it was 2011. I'm at this club in Virginia and it's one of those shows that's put on by a promoter. First of all, let me just explain, the promoter was also one of the performers rapping. So that should just let you know what kind of show this is.
[01:04:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:04:03] Bobby Hall: There's a million opening acts. These kids are packed in this club. That's like maybe 400 people and they've been literally waiting for hours and I was direct support. So when I found out like, "Oh, I'm going to be direct support for a Mac Miller, like that's crazy." Direct support is right before the headliner. So I was like, "Oh my God, amazing." Like two hours later and like 10 acts, I'm the last guy, honestly, I don't know why my DJ introduced me this way because—
[01:04:30] Jordan Harbinger: Oh no! Yeah, they were asking for it, right?
[01:04:32] Bobby Hall: Yeah. It was really funny, but he's like, "All right, now the man who y'all been waiting for." And it was like, "Aah," and then this was really weird just because we would always talk about just me being black and mix and all this other sh*t. And then he goes, and he's this big, tall black dude from the University of Maryland who's my DJ. And he is like "The illest white boy on the scene right now." And I was like, "What?" But I'm walking to the stage. There's like footage online of this. And I walk into the stage. He's like, "Put your heads together." And everyone's like, "Oh my god," "For Logic." And everyone just starts f*cking booing. And I'm like, "Oh my god." And I get out on the stage and I just do the first thing that comes to my head. I was like, "Listen, I know y'all been waiting. Mac Miller's coming out here next. I promise. You're going to have to sit through me, but I'll make it quick and I'll make it fun." And then I started rapping, doing my thing.
[01:05:25] Jordan Harbinger: That's great.
[01:05:25] Bobby Hall: They enjoyed it and it was cool. That's the only time I've ever been booed. Well, I've been booed a couple other times, but I asked the crowd to boo me because I thought it'd be hilarious. And then I posted on my social media and people were like Logic bombs, but this is just me like taking advantage of how nobody actually checks anything. And I thought it would be really funny to do.
[01:05:42] Jordan Harbinger: That's actually a really good idea. I think next time I speak, I might be like, hey boo, so that the footage has that at the end. And just say it before they start recording. There's a fun prank in there somewhere, but it might be jokes on me kind of situation.
[01:05:54] Look, you know, this just popped into my head. Moby actually — when I interviewed him a long time ago.
[01:05:59] Bobby Hall: Wow.
[01:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: He mentioned that his first show what happened — you know, how he has all that electronic stuff. And like in the '90s, it was a computer that took forever to boot up, they had unplugged all of his stuff. So his first show, they announced him. In the first, like 15 minutes is him plugging everything back in and booting everything and just waiting on the stage while everything boots.
[01:06:19] Bobby Hall: Dude, I know I had those moments, dude. I actually fired somebody. I'm not going to get into it because I'm going to be respectful about it.
[01:06:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:06:26] Bobby Hall: But it was this person who was like in charge of — so, okay. I can sing, but everybody is out of tune, man. Especially certain songs just in rap. Like you turn the auto-tune up, it is what it is. And there was this one song where I just liked having a little bit of auto-tune on live because it wasn't really my key. Like I can sing in a sort of like E, the key of E I sing well in and C, and blah, blah, blah. It was like some random C major sharp seven sh*t. I don't even know how to explain. And I'm sitting at this piano and I'm playing for like 20,000 people and I started singing and it's all like — it sounds like Cher. "Do you believe in love after love—" And I'm like, oh my God, I get off the stage. And I like to go and basically fired this person onstage, and I'm not like that. And then let me also be fair, dude. I gave this person like five chances.
[01:07:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:07:13] Bobby Hall: They kind of mess this up like five times in a row. And they were just always on their phone and it was kind of annoying, but anyway, very sweet person, it just didn't work out. So that's happened to me. I've also been on stage — oh dude, somebody was telling me this story and I completely forgot it. And I'm going to tell you now, and I don't remember it. I was doing something, I think it was like college football or something like that, where I was getting paid, like a nice check to go and perform two songs on television. But then I was like, "Okay." Well, two songs so that means it's got to be clean, so you can't curse. And I was like, "No problem," but I curse like a f*cking sailor, but contractually and for the right amount of money, you better believe I'll be like, "No problem kids. Here we are."
