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Local rapper Illogic hopes to ‘capture’ rap scene

Courtesy of Dan Friedman

This is part of our weekly series titled “Columbus’ Own,” where we profile a local band every week.

When Jawhar Glass’ middle school girlfriend would call him illogical, she didn’t think it would turn into a name that would stick with him for years to come.  

“I came up with (the name) Illogic cause at the time I was in middle school, and I had a girlfriend and she would always tell me how illogical I was and I thought illogic sounded pretty cool,” the rapper said.

When he’s not at home in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and children, Glass can be found perfecting his rap music.

Since childhood, Glass had his heart set on becoming a musician. Writing his first rhyme at age nine, Glass received his inspiration from the rock and soul music his parents would listen to on Saturday mornings. 

“I was always into music in general and just growing up watching MTV. I just loved the music, and I was already writing short stories and just writing poems, so that’s how I got started with the whole thing,” Glass said.

In 1997, Glass said he won the Ohio Hip Hop Expo MC Battle, at 17 years old, where he met people in the industry and became engrossed with the local rap scene. 

“I just tried to write rhymes and I got pretty good at it after a while, and when I was in high school, I would organize battles, and I would get into battles here (in Columbus),” Glass said. 

Glass recently finished working on a new album, “Capture the Sun,” which is scheduled for release on April 16. The album was part of a collaboration with producer Tony Simon, also known as “Blockhead.” The duo had previously worked on two EPs together.

“I was trying to figure out whose production style would best fit my idea I had in my head, and Blockhead was the perfect fit and I just sent him an email asking him if he wanted to work on the record, and here we are three years later,” Glass said.

Simon said he worked hard to come up with beats that would fit Glass’ ideas for his new album.

“My role as being the producer was making the tracks and sequencing stuff and making sure everything needs to be where it is,” Simon said. “It was more of Illogic’s vision. He had everything in mind before the project started getting made.” 

Glass’ inspiration for the album came from his late grandmother.

“The idea for ‘Capture the Sun’ was inspired by something my grandmother would tell me: ‘Capturing the sun is impossible, but it’s something that if you continue to work at and go after your dreams, they can be attainable if you work hard,'” he said. 

Glass said his inspiration also comes from his wife.

“She’s a very hardworking woman, and she’s been through a lot of things in her life, as well as I, and she continues to push,” he said. 

After listening to some clips from “Capture the Sun,” Sarah Lautenbach, a fourth-year in psychology, said she enjoyed the vibe of the music.

“I don’t normally listen to rap music, but I can imagine myself listening to this while I’m driving on a hot summer day with the windows down,” Lautenbach said.

Since “Capture the Sun” has not been released yet, Glass and Simon haven’t received much feedback.

“The videos we put out, the songs people have heard – the response from that has been really good, so I feel pretty excited about our collaboration as a whole. I haven’t heard much negativity on the Internet yet, so that’s something,” Glass said. 

Varun Ramanujam, a fourth-year in communication, said the rapper’s music agrees with his name.

“I don’t know, it just kind of sounds unorganized,” Ramanujam said. “I don’t really like it. But it’s pretty cool that somebody from Westerville is actually on iTunes.”

Glass offered some advice for young rappers aspiring to be successful in the business.

“If you’re good then keep going, if you’re not then stop. That’s the basic thing, because hip-hop is so saturated with bad rappers, even some of the richest rappers are some of the worst,” Glass said. 

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