Hip-hop artist Loose Logic's musical career began in jest. When the Orange County native recorded and released his first song, "The O.C. Anthem," as a high school senior, he wasn't expecting much of a reaction.
But soon after, he found out people all over the county were downloading his music and decided to turn his inadvertent hit into a serious career.
"It was basically a joke, but people liked it," the 22-year-old said. "So I started making songs in my bedroom."
Since then, Loose Logic — whose real name is Ian Westbrook — has been busy writing and performing conscious hip-hop, a subgenre of hip-hop that centers on social issues. He's released two albums, most recently "One Story" in 2004.
After being nominated as the 2006 Orange County Music Awards' best hip-hop artist and performing at clubs throughout Orange County and Los Angeles — including the House of Blues in Anaheim and B.B. King's Blues Club in Universal City — Loose Logic has earned local recognition.
On Saturday night, he'll perform at Club Roc in Costa Mesa.
Loose Logic will sing and rap over his records, which contain both "real music" — he plays guitar and piano — and electronic beats.
Though the music he makes is best categorized as rap and hip-hop, Loose Logic's love for music is wide-ranging. With a blues-loving father and plenty of friends who listen to rock 'n' roll, his influences include Muddy Waters and U2, as well as 2Pac and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
"Once I started making music, I realized this genre came from somewhere," Loose Logic said. "I have to understand other types of music to excel in my art."
Besides having a variety of influences, Loose Logic tries to distinguish his music from mainstream rap and hip-hop by focusing on people's emotions, including his own.
Though he doesn't take on political issues, he does write about social issues, such as poverty and gang-related violence.
"I'm not talking about how rich I am or how I'm a thug or any of that stuff," he said. "I talk about what's going on in the world and my own life."
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Loose Logic show
WHERE: Club Roc, 1700 Placentia Ave., Costa Mesa
WHEN: 10:30 p.m. Saturday