[01:07:52] Jordan Harbinger: Gosh, darn it. Yeah, exactly. Try ramming something with that.
[01:07:55] Bobby Hall: I got a farm it. Anyway, so you're just a varmint. So I'm onstage. I'm doing my thing. I do the two songs. But after those two songs, I was set up to continue a show live for all the fans who actually came out to see me. So I was like, "Okay, cool." So then I started doing it and I'm like, "F*ck rap. I sound like an addict. Would you send me a semi automatic? Who had it? Any ready for anybody to f*ck back," like, and I'm just like cursing. And then like, they're flipping out, like they're freaking out. Like, "You can't curse, you can't curse." And they're coming to me and all this other sh*t. And I get through like maybe two songs, they cut my f*cking microphone off. Contractually, it was only for the two songs on television, which I did. And then what am I going to do? Edit myself for a bunch of grown ass people at a rap show now. Like, it doesn't really make any sense, but it's cool. I got paid. People were not upset at me. I was even like, they're telling me I can't cuss. F*ck that. It was funny.
[01:08:44] Jordan Harbinger: They're like asking for it.
[01:08:45] Bobby Hall: Yeah. But it was like a funny kind of rebellious thing, but it's just like, dude, I'm a grown ass man. Everybody here is grown. It's not like it was a bunch of kids. It's not like I'm at like the world series little league.
[01:08:55] Jordan Harbinger: It wasn't Sesame Street.
[01:08:56] Bobby Hall: Yeah, dude. Come on, man. It was just really funny. So that was crazy. Yeah, I've just had moments where like, for me, it's always the technical sh*t, dude. Like I hate when I'm rapping, but there's feedback or the mic keeps dropping out like it because you don't want to continue. There's a part of you that just legitimately doesn't want to go on. Dude, I remember being at this club and I got paid and I'm at this club and I just start rapping the mic cuts out and it cuts out and it's off for like 10 seconds. And then it cuts back on and then I start rapping again and I'm 20 seconds into the song and then it cuts off and then I'm just standing there and it's so awkward and I'm in a club, which I don't even go to the club unless I'm paid to be there, which I was, and it just sucks. So sorry, long story short, couple stories short, I feel you, bruh.
[01:09:41] Jordan Harbinger: You're actually a really good storyteller. And by the way, the book is a lot like this, not where we go off on random tangents, that's on me, but like it's really animated and fun.
[01:09:49] Bobby Hall: I kind of do though.
[01:09:50] Jordan Harbinger: There's tangents, but they make sense because you had an editor that was probably like, "Let's move that over there."
[01:09:56] Bobby Hall: For sure, a hundred percent.
[01:09:57] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, but it's well-written and it's fun.
[01:09:58] Bobby Hall: Thank you.
[01:09:59] Jordan Harbinger: A couple more things. Cause I know you got to run, but I'll be as quick as I can. I don't know about you, but I'll be quick.
[01:10:03] Bobby Hall: We're cool.
[01:10:04] Jordan Harbinger: 1-800 is the number for the suicide hotline, the song, anyway is the number for the suicide hotline. And I'm wondering, you mentioned that got you kind of thinking about suicide and depression and things like that. When you write your lyrics, do you need to put yourself in the shoes of the person who's experienced it? Like, did you have to put yourself in a position of somebody considering suicide in order to write lyrics that really hit the core of that track and that feeling?
[01:10:26] Bobby Hall: Yeah, very Daniel Day-Lewis, you know, it's like method rapping, right? You take all this emotion and conviction and you put it into a record. I'd be lying if I said I'd never had these intrusive thoughts before. And I think I utilize that. I utilized very dear and close friends who have also struggled with this. The biggest thing that inspired me, I rented a tour bus, and I did a fan tour in 2005 where I just went to my fans houses and just showed up and just played on a new album that wasn't even out.
