The Incredible True Story of Steve and Logic
Logic Performing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison Colorado
Steve and Logic (Bobby) at New York Comic Con
Steve and Logic on the Video shoot for the trailer and vignettes for the announce of “The Incredible True Story” album
I remember the first time we met we had steak & cheese, it was awesome. It’s been amazing working with him. You have to understand when I was 11 years old watching Cowboy Bebop, that was my everything. Everybody asks me “How’d you get into Hip Hop?” and I say “Tarantino…Kill Bill”, because RZA from Wu Tang Clan scored the film, and that’s where I discovered RZA, and I discovered Hip Hop because of that.
With this album, The Incredible True Story, I asked “What inspired me to be a creative?” and at the end of the day it was Steve Blum’s voice.
I got into Hip hop and yet I still loved Anime. I still loved all this super-nerdy stuff that I was told NOT to like because I was in Hip Hop, but I persevered through all that.
One day I came across a documentary called “I Know that Voice” and in it were some of my favorite voice actors, and then as soon as Steve Blum came on I was like “Oh my God that’s Spike Spiegel!”, and then Steve said at one point “You know, this is just a job, anybody can hire you” and I was like “WHAT?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”.
I’d always had this crazy idea “How fun would it be to do a Sci-Fi Album?”. So I contacted my Manager and said “Hey can you contact his Agency?” and before I knew it we were talking via email, then we were texting, then we were talking on the phone, then one day we agreed to meet. The first thing he said was “I know that face” and he said it in that voice and I was like “Oh my God Spike just said he knows me!” It was amazing, and then he shook my hand and gave me a signed script from the Episode “Toys in the Attic” signed by every member of the cast. It was awesome.
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One minor correction… It was steak and cheese sandwiches. As in drippy, dumpy diner delicious Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches. Just wanted to start by saying how sweet, normal and unpretentious Bobby is. Our first meeting was in a humble neighborhood grub joint. He introduced himself as Bobby. No crew, no hype, no superstar BS. Simply Bobby. Just a decent, warm, wickedly funny, intelligent, young man.
So a little backstory… he contacted me through my Agency just before the release of Under Pressure. My Agent calls and says “There’s this 25 year old Rap Artist who’s interested in meeting with you and I said “What? Why is he interested in meeting with me?” and she said “I don’t know but he’s really nice and it sounds like he’s very popular – I looked him up and he’s got a big following and he’s interested in having you do something on his album,” and I said “O…kaaay, I guess I’ll go meet with him.” I trust my agent (Arlene Thornton) and if she thinks something is a good idea, I do it.
He happened to live very close to me, I was living in Tarzana at the time, I had a house out there and Bobby had a house 10 minutes away (walking distance!), so we met, had a sandwich together and talked, and I just fell in love with this guy. He was 25 years old, bright, articulate, worldly, passionate, hilarious, humble and had an incredible vision of what he wanted to do, and he knew exactly who he was. The first thing he said to me was “Just so you know I talk about peace, love and positivity and it’s not a weird thing, it’s not a cult thing, it’s my credo – its what I live by, I open every concert by saying that, and I just want you to know up front that it’s not a weird thing so don’t be weirded out by it, cause you’re gonna hear it a lot.” I said “Ok, no problem, no problem, but now you’ve got my curiosity peaked, what are you working on here, and what do you want me to do?”
Steve and Logic on set of the “Everyday” Music Video (Bobby Tarantino II album)
Logic Performing Live at the Grammys with Alessia Cara and Khalid
He invites me over to his house, he’d just moved to LA and he had this big, beautiful place that he was renting, so I go into this gigantic mansion and it’s pretty much empty. He’s got a couple of dudes sitting around. Lenbo, “Big Lenny” was sitting there with a computer on his lap and he was like “Wassup,” and a couple of his other friends were there and I’m like “What am I walking into here, this is crazy!” We went into his office, which was the only thing in the house he had set up. He’s got video games everywhere, and as I’m tripping my way into his office, I see he’s got Akira projected on the wall, and around the room and he’s got Bebop and other anime paraphernalia, and I’m like “Oh! this guy’s a gamer and an Anime guy AND he’s a Rap Artist? Really?” and then he starts telling me his story about how he grew up in Maryland, in kind of a gangland situation, his brothers and sisters were hanging with gangsters and his mom and dad had all kinds of issues going on, and it was a dangerous life growing up, and the thing that gave him solace and kept him sane was video games and Anime. He told me he was a huge Bebop fan, and he said “Dude I wouldn’t be doing this without you and I just want you to be part of what I’m doing next” and I’m like “Are you serious?” I just couldn’t believe it. He then says “I know I’m different, I know I’m unique, I’m half white and half black and I don’t define myself by either one of those things, I love Anime and I love Rap and Hip Hop and I’ve got friends in both of those worlds but nobody will talk to each other and I want to bring those communities together, I want Hip Hop fans to feel comfortable talking about their nerd-dom and the Anime and video game world and vice versa – I want the Anime fans who might feel uncomfortable talking about their love of Hip-Hop to be able to have those conversations and put on a costume and go to a Con and have a great time.” Fascinated, I said “ok you got me dude, lets do this, I don’t know what you have in mind but I’m in, I’m absolutely in”. And at that point, I felt like I was adopting him as my instant family. I can’t remember ever meeting someone I liked and respected so much so quickly. He’s the age of one of my sons, my middle son, and I call him my little brother, and I just wanted to hang out with him at that point, I didn’t care what we did!
