Logic’s highly anticipated debut was finally released on October 21st. While he’s popular amongst his #RattPack following the No I.D. executive produced Under Pressure was an introduction to Young Sinatra for many. The legendary producer courted the 24 year old Gaithersburg, MD native over to Def Jam Records after he sat him down and let him know that he was going to be one of the leaders of the “second renaissance” of hip hop, along with names like Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and J. Cole.
Under Pressure starts off assuringly. It’s second track, “Soul Food” was one of the album’s shining moments. Logic bodies the song with an amazing first verse before a smooth beat switch. From the gate you’ll learn that the seemingly safe emcee is more than that. His childhood was plagued with drug dealing, drug abuse, and domestic violence amongst his family members.
Crack, cooking where my sister be frying soul food
Plus my other sister just went back to her old dude
He whoopin’ her ass, I kill him, I kill him, I motherfucking kill him
I said I really want to kill him, but I can’t
Cause if I do po po gon’ claim I’m the villain, but I ain’t
– Logic, Soul Food
But let’s not dodge the underlying reason why this one stands out. The production is immaculate. The drums are crisp. The sample is gorgeous. The progression is cinematic. All of this is just the first part of the song before the beat switches up into something a bit darker, but just as pleasing.
The same can be said about the entire album. Most of the album’s production was handled by 6ix and Logic himself. Something needs to be said about the rapper’s ability to produce so well. If I may, I will call it the best produced/engineered album I’ve heard in a long time, which is a point that a lot of artists miss. That attention to detail gives a certain life to the music that brings something out of the listener.
“Under Pressure,” another standout from the album, is another song that manages to do this. Logic’s two-faced lead single features the famous rapper we know flexing on the first half before he turns into the boy named Bobby that his family and friends know. The production is enough to make this one a favorite, but Logic doesn’t slack either as he stacks thought provoking bars and double time flows all into one record. The second part features him spitting from the perspective of his family members over a toned down beat that reminds us of something we’ve heard in the past.
The constant similarities to Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid Maad City, and Logic himself reminding us of so many other contemporary rappers is one of those points that puts you on the fence. Logic acknowledges that his music is directly influenced by artists of the past and present, but to what extent is this cool? Literally sounding like J. Cole from his early mixtapes, literally having a song that sounds exactly like Kendrick Lamar’s “Sing About Me“, using Drake-inspired melodies. A lot of rappers would succumb to the copycat label if they did some of the things Logic did on this album.
All in all, Logic did put together a nice album. Sonically, one of the best this year. Beyond that? While it has replay value because it sounds so good, we don’t take much away from this one. Not to be too hard on him, but when No I.D. groups you with today’s elite you have to show and prove. All of the names he’s compared to standout because the have a unique style about. Logic just seems to be able to do what they all do really love well, but doesn’t haven’t any style that he can call his. His bars, while stacked with a lot of words – can be dissected and you’ll see that not much was actually said.