[01:10:50] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:10:51] Bobby Hall: I ate with their families and had dinner and my security guard busted up his knee cap and had to go to the hospital on their trampoline after being like, "I'm too big for this sh*t. Don't make me do this." Yeah, no, it was really crazy.
[01:11:01] Jordan Harbinger: Like somewhere in Ohio, like, "Why are you making me jump on a trampoline?"
[01:11:05] Bobby Hall: It was like, bumf*ck texas. It was crazy. But anyway, so I did have to put myself in that kind of mental state and the big thing for me too, is like the first song that I had for the album, Everybody, was 1-800. Back then, it was just titled suicide because I was just like, I just want to do a song about suicide. I don't know what it's going to be yet. And it ended up being the last record. I had even made the beat and everything, but it was the last record I actually recorded because it was just so hard to put myself in that place. And I did and it was difficult to do, but nothing compared to the people who are actually on that lifeline every single day, talking to these people and making these dark thoughts kind of their everyday or every evening. It bleeds into your everything, especially when it becomes a worldwide hit song.
[01:11:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:11:48] Bobby Hall: You know, and everywhere you go is suicide, suicide, death, death, like blood. It's a really sick thing, but you know, I've taken a lot of time away from music. And I think I went from being really proud of the song to then being like, I don't want to perform this song anymore to now, I'm like, wow, it's probably the biggest accomplishment I've ever had in my life as far as message awareness. I'm happy I did it.
[01:12:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think a lot of people are, but I understand how the extra bit of fame comes to you. You end up performing on, was it the VMs and on MTV or was it people's choice? I always get those confused.
[01:12:21] Bobby Hall: It was the VMs. And that's the night that changed my life, for sure.
[01:12:24] Jordan Harbinger: You mentioned that, "If you go into public life wanting love and acceptance, you are f*cked. All I wanted, my whole life was to be famous and blow up and have people love my work and love me. And then it all happened. And all I wanted to do was crawl back into a hole and not be around anybody." That's a good lesson, man. That's a really good lesson because I think like Jim Carrey said something similar. Like I want everybody to become rich and famous so they can find out that that's not the answer, similar to that.
[01:12:48] Bobby Hall: It isn't the answer. You know what it is? It's like a true piece of knowledge or maturity. As a parent, as a friend, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, grandparent, you can give advice to somebody and they can follow that. And I think they may, you know, if they're smart, follow that. But no matter how smart they are or mature you may hope that they are, there's just some things you need to experience for yourself. You know, maybe a first love and heartbreak.
[01:13:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:13:11] Bobby Hall: And, you know, somebody could be like, "Bro, you're 17," or you're 19, or you're 20. And it's like, this isn't, "You don't even know, dude. Yes, this is normal, but life goes on. You're going to find the person you're supposed to be like." "Oh yeah, it's easy to say that because I had my heart ripped out of my chest and it sucked. And I thought I was going to die in the corner drinking soda." Like, you know what I mean? That's what I thought. But time went on and as time goes on, like time really does heal all wounds, dude. Like it's a real thing. And so I think the average person who thinks that fame and money and notoriety and accolades and all these things will make them happy doesn't know what the f*ck they're talking about.
[01:13:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Everybody who has any notoriety or fame whatsoever who's come on. The show has basically mentioned that exact same thing.
[01:13:57] Bobby Hall: Yup.
