Label: Def Jam Recordings
Non-Airable Tracks: All
Time is what you make of it, and rightfully so. Anyone can say, “look: I created this from scratch”, and call it art. For an artist to become truly unforgettable in an industry as ever-growing and evolving as hip-hop, they’re going to require some evolution.
“From 19 to 2019 been murdering this shit for a decade…”, he raps on his “YSIV” track from the fourth studio album; a ten year culmination to the classic revival of the bygone “Sinatra” attitude that sparked the RattPack following. Harkening all the way back to his debut mixtape Young, Broke, and Infamous (though some might suggest it be taken even further back to Psychological: The Mixtape – a topic of discussion for another day), YSIV contains 14 tracks that act as a reminiscent look back to his story’s beginning. Each of the tracks elicits feelings of nostalgia, self contemplation and realization, strengthened by the production sound of Logic’s longest friend and partner 6ix, all of which is showcased in the existential train-of-rhyming-thought that focuses on Logic’s trials and tribulations of “Young Sinatra”.
To be recognized in this dog-eat-dog industry, you’re better off being a stain in the game: a mark that, whether you like it or not, is here to stay. That’s exactly how Logic is. He is still the same guy. Ain’t shit changed but the address, shout out to Curren$y, it’s nice to see that thisr album seemingly brings everything to fruition. Logic’s first ever track was named “Stain in the Game”, and uses beats reminiscent of the era he started rapping in. Friday Night Lights inspired sounds on “Last Call”, where the name in and of itself shouts out Kanye West, and how his carbon footprint affected Logic then, as well as now as he raps, “I’m the new Kanye…”, on “Thank You”. These effects can be seen in Logic making a name for himself in his rapping finesse, alongside such greats like Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, J.Cole, the late-but-never-forgotten emcee Mac Miller, and countless others making a splash on the inter-webs at the same time as Logic’s come up.
Perhaps the greatest defining aspect to come out of all this were those fans who rode the caught wave of their favorite artists and who have since become the most die hard of followers. But how is it that after all of this time, Logic can still garner excitement for a persona that was a result of his early mixtape days? Well, as one of the tracks on YSIV suggests, “Legacy”, Logic questions the hypotheticals and “what-ifs” in his upcoming as a successful rapper, and imposes the idea of accepting that change is inevitable, and in turn, evolving as an artist over time while remaining that same guy he was at the start.
Otherwise known as the “boom-bap”, the defining sound of early 90’s rap that inspired the Young Sinatra takeover, Logic succeeds in making practice into perfection his bitch. From the start, he has progressively perfected his craft with every new release. This progressive, decade-long evolution speaks for itself in his opening track “Thank You”, wherein he raps, “… from the trap to the boom-bap to Young Sinatra to Tarantino we know he do that”.
But I’m not going to say that this is Logic’s finest piece of work out of his entire discography thus far. Similarly, I’m not going to say it’s the worst either. What I will say about the album is that it’s good, and that’s saying a lot considering the content addressed. If you’re like me and have been by Bobby’s side since his mixtape days, then you’ll probably lose it when you hear some of the premier tracks on the album. Following the introductory track “Thank You”, Logic reminds those who have been following him why he has earned respect in the first place, and thanking those who have been by his side since day one. Transitioning into the “boom-bap” and meat and potatoes of the album involves a retrospective look back on the struggles of being an underground rapper who accumulated success by utilizing his own personal experiences of struggle as a canvas to paint a picture to the masses. “The Return” has a catchy hook that harkens back to Young Sinatra: Undeniable, wherein he raps, “I get up when I’m down, had enough almost drowned. When shit rough, I get tough, and when I’m beaten to the ground I get up!”, which originated off of “Dear God”, a lyric forever cemented in my mind.
A majority of what makes Logic’s album stand amongst the rest of his discography is what made him great in the first place; his lyrical prowess and ability to rap nonchalantly from one subject to the next in minimal breaths. Take for instance “100 Miles and Runnin’”, where Logic and Wale take it back, I mean way, way back, to music that one would hear if they were on the dance floor back when DJ’s started scratching. Top that with Busta Rhymes style spitting and ad-lib commentary creates a genuine connection with Logic and the audience as if they were in the studio watching this all go down. Comparing this with the heartfelt messages expressed in tracks like “YSIV” , and “Legacy” creates a mix of the party tracks and conscious raps that Logic is so fond of. If we exclude the commentary that makes it seem like the ego is being stroked a bit too much, like on the Kanye West inspired “Last Call” and the 7 minute long commentary of fans expressing their love of Logic, (which doesn’t include my call but it’s fine I’ll live), then what is left is something that won’t be forgotten amongst the rest of his albums.
Only time will tell if this album will go down as a classic like his freshman album Under Pressure or The Incredible True Story, but one thing is for sure: Old School Logic is back on this one! Logic wanted to include everyone in his 10 year magnum opus that is Young Sinatra, and in doing so he leaves a message for those following their dreams, “I’m wishing all your dreams come true… ‘cause mine did”. An inspirational message from a rapper who has, and still continues, to inspire millions to make their dreams a reality.
Sounds Like: Old School Logic!!
3. The Return (4:12)
9. YSIV (6:09)
10. Street Dreams II (4:26)
12. Legacy (5:52)
Reviewer’s Name: Maximilian Serventi
Date of Review: 10/09/2018