Logic, the Grammy-nominated musician best known for his suicide awareness anthem “1-800-273-8255,” might not be the stand-up guy the track has led many to believe. Apparently the rapper posed as a teenager while shooting his “Super Mario World” music video back in 2016 to save a few bucks on location cost—an oil tanker run by a nonprofit organization. Yup.
Logic and his team told Mary A. Whalen, of the community outreach and educational nonprofit Portside New York responsible for the tanker, they were a group of high schoolers that wanted to film a music video. Logic and Whalen came to a verbal agreement for the shoot—Whalen even exchanged emails with Logic’s videographer to solidify that this was for a high school film project, not a major label rap video.
According to IndieWire, Whalen only recently discovered Logic’s identity when a neighbor’s son showed her the video that now has over 10 million views. Whalen didn’t recognize the rapper back in 2o15 (who could blame her?) and believed him when his crew presented themselves as local high schoolers, charging them a discounted high school rate ($1,000) to shoot. The professional usage rate would’ve been $5,000 (half a day) or $10,000 (full day) for shooting.
After Whalen discovered Logic’s real identity, she asked for a $5,000 donation—the price Logic and his label Def Jam should’ve paid for the original shoot. Harrison Remler, one of Logic’s managers, said they’d get the funds to her in December 2016, but Whalen says that she hasn’t heard from Remler in a year, since their initial and only exchange. She’s reached out to his team and label and has yet to hear back.
Falsely presenting yourself is bad; falsely presenting yourself to a nonprofit to save a few thousands dollars is gross; failing to respond to efforts by said nonprofit who only request proper compensation is reprehensible. There’s no excuse for a Grammy-nominated artist (or their record label!) to fail to donate $5,000 to an organization they misled.
The moral of the story is: If you’re ever asked by a group of teenagers to shoot a music video, make sure they aren’t funded by a million dollar record label, who are trying to save a few bucks. Ugh.