[01:13:57] Jordan Harbinger: So if you don't believe it, believe it because everybody everywhere who I've ever talked to has said pretty much the same thing. The only guy who's sort of jokingly said, and it wasn't to me, unfortunately because he hasn't been on the show. The only guy who was like, "Yeah, being famous is amazing," was Samuel L. Jackson. He's like, "Yeah, it's pretty awesome," but even that was like on a talk show where it's like—
[01:14:16] Bobby Hall: No, don't get me wrong. It is. I just think these people — myself, man, like I was once broke. So I was like, "Oh man, if I had all this money and I'm famous and people love me and blah, blah, blah," because it's like, you take regular everyday problems, but you have $20 million. You're like, "That'd be awesome." But then it's like, no, because everyday problems vanish. They do and they don't. Your everyday is like, "Oh, damn, I can't pay my car bill this month." Like all that sh*t vanishes. But what comes with that is, "Damn, I have so much money and I'm so successful. Well, what now?" I've actually hit that pinnacle. And I put my whole worth and my self-worth into it. If I just got here and then you get there and you're filled with f*cking emptiness and there's people on the Internet that are saying your baby's ugly and they hope you f*cking kid dies. And that you get cancer, that your wife has an ugly whore piece of sh*t. And you just see this and you're getting it every single day constantly. And every time you say something or you talk about how you feel, then people are like, "Well, you're just f*cking complaining. Why are you complaining? You're rich and famous." And then you're like, oh sh*t. Whether people can kind of understand that and get it, maybe, that's what it is. And that's not even anything, bro. That's like the tip of the iceberg.
[01:15:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course. Now I know you got to go in a second here, but you mentioned, "What social media does is it forces you to judge your own happiness relative to what everybody else has and what everybody else thinks. And when you pass a certain level of fame or wealth, it's like, nobody can relate. And it's like, you're no longer allowed to be human." That's actually really hard psychologically, regardless of what people think about. Well, if I had that money, I wouldn't have any problems. It's just not true. In closing, man, okay. So you didn't have parents really and then as you got more successful and older, you had all these new people around you because you know, you're making money and you're making them money. I don't mean like hangers on, I mean, even like agents and stuff like that, did you have any resentment creep in? Because it seems like it's almost like, "Oh, where were y'all people who love me when I didn't have a number one record?" Of course, if it's your lawyer or your agent, it's their job, but there's a part of your psychology that's just like, "Well, why do people care now? You care because I'm making you successful. You care because you could buy a Mercedes because of me." Is there any resentment there or do you just realize that that's the game?"
[01:16:34] Bobby Hall: No, I never had resentment for anybody because actually everybody that works with me all came up with me, which is really amazing, but I was pissed off at my manager and I love my manager. We're best friends. But he would be like, "Come on, man, you got to do this. You got professional obligations, bro. Dah, dah, dah." And I was just like, "You know what? F*ck you." And I remember telling him, I was like, dude — mind you, best manager ever, incredible. It's literally his job to push me to get money and do certain things and blah, blah, blah. But I'll never forget being like, "Why don't you come out on tour?" I was like, "I dare you, come out on tour." Because I was like, "Oh, I get it. You got business meetings and phone calls and emails and sh*t and you're killing it and you really are killing it. But why don't you come out on tour with me and do those same business calls and emails and juggle your personal life and your girlfriend and your parents, and for two hours a night, while I'm onstage, I want you to do cardio and jumping jacks and pushups and don't stop. And then after that, you're going to get real f*cked up on tequila because you kind of want to numb yourself after that and enjoy yourself. And then you're going to sleep on a tour bus for 18 hours on your day off because you have to travel halfway across the f*cking country to go to this next show and then guess what you're going to do all that again. And you're going to do the cardio for two hours and you can do this and you can do that. And then you're going to get lit and you're going to blah, blah, blah. And you're going to do it for 50 shows in a row. And then we're going to Europe. I dare you." And he was like, "Nah, I'm good."
[01:17:56] Jordan Harbinger: Like, "No, but still it's 9:00 a.m. Don't be late." You're like, "What?"
[01:17:58] Bobby Hall: Exactly.
[01:17:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Man, I admire that. It's hard enough to do things from your own home now that we're all working from home. It's hard enough. So I can imagine how hard it is doing a tour like that. And look, the story must've been hard to write and put out there. You did it really well. This is an awesome conversation. I really enjoyed it, man. I thank you so much for coming on the show.
