Did Logic Redeem Himself on No Pressure?

As most of you probably know by now, Logic is an easy target for online music communities. I was in a Hip Hop related Discord server for about a year, and Logic was the one artist who people seemed to constantly shoehorn into every conversation. It’s not because he’s a super interesting, complexed, fascinating artist. It’s because people just like making fun of him. I’m not gonna act like I didn’t shit on his music myself because I still think both of the albums he dropped in 2019 are terrible. I just don’t find it as funny as a lot of other music fans on Twitter seem to think it is. I honestly wasn’t planning on covering this album at all before I listened to it. I didn’t wanna just shit on Logic again because my Confessions of a Dangerous Mind review was frankly harsh enough. As a matter of fact, it was more than enough because it’s not like people needed me to tell them it wasn’t good. People were shitting on the album already, and they were desperately asking me to join in with them, which I did. I eventually moved on though. Music Twitter kept shitting on Logic for… Well, I’m sure they’re still shitting on him. I mean, he was getting a lot of flack before 2019, but he made things so much worse with the two albums he dropped that year. Basically, what I’m trying to say is, the quality of Logic’s music took a sharp decline after his first album came out. I loved Under Pressure personally. The biggest critique of that album seems to be that it’s really unoriginal, which I think is undeniably true. I just don’t really care. The ideas may not be groundbreaking at all, but I think they’re really well executed. I thought The Incredible True Story was pretty great, although that’s definitely where the decline began. The space opera concept that Logic tried to apply to this album was initially kinda cool to me, but it ultimately felt really pointless and kinda lame on repeat listens. I didn’t really start getting worried until his following project, which was a mixtape entitled Bobby Tarantino. This was where Logic really started losing me because it initiated what he’s infamous for now, which is have absolutely zero substance in his lyrics. The whole premise of that project was that he’d make a ton of vapid Trap music because that’s just how “mixtape Logic” is. That’s not true though. That’s just how Logic was in general at that point. It had nothing to do with the format of his projects. It was just that after 2015 his writing went to shit. So fast forward to 2017 where we get Logic’s third album, Everybody. I wrote a review for that album, and if I remember correctly, I was pretty lenient. I agreed that it was his worst album, but I still thought that it was decent at the time. Nah. I went back to that album last year, and it’s way worse than I had remembered. That album fucking sucks. He eventually dropped Young Sinatra IV in 2018, which I think I liked at the time. I honestly haven’t gone back to it since it came out, but I feel like I’d probably still like it to some extent. Oh, I think Bobby Tarantino II dropped before that one came out. I remember because I was in the hospital while it dropped. It wasn’t good, but I feel like it was probably better than Everybody. To be completely honest, Everything that happened with Logic between 2015 and 2019 is kind of a blur to me. It’s fine though. It doesn’t really matter. All you need to know is that I really loved Logic’s music, and then over the course of four years he completely fumbled any faith I had in him as an artist. After Confessions of a Dangerous Mind happened, I told myself that I was done because it didn’t seem like Logic had any idea what got him so much attention in the first place. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, Logic announced his latest record, No Pressure, and informed us that he’d be retiring to focus on parenting, which is commendable. Again, I wasn’t planning on covering it, but in the back of my head I had a slight hope that maybe he’d actually come through and release something worthwhile. He eventually released the track listing for the project, which instilled hope in me, mainly because I didn’t see any features. I feel like he was trying to use artists like Eminem and Wiz Khalifa as a crutch on his preceding record, so I had a feeling that he’d genuinely be giving it his all on this new one. Of course since Music Twitter shits on Logic any chance they get, they combed through the song titles looking for anything to make fun of, but if we’re being real there’s not actually anything super questionable in there. I actually saw one dude say something along the lines of “there’s a song called ‘DADBOD?????’ This album is gonna be TRASH,” which is kind of funny just because it almost seemed like a parody of Music Twitter. I mean, yeah, it is kind of an unconventional title for a Hip Hop song, but like… I mean… Come on. Anyway, I went to bed early on the night that the album came out, and I was specifically avoiding Twitter just so that I could go into the album with an open mind. I kinda sabotaged my attempts of that though because I peeked at the user rating on AOTY, and was shocked to see that it had a score of 78. I scrolled down and saw nothing but praise in the user reviews, so that instilled some cautious optimism in me. I’m not gonna discuss every single track on this project, but I’ll just cut to the chase and say that this is the best thing Logic has done in about half a decade. There’s genuinely not a single song here that I don’t like at least a little bit. Again, I wasn’t planning on covering this project, so I’m not gonna act like this is a full album review. I’m just answering the question in the title of this post. So, did Logic redeem himself? Personally, I think it’s hard to undue the kind of damage he did to his own career with one great album. I can say that this album made me happy though, so I definitely consider it a success. I’m sure he’ll still be clowned all the time on social media, but he sounds more self aware than ever here. I think the biggest thing that really saved this album was the content. Logic gets very personal here and raps about his life and mind state. He sounds like he’s really being himself. His preceding album sounded like him trying to be someone he’s not, and it was a complete and utter failure. Everything about this project is infinitely more likable. The production is better, Logic’s approach to rapping is better—he’s not just rapping really fast to distract you from his lack of lyrical substance—and even the hooks have been massively upgraded. Real quick, I just wanna talk about my two favorite tracks. First we have the aforementioned DadBod song. As the title indicates, this is him getting his Atmosphere on and rapping about his family life.

