Logic is no stranger to world-building and committing to very out-there extended narrative concepts for his albums. As resident nerd rapper of his generation, it’s become his specialty: He’s previously released projects that fuse his passion for anime, music, Quentin Tarantino, time travel, sci-fi, and evolution, among other cerebral rabbit holes he’s gone down before somehow landing on his biggest hit in 2017’s suicide-prevention anthem (titled after the lifeline’s phone number). So it was really only a matter of time before he took the leap into the publishing world.
Today, Logic releases his debut novel, Supermarket, under his legal name, Bobby Hall. A mind-bending thriller, it follows a down-on-his-luck guy named Flynn who’s recently been dumped and whose life only further unravels when his grocery-store day job puts him at the center of a murder scene where he might just be the killer. The sinister reality of what actually went down at the store becomes all the more hazy the deeper the dark comedy digs into Flynn’s unreliable mind.
So did Flynn do it? In this exclusive excerpt from the audiobook, narrated by Logic himself, hear him struggle to face the truth; you can also read the excerpt directly below the clip.
So this is how it feels to take a man’s life, forced to kill for one’s own survival. I look down at the puddle of blood by my feet, locking eyes with my own reflection. Fluorescent lights flickered overhead. How did I get here? I was just the dude who worked at a grocery store. Now here I was, standing over a man I murdered. I guess in that moment it was attempted murder. He was still desperately gasping for air, sucking in his last breaths. But there was no doubt about it: He was dying a violent death and experiencing every moment of it.
In the mornings when I left my apartment for work, sometimes I would hold the elevator door for Mrs. Huffle. She was a sweet woman in her 70s. Say the elevator stopped and some sick game began where only one of us could leave the box alive, would she kill me to survive? Would she have it in her to pull the trigger and meet her friend Dolores in time for brunch? Man, I think about shit like that all the time — too much, I suppose. The funny part is, I always thought of myself as such a good guy, you know? Someone who would do anything to avoid confrontation. What the fuck happened? This wasn’t me. But none of this was as it seemed to be, quite honestly.
The blood on my hands smelled metallic. It reminded me of when my uncle would work on his truck. I must’ve been three years old. You know when you smell something and it takes you back in an instant? Back to a memory as vivid as the voice you’re listening to this very moment, even though you haven’t thought about it since your brain shelved it decades ago.
I was brought back to reality by the feeling of blood crawling down my forearms. It dripped onto the floor from my fingertips like a faucet when a child doesn’t shut it off after brushing their teeth. It was thick like maple syrup but not sticky — more like red coffee creamer.
Planting my knee on the ground, I reached into the pocket of the dying man’s button down. I took out his pack of cigarettes and silver Zippo. I forced a few cigs from the pack with an upward jolt, snatching one with my lips so I didn’t stain the butt with blood.
The man was wheezing now, inhaling in intervals like someone heaving during a nightmare. Maybe that’s just what this was — a nightmare. I mean, to be honest, none of it felt real except for the blinding pain from the open wound on my head. And that’s when he spoke.
“Flynn, you were doing so well.”
Bubbles popped from from his blood-covered lips. Flicking the lid of the Zippo, I tried to light my cigarette to no avail.
“Mhm, ” I muttered as I struck it again, this time igniting the cigarette.
I noticed the words “vanilla sky” engraved at the top of the lighter. This immediately made me think of the Paul McCartney song. I brought my cigarette to the man’s lips.
“There you go,” I said, “now puff.”
I could hear sirens and fire trucks in the distance. The blood from his lips stained the butt of the cigarette like a single mother driving an Astro van in the early 1990s, picking up her fifth grade son from soccer practice with that poofy hair and shoulder pad look. You know the one.
“This is all Lola’s fault, you know?” he said.
“I know,” I said.
He laughed until the pain in his chest forced out a groan, reminding us both of the whole dying thing happening.
“Flynn, what’s … what’s my … my … last na–?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I told you that already.”
“Flynn, did we have fun?” he asked.
“You ruined my life.”
In addition to the prose, Logic has also released a companion soundtrack to the novel — in collaboration with Mac DeMarco and recorded with a live band — for an unexpected new guitar-driven sound inspired by the book. “I wanted to use my novel as an opportunity to challenge myself musically diving into a completely new genre,” he said in a statement. (Instrumental excerpts from the soundtrack also appear throughout the audiobook.) And if all that’s still not enough, Logic will next release yet another new album, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, coming “soon.”