[01:18:16] Bobby Hall: Thank you for having. Once again, I was just joking about bitches. Don't cancel me. Respect women. Nah, dude, seriously, thank you so much. And anybody listening out there, I appreciate you guys for caring enough to hopefully still be listening. I hope you'll check out the book. If not, cool. This has been super fun for me. And that's the only reason I'm really honestly doing this is to just kind of spread awareness about mental health and the respect of women. No, for real, thank you for having me on the show. Thank you for actually taking the time and actually reading the book. It means a lot. I've done a couple of these and you can always tell when somebody reads the book and the other person's like, "So yeah, oh, Desmo crap, okay, um." And I'm just like, "Yeah, you don't know the f*ck you're talking about." So thank you all. Thank you to your amazing listeners and fans. I would love to come back sometime. This has been—
[01:19:01] Jordan Harbinger: Absolutely.
[01:19:02] Bobby Hall: —one of the most fun interviews I've done in a long time, and I really appreciate it.
[01:19:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, same here, man. Look, anything I can do to help, let me know. And I know I've kept you for longer and your publicist is probably going to like punch me in the face if I ever see her in person.
[01:19:14] Bobby Hall: It's all good. Shout out to Cat, shout out to Simon & Schuster. Shout out to Stuart, my editors. Shout out to Tanner Colby, my collaborator who helped me really see the vision on this. Shout out to my assistant JT. This is the Grammy speech I would've given if I actually want one. Shout out to my little Bobby, shout out to my beautiful baby and my wife, and shout out to all the people listening right now. I appreciate y'all.
[01:19:39] Jordan Harbinger: If you're looking for another episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show to sink your teeth into, here's a trailer for another episode, with retired astronaut, Chris Hadfield.
[01:19:47] Chris Hadfield: I watched the first two people walk on the moon and I thought, wow, I'm going to grow up to be something. Why don't I grow up to be that? That's the coolest thing ever. It is purely the direct results of all of those little minute by minute decisions that I've made since starting when I was a kid, just turning 10. When I got the telephone call asking if I would like to be an astronaut, I was at the top of my profession. I was the top test pilot in the US Navy as a Canadian, and then to be selected as an astronaut, suddenly I'm a guy who knows nothing.
[01:20:23] I sit in my office and I'm like, I'm a complete imposter. I have zero skills right now. Whenever anybody has offered to teach me something for free, I've always taken them up on it. How are you getting ready for the major events in your life? The things that matter to you, the things that have consequences. Are you just sort of waving your hands and go, "Oh, it'll probably turn out okay," or are you actually using the time available to get ready for it? Maybe it will turn out okay. But if the stakes are high to me, that's just not a gamble I willingly take. If at some point like you think you know everything, you need to know that you're just in the process of diet.
[01:20:56] What astronauts do for a living? It's visualizing failure, figuring out the next thing that's going to kill you, and then practice it over and over and over again, until we can beat that thing. We know how to deal with it. Then you do a much better job and a more calm and comfortable way of doing it as well. You don't miss it. You're not overwhelmed by it. It's something you can do while thinking of something else. You notice how beautiful it is, how magnificent it is, how much fun it is. You're not completely overwhelmed by the demands of the moment.
[01:21:28] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Commander Chris Hadfield managed to stay focused on his dreams, starting at age nine, to become the first Canadian to walk in space, check out episode 408 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:21:40] I loved this conversation. I found it interesting that we both started very, very early on something called Ustream, which I think is now Twitch. And he did a lot of grassroots stuff, no label. He was indie, very similar to us. Now he's a world famous rapper and I'm still a podcast nerd, but I like it that way. Candidly, I find that to be an acceptable outcome. He was also hustling to promote on blogs and just too ignorant, in his own words here, "Too ignorant to know what he didn't know and going for it anyway." His manager knew so little about the music industry, that it actually turned out to be an advantage. And the book describes some of that. And I can certainly identify with the whole stumbling back ass words, into success at some level, and being so ignorant that you didn't know what wasn't supposed to work. So we did it and it ended up working. And some of that is luck, but some of that is not having the programming in there to talk ourselves out of trying something experimental. Everybody told me this wouldn't work, but I was too stubborn to listen. And by then it was too late.