I love my wife like I am Chance
I bet you’d rap about the shit me and him rap about
If you had ever made it out, but you ain’t never had the chance

I think it was cool of him to kinda poke fun at Chance here while also defending him from the over the top hatred he received after dropping The Big Day.

I could tell you more about diapers than modern rappers in cyphers
I used to be about the B-Rabbits and Mekhi Phifers
Hit the stage, grip the mic and murder you like a pro-lifer
But I’m done now, I got a son now
Fuck the rap game, I’m done now

The final verse has him telling a story of the average day in his life, and while the content of the story itself is intentionally boring, the detailed manner in which it’s delivered makes it legitimately fun to hear.

Now I’m headed to isle three for some Bounty paper towels
I also grab some wet wipes to clean the shit from my bowels
A really hot girl walks by with a fat ass
But I’m just wondering if Hefty really holds the most trash
Forgot my card at home, thank God I brought some cash
Then I grab some Preparation H for the critics up my ass
Head to isle five for some Sgt. Smash cereal
Is this want you wanted, everyday life material?
I’m not a kid anymore and be sure shit’s boring
Made it out the basement, now my bank account soaring
Most exciting part of my life is probably touring
Don’t get me wrong, I love fans in every single city
But hotels suck and the internet is shitty

I think the song is dope af. The other song I wanna talk about is called Dark Place. This is my number one favorite track on the project. Even though I’ve dished out my fair share of criticism towards Logic, I always thought about how difficult it must be for him when he’s being bombarded with hatred on social media. It’s not just him though, or even other artists like Chance. Any time another human being has a huge presence in the public eye, I imagine how I’d feel to be in their shoes. Around early 2017 or late 2016 I was getting a lot of hate from one user on Twitter in particular, and it was really getting to me, so I can’t imagine how much difficulty I’d have if I was treated the way Rebecca Black was last decade. Anyway, you can really tell that the negative attention was getting to Logic’s head on his previous album, but I think he addressed it in a much more healthy manner with this song. He wasn’t trying to deflect or pretend it wasn’t getting to him. He was being really honest about his emotions.

Depressing anxiety got ahold of me
‘Cause people say they want the older me
Well, I’m thirty, this the oldest me
Behold it’s me, the piece of shit that’s not good enough
Not black enough, not hood enough
Not rich enough, not poor enough
My heart has poured enough
I been beaten and battered, my confidence shattered
Been broken and tattered
I’m constantly second guessin’ if my profession is worth it on my mental state
Writin’ this from a dark place with humility and grace

Honestly it was just really nice to hear this level of emotional honesty from Logic, and it’s kinda sad what had to happen for us to get it.

It’s deeper than the surface, I’m searchin’ for purpose
I’m tired of searchin’ for “Logic” and Googlin’ purposes to read that I’m worthless
I remember makin’ music alone, just a pen and a microphone
But nowadays it’s hard to get in the zone
Writin’ rhymes was easy before the fame
But now I’m constantly overthinkin’ every line, it’s a shame
Rap used to fill me with joy, now it’s nothin’ but pain
I’m stuck in the game, tryna get back from where I came

He even goes on to offer advice for anyone else who’s getting a lot of hate.

I write this letter for the person who’s listenin’
Fed up and tired of people dismissin’ ’em, I’m with you
I been through what you been though
No amount of money can take away the feelin’ of insecurity
Only though maturity can we overcome
Feel like I’ve been overrun, feel like it’s over, I’m done
Whoever told you success gon’ make you happy? You been lied to
All of my dreams came true but I bleed and cry too

I can’t explain exactly why this is, but, oddly enough, on my first listen of this album I just felt really proud of Logic. I remember when he was first blowing up, and seeing the ups and downs of his career has been a chaotic rollercoaster. I’m just glad that he ended it on a high note with this album. I have a feeling that at some point in the future he’ll return to the booth and give us more music, but I believe him when he says he’s retired for now. I’m sure he’ll be gone for at least a couple years. With that said, I remember him saying that Everybody would be his penultimate album before that came out, so it’s hard to predict what’ll happen. I ended up enjoying this project about as much as The Incredible True Story, and I think it’s a great album overall. After hearing this, I don’t feel like Logic is a trash rapper. His career has had some ups and downs, but now that everything is said and done, I’ve enjoyed too much of his work to keep constantly shitting on him. This album is dope, so for me personally this is his redemption.

Favorite Song: Dark Place
Least Favorite Song: A2Z

83

Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.

B+
Grade: B+

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