I’m Back!…also here’s an album review

Hey everyone! Remember me? I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I really had to put all of my energy into finishing this past semester so that I can be one step closer to graduating.

post college
…and one step closer to being a real adult….

ANYWAY, I know that you guys have been waiting for my takes on some of the music that has dropped recently so I will be back in full force in the future. In fact I’m going to start now with a review that you guys (those of you who you follow me on Twitter, anyway) asked for. So here’s my review of Logic’s latest LP, Everybody.

errybody

I’ve been a fan of Logic since about 2014 . I heard some buzz about him, and heard the collaboration that he had with Childish Gambino, and at that point I thought he was okay, but I wasn’t sold on him. But then I saw his amazing freestyle on the cypher on BET’s Hip- Hop awards and I was sold. I got his debut album Under Pressure and I loved it. I had high hopes for the young MC and the direction his music would take. When he dropped his second album The Incredible True Story, I was still super into it. I didn’t find it as good as the first album, but I could still listen to it and enjoy it for the most part. The narrative was a little sloppy, but I enjoyed what he was trying to do, and the fact that he used Steve Blum (who is the voice of Spike Spiegel, Mugen, Tom from Toonami and countless others). I was super excited for this third album to drop, hoping that it would be a sort of return to he style that he gave us in Under Pressure, and not a step in the direction that The Amazing True Story was going in. That is not what I got.

But it wasn’t just terrible either! I don’t think I’ve ever been so conflicted in regards to my feelings on a particular piece of art before. In an effort to help you understand why I’m so torn I’m going to talk about all the things that I liked about Everybody, and then talk about what I hated about it.

The Dope Shit

From the first track to the last the production is amazing. There isn’t a single song on this album that I didn’t groove to at least a little bit. This album definitely knocks sonically speaking. Another thing that I like about this album is that Logic speaks a great deal about his experiences and struggles with his identity as a biracial person, specifically as someone who identifies with black culture, but is seen as a white person.

again
Again?!

Look I know what you’re thinking, and trust me I get it. In fact initially that was one of things I hated about this album, but then I did some thinking on it and I realized that it’s kind of dumb for us to hate on Logic for expressing himself and sharing his experiences with us. I mean that should be exactly what we want and expect from artists. Not only does it humanize the artists for us, but it ensures that there is some substance and depth to the music that they’re creating. On top of all of that, it’s not as if Logic is sharing a perspective that we’re overly familiar with. Sure we’ve had a multitude of mixed MC’s, but none of them have really explored what it’s like to identify as white and black, and be constantly rejected by both sides everyday of your life. It’s honestly a story worth telling, and if it were mine I’d make sure that people understood all the nuances of it too.

Though it wasn’t exactly on par with Under Pressure, this album had some of the same ferocious flows that made me a fan of logic in the first place. He’s always displayed a knack for being agile on the mic and on 11/13 tracks he was spitting so fast that my ears could barely keep up. I can’t stress it enough, from purely rapping perspective these songs are really good. I particularly enjoyed Ink Blot, a song that had a little bit of back and forth between Logic and Juicy J (and when I say a little bit I mean it. The song is only 2:36 long and they only rap for about 50 seconds of it). Another high point of the album is 1-800-273-8255, which is the title of a song dealing with suicidal thoughts and suicide prevention. The title of the song is the actual suicide prevention hotline, and while the song isn’t perfect in it’s execution, ( it has this corny part during the hook where Logic yells “who can relate?! WHOO!” and it kind of ruins the gravity of the song) it’s admirable to see a rapper discuss these types of things. Especially since mental health is rarely discussed in the Hip – Hop scene. Also it’s just a catchy song that’s easy to sing along to.  I enjoy part of the song Anziety (more on that soon), part of Way Back, and the majority of AfricAryaN.

spoilers
If you haven’t already listened to this album just go ahead and skip ahead to the stuff I don’t like to avoid having something ruined for you.