[01:22:36] Off air, we actually talked a little bit about his first music deal and he had some major imposter syndrome. He said, as soon as he signed the contract, this is a major record contract, right? He said, "The deal's not really done. They can still back out. They can take this contract and shred it. And then we're back to square one. And all of our success really doesn't even matter." That's what was going through his head. And they were supposed to send him like 150 grand or something like that. And he just kept checking his bank account every single day for the money and be like, they're not going to send it. They're going to pull out. Finally, they deposit the money after him checking every day for like two weeks. So he goes from having $12 in his bank account to having like $135,000 in his bank account, just a small advance, right? So what does he do? He goes to Taco Bell. So he goes from food stamps to a six-figure bank balance. But how good was that Taco Bell? That must've been the best tasting friggin taco bell of his entire life.
[01:23:30] He had a motto in the book where he'd say something like, "Awesome. Keep it going," whenever he'd made some sort of achievement. And I like this right? He'd rent a dope mansion and he'd say, "Awesome. Keep it going." He's sold out this giant venue and he got on a magazine cover. "Awesome. Keep it going." This is important because I think a lot of people, when they're experiencing a little bit of success, they will celebrate really early when they achieve something, because they're afraid to keep going because it might get screwed up or they might screw it up. So they have such a scarcity mindset. They'd rather almost rest on their laurels. Then take more risk and keep putting themselves out there. And that's really a dangerous mentality to have in any business or any endeavor. Because it can really cut short your potential in any career, right? It's not about being too proud, too early. It's a defense mechanism. If you think about it, that premature celebration that, "Oh, I got this." That can be a defense mechanism. Fear of failure is what this really is. And I think the "awesome, keep it going," and just not celebrating too early is great.
[01:24:26] His hustle was real though. 18-hour days, renting crappy cars, praying the shows are sold out so they didn't lose money on them. And he said in the book that he had some serious health issues before, during, and even after shows. So he would puke up this green stuff from vaping. So if you're vaping, maybe slow down a little. He was throwing up blood, he was pissing out blood, just really gross. And of course, he's like 20 something. So he never sits back and asks himself, "Yeah. Is this normal? Is this healthy?" Because one, you're invincible, two, you're successful for the first time in your life and you don't want to screw it up. He says, "I had to make this work. If I didn't, I was worthless and I would end up back in Maryland, just like everyone else in my family."
[01:25:07] And he calls this level of hustle, this unhealthy level of hustle. He calls it mixed tape mode. So you're just giving it all to your fans, right? You're like you're selling the mixed tapes out of the back of your car. You're connecting with the fans. You're burning the candle at both ends. Obviously, this is unsustainable and it led to some pretty dark stuff, as you heard on the show. Even with his number one charting album, he was focused a lot on the negative, you know, the negativity on the Internet, getting to him. And it's one of the reasons that he retired so young. That and he was loaded. So there's that $24 million or whatever in the bank account, also plays a little part in that.
[01:25:42] One of the reasons I chose him for this was, what I like about him is that he doesn't use gangster talk or tough talker symbols from gang life in his work. Instead it's peace, love, and prosperity, which is a little corny. But I like that because this is everything his childhood was not peace, love, and prosperity. His childhood was the exact opposite.
[01:26:00] I really hope you enjoyed this conversation. Links to his stuff, including the book will be in the show notes. Please use our website links if you buy things from the guests. That does help support the show. Worksheets for the episodes are in the show notes. Transcripts are in the show notes. There's a video of the interview on our YouTube channel, jordanharbinger.com/youtube. Our clips channel of stuff that doesn't make it to the show, highlights from interviews that you can't see anywhere else is at jordanharbinger.com/clips. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or you can hit me on LinkedIn.
[01:26:30] I'm also teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same systems, software, and tiny habits that I use every single day. That's our Six-Minute Networking course. It's free. Jordanharbinger.com/course is where you can find it. I'm teaching you how to dig the well before you get thirsty. And most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong.
[01:26:52] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for the show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's a fan of Logic, into the music scene, or just needs a story like this in their day, share this episode with them. Hopefully, you find something great in every episode of this show. So please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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