Steve and Big Lenbo on the “Take It Back” Music Video Set
Bobby & Bobby in studio
Our own Brandon Blum made it into the “Take it Back” video too!
After that meeting, he told me he wrote ALL of the dialogue between Thomas and Kai and Thalia THAT NIGHT for the Incredible True Story album, and he called me about a week later and said “Dude I got some copy for ya – do you mind trying it out?” I had him come over to my home recording studio, and we went into my little tiny closet of a studio and we started recording. He brought his engineer Bobby Campbell (Amazingly gifted, wonderful guy – we’ve bonded as brothers – with all the ridiculousness that implies) and Kevin Randolph, who plays Kai on the album who also happens to be a master musician and producer for Def Jam Records. Also an insanely humble genius – who became instant family. LOVE that guy!! Kevin had never done voiceover before. I purposely brought him into the booth with me and I said “I hope you’re not uncomfortable with another man this close” and Kevin politely said “Noooo!” (Trust me, it was tight in there!) but it brought us really close. It just worked for the characters’ comfortability and camaraderie that you hear on the album, we played through it.
They took those tracks with them and I didn’t hear them again until they were mixed into the album.
After that I got to go to the set where we shot the video trailer and cinematic elements for the Incredible True Story.
Steve and Logic have overcome huge obstacles in their lives to be able to fully express themselves creatively. Conquering self-doubt, feeling good in your own skin, taking risks and building confidence are just some of the critical elements you need to be successful as a person and as an artist. Steve teaches these concepts as the cornerstone of his Voiceover classes right here at Blumvox Studios. Click below for more information.
Steve and Kevin Randolph in the “Batcave” – Logic’s studio recording for the “Everybody” Album
Bobby Campbell and Steve on the set of “Everyday” music video shoot
The address that they’d given me for the shoot was incredibly familiar. When I reached the property, I realized it was Magnitude 8, the post-production facility where I’d recorded VO for Ghost in the Shell, Akira, Wolfs Reign, Big O and a ton of other classic Anime. Just through the doors of this facility were the film stages where they had a bunch of spaceship sets on the stage. It all just happened to be in the same facility. I asked Bobby “Do you know where we are?” and he was like “We’re at a cool soundstage with some spaceships and stuff and we’re gonna use them in the videos” and I said “No this is where all your favorite shows were recorded! This is where we recorded Akira!” and he said “No you didn’t!” So while his crew is setting up lights and sets and cameras I said ‘Dude, come with me!” I knew the owners of the place – Les and Mary Claypool – the same people who’d been running it from back in the day when we were recording there, and I took Bobby room to room and said “We recorded Big O right here”, and “We recorded Akira right here”, “and Metropolis in this room”. We walked around and I showed him the posters on the wall and his mind was blown, and we both just KNEW that the Universe had brought us together for some reason.
Since then, we’ve been to New York Comic Con a couple of times together. He did his very first Panel for (my typical audience of) Anime and pop culture fans to see what would happen. His fans from the Hip Hop world were streaming in and everybody was looking at each other kinda weird at first. That panel was like watching the old Reeses peanut butter cup commercials where chocolate and peanut butter were mixing for the first time and the combination was amazing. Bobby’s dream was being realized right in front of our eyes. People in full cosplay talking about their secret love of hip hop and vice versa! Now they’re all one giant family, united by peace, love and positivity. It was evident at every show on that tour. He’s now become one of my dearest friends, he and his entire crew, we’re really close. Bobby actually plays D&D with us. It’s crazy right? Here’s this hardcore rapper who plays Dungeons and Dragons, and I’m so proud of that.
Steve and Kevin Randolph at NYCC
Dungeons and Dragons! Bobby lets his nerd flag fly!
“B*tches love the Rubiks Cube”- Kevin Randolph as Kai
Yep, I wrote this script, we went to his studio – Blumvox Studios – and he and the other gentleman Kevin Randolph voiced these characters. These two regular guys in the future having conversations about women, and money, and families, and hip hop, and music, and the future (their present) WHILE listening to a throwback hip-hop album, no big thing. I was never like “Yo it’s Aliens and Gazarpazon 7”, this album’s not like that at all, it’s just good Hip-Hop with amazing talent driving the whole core. Without Steve it doesn’t matter.
Our friendship is easy and organic. I often talk about how good a person Bobby is. I’m lucky. At this point in my career I sometimes get to choose who I work with, and I like to choose people that I vibe with, people that I feel are living life in the right way. “Peace, love and positivity” was the first thing Bobby talked to me about, and I share that vision with him. Along with so many other values that he’d expressed, like personal empowerment, never giving up on the quest for your own personal joy, health and creative expression. Then of course the MONSTER talent he is – is just icing on the cake.
Can’t wait to see what my little brother does next.
Steve and Bobby on set of the “Take it Back” music video