Speaking of AfricAryaN the best part of it, in my humble opinion, was J.Cole’s hidden verse at the end of the song. In the verse it seemed like Cole was speaking to Logic about dealing with his identity as a biracial person (J.Cole is also biracial). This is great because lately Logic has been criticized for reminding us that he’s mixed every chance that he gets. This verse from Cole assures us as listeners that the identity struggle that Logic seems to be constantly talking about is a real thing that others of mixed ancestry deal with. He also gives advice to Logic on how to love himself regardless of what people think or say he is and not to focus on identity politics so much. That in itself was cool because it shows that Logic is aware that people may be tired of hearing about it and might be a sign that after this album he won’t talk about it anymore.

The Not So Dope Shit

This album was supposed to be a concept album with Neil Degrasse Tyson playing the role of God. What we got instead was a Logic album about his experiences with some skits that had some really bad voice acting (Sorry NDT, I still love you), tried waaay too hard to be funny, and didn’t connect to the songs in any way shape or form. It seemed as if the music was already recorded and packaged and then at the last minute someone had the idea to make it a concept album so that it connect to the previous albums. I like the idea of a story spread out across three albums, but Young Sinatra’s first attempt at a concept album wasn’t executed very well and his second stab at it was even worse.

On top of the skits, There are also a couple of tracks where he stops rapping, and just starts to talk to the listener (namely Take It Back, and Anziety) this pushes songs to almost seven minutes in length which is alot longer than I’m willing to listen if there isn’t any rapping happening. (Though to be fair, in Take It Back he’s expounding on his history so it’s sort of bearable).

Looking past the skits, and the unnecessary talking, there was just too many things that I couldn’t get with on this album. I liked the song Confess up until I realized that Killer Mike’s feature was more of a spoken word prayer piece and not an actual verse. It was still kind of cool though so I kept it moving, but then I was disappointed YET AGAIN by the song America.

upset
Me multiple times listening to this damn album

America had a dope ass beat, and FIRE verse from Logic in which he calls out Kanye for being a political hypocrite in the most respectful way one can do that. It also had verses from Black Thought (of The Roots) and Chuck D (of Public Enemy). Two high caliber MC’s who have spent the last twenty or thirty years being brought into many people’s top 5 conversations. I was really excited to hear what they had to say, and once I did I was enraged. The pair of them delivered two of the most sub par verses I’ve heard all year, and I listened to a Kodak Black album this year (and I’ve been bumping an Uzi song for the better part of 3 weeks)! I was beyond annoyed. But it wasn’t just how Logic utilized his features that made me annoyed with this project. A huge reason I was bothered listening to this album was just because it was so. damn. corny.

cb
Logic apparently

A perfect example of this is the song Black Spider-Man. The whole song sounds over polished and preachy, and while i commend Logic for trying to spread his message of Peace Love and Positivity, I feel like there’s gottta be a way to do that other than delivering lines like “I’m as white as the Mona Lisa/I’m as black as my cousin Keisha/ I’m Biracial so bye Felicia” and that wasn’t even the only time he said something whack like that! other cringe worthy lines  from the album include ” I got the master in my veins/ I got the plantation in my veins” and “Blame it on black/Blame it on a white/Blame it on a Muslim/Everybody wanna blame him, blame her, just blame it on the mothafucka killing everyone!”

disappointed
I mean I get what you’re trying to say but erghhh!

All in all, I want to like this album, it’s got some great beats and some good raps on it, but the weak attempts to make it a concept album, the long speeches, and the overall corniness is just too much for me to get past. If it weren’t for the fact that I had to do a review on it, I don’t think that I would have listened to it more than twice.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Standout Tracks: Killing Spree, Way Back, Mos Definitely, 1-800-273-8255

Favorite Line: “Fuck that, I’m finna buck back/But not with bullets, I’ma use my education to the fullest. I’ma get out of debt/ I’ma reset.

So there you have it. Do you agree? Do You disagree? Did you miss me? Do you wish I would never blog again? Who you gonna call? Ghost Busters?  Let me know in the comments below! If you want to have a say on who’s album I review next then be sure to either comment with your suggestions or hit me up on Twitter @badicaldude (go ahead and follow me while you’re at it.)

There’s Some Flava For Your Ear

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