Immediately following Logic’s second studio album from 2015, The Incredible True Story, Charlemagne tha God said that the Maryland rapper had raw talent but needed to develop his own sound still. This was the consensus for most people. While I agree Logic is a very talented rapper and wordsmith, he still sounded a lot like Drake or Kendrick both vocally and sonically.
After the cinematic experience he created with his previous album, Logic takes a more socially conscious route on his third project, Everybody. Personally, I felt like Logic was improving and developing his skills consistently, and I thought that Everybody would be his huge breakthrough, where he would go from talented underdog to hip hop’s newest superstar. Sadly, I felt like he took a step back on his newest installment.
Trust me, I’ve been rooting for this guy since his Young Sinatra mix-tapes. After flying under the radar for seven years, I desperately wanted him to prove people wrong on his newest album. Instead, the product seemed pretentious and severely underwhelming. From the beginning, Logic makes it clear that race and equality are the two major topics he will tackle. Growing up with the race of half black and half white in a very dangerous household, Logic definitely brings up themes that are important in today’s society. The problem though is he shoves his message in our faces without leaving much room for our own interpretation.
Logic actually starts off the the album pretty well, with melodic background vocals and lyrics about how God has painted his image on “Hallelujah.” I would say this track is more philosophical than religious, especially since there is a little skit at the end where an African American dies in a car crash and speaks to God about what the meaning of life is. He really does love incorporating dialogue in his albums.
While I like the production on his second song “Everybody,” I find the second verse to be kind of whiny and contradicting. The entire verse is him discussing his mixed race with lines like, “my blood is the slave and the master, it’s like the devil playing spades with the pastor.” Logic feels the need to address people misunderstanding him but yet says at the end of this song, “everyone wants to talk about race this race that, I wish I could erase that face facts.” He should not care what people think about him, and he’s trying hard not to on this album.
He improves a bit on the next single, “Confess” with Killer Mike, and once again the layered production is the highlight. Logic however drops the ball a bit vocally as nothing stands out lyrically, and his flows are very repetitive. Killer Mike has this preachy verse at the end that’s very inspiring making up for the lackluster four minutes prior to that.
On “Killing Spree,” Logic discusses the idea that people live their lives through cell phones rather than doing anything that can change the world. While I like the theme, he’s too straightforward with his lyrics, and he sounds very corny. At least this song was shorter. “Take it Back” has a killer beat, and once again he brings race and how people’s opinions have developed over the years. Here’s my problem though, two minutes of the song is Logic rapping, while the other four is him telling us his perseverance story. While it’s inspiring, why talk over a beat when you can just rap about your story?
“America” featuring Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, and No I.D. was the best track on this project. Logic raps about politics and the state of our country over a Public Enemy style beat. Chuck D brings his verse about Flint, Michigan, and Logic actually sounds better here.
As far as the rest of the album goes, I’m very mixed. “Ink Blot” is terrible because it has nothing to do with the theme, and Juicy J is just a goofball. “Mos Definitely” however sounds like vintage Logic where he raps about how beautiful every race is once again. “Waiting Room” is annoying because it’s a five minute philosophical skit that no one wants to listen to. While the suicide hotline song is inspirational and touching, the lyrics are shallow and way too straightforward. Alessia Cara actually sounds really nice on the song, but the hook is not intelligent.
“Anziety” featuring Lucy Rose is an interesting perspective from Logic on the issue of anxiety and how he has to deal with it, but again he raps for three minutes then gives a speech for the other three minutes. Why not just put that speech in rap form? Shockingly, the last two songs “Black Spiderman,” and “AfricAryaN” talk about race and how it effects people. The final song is twelve minutes long and has Logic stating that his next album (spoiler alert) will be his last.
I think we need more rappers like Logic. Artists should speak out against injustices in our world. While the intentions were good, I have to judge this album based off of the music. For me, there are some highlights on this project, but ultimately Logic is way too straightforward and brings minimal layers to each song. Yes, he’s developed his own voice finally, but it was at the the cost of his rapping at times. He’s a good motivational speaker, and if his next album is indeed his last, he’ll probably still be a force in the community. As far as his musical ability though, there is still room for improvement.