Broadcast journalism alumnus gaining fame as local rap performer
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 16:04
When you first look at Logan Herlihy, he looks like your typical college student. He has a charming personality and makes himself approachable to all with his comedic-like humor. Put Herlihy in front of a mic, and he turns into his rapper pseudonym: Swagga Blanco.
Last Friday, Herlihy took the stage at Café Annie during the 2012 Florida Music Festival. Herlihy had the crowd bobbing their heads to his lyrics of his original tracks and covers of popular hip-hop songs. He lit up the stage with his hype man Chas “Case Closed” Case, a senior history major at UCF, and DJ Pat Coe, a Full Sail University student.
Swagga Blanco is a name that is slowly starting to creep into the Orlando rap scene. Herlihy is a 2011 graduate from the broadcast journalism program at UCF and was also a founding father of the Sigma Pi fraternity. It was not until recently that Herlihy started taking his unique way with words, passion for writing and love for music to a whole new level with the recent release of his album What the Ladies Want on April 20.
Herlihy never thought his funny raps and comedic metaphors would add up to much until he started to see how he progressively became better at it.
Ricky Schools, a 2011 UCF alumnus with a marketing degree, is Herlihy’sHerlihy used some of Schools’ beats and rapped over them. From there, the two started to take the original sounds of their creative hooks and verses and worked on putting out an album that would showcase Herlihy’s talents and skills. Since August, Herlihy and Schools have worked together to get some songs out to the public for people to see the raw talent.
“Being able to take something that’s in your mind, an idea, and have that process come to life [is my favorite part of the whole process],” Herlihy said.
Schools described how he likes working with Herlihy because the journey has been an exciting one to watch come together. Schools is in charge of producing the whole album, mixing everything together for the beats as well as the promotional items and ideas.
“It allows me to just let my creativity shine,” Schools said.
Herlihy, who is a native Floridian, has also lived in several other places including Chicago and Nashville. He said he loves all music, even country. In 2005, Herlihy was featured in the Brooks & Dunn’s music video for their song “Believe.” He has also always had a love for hip hop, recalling listening to Eminem LPs when he was younger. Some of his favorite rappers include Tupac, Talib Kweli, Mase (Welcome Back being one of his favorite albums) and Childish Gambino.
“Hip hop is fun because there is no real set it is targeted at,” Herlihy said.
Herlihy’s persistence was recently acknowledged through his win at the traveling national 2RACKS Rap Competition that took place back in February at Club 57 West in downtown Orlando. Herlihy competed against 26 other rappers where he performed original tracks for five rounds. He beat out all the other 26 artists to claim the title as winner and the prize of $2,000.
Herlihy has a flow that is easy, humorous and witty, which kept the audience Friday night loving his vibes and laughing all night, which is what Herlihy said he aims to do with all his tracks and music.
“I like how he is so energetic and includes the audience,” said Janie Emann, a UCF senior studying health sciences and one of Herlihy’s friends. “It’s fun to watch him and very entertaining.”
Herlihy is looking toward the future trying to compete in battles and performances to get his music out there.
“[In the] long term, I want to get involved in the entertainment business one way or another, whether it’s acting, writing, music or just doing something creative,” Herlihy said.
In the words of Swagga Blanco himself from his second track, “Gotta start somewhere, call this the beginning.”