It seems Ive been set on a path to work backwards through each of American rapper Logic's yearly releases, this being his third album and his first to debut in the stop spot on billboard charts. Its as convincing as the Bobby Tarantino II mixtape, a bright, energetic album full of charisma and energy emanating from the talented MC who handles a fair amount of production with his own beats on this equally enjoyable record. It doesn't have a lot to separate it from the mixtape format other than being a little more consistent with its theme and topic.
Logic, his long time collaborator 6ix and a handful of others forge a fine selection of flowing modern beats with a healthy mix of sampling, programming and trap influenced beats, as well as a couple of pop rap tracks for the radio. They set a fine stage for the raps which totally dominate the tone with a ton of food for thought. Through story telling, point making and generally speaking his mind. Logic tackles these personal problems and criticisms head on in a very upfront, straightforward and unapologetic way. These topics are heavily focused around racism and how we as people treat one another in this society.
It can be problematic how self involved in a progressive politcal world view he is. At times the lyrics can be naive and lack nuance and certainly walk down a very entrenched path but for me the message is clear, between many of his narratives he reinforces the message of love and compassion for one another. This endearing warmth goes a long way and although his lyrical content isn't as issue for me I could see it being divisive for others who may have a different world view.
Take It Back is a mighty track, Logic engaging us with his technical delivery over a very repetitive beat that becomes hypnotic as he reminds us to take it way way back. Its a powerful song, Logic having to defend the perception of his racial identity in the face of criticism. He walks us through his life's struggles and how it relates to a much larger picture. Other features make a large mark on the record too, the inclusion of Neil Degrasse Tyson in interludes adds this fantastic layer of thought to the nature of meaning and existence. He also brings legends Killer Mike and Chuck D to the album.
Overall its a fantastic yet flawed album mixing a handful of ideas in the pot that doesnt quite formulate into a coherent vision yet forges some fantastic musical moments and plenty of food for thought. The most endearing aspect is the character of Logic himself, through all you can hear an honest and kind hearted person, it goes a long way to make the album feel less weighed down by its subject matter and lifted by the beats and inspiration.
Favorite Tracks: Hallelujah, Everybody, Take It Back, America