This extended play was released on April 2nd this year. Illogic is an abstract lyricist whose early work I’m a big fan of. I think Celestial Clockwork is one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. The two albums that precede it are really great too. I haven’t been as crazy about Illogic’s more recent work in all honesty, but it’s clear to me that he still has an incredible talent. His self-produced Autopilot album from last year was pretty good. The last time I heard Illogic working with Odd Nosdam was on cLOUDDEAD’s classic eponymous album from 2001, so seeing these names together again was pretty exciting for me. I think this is gonna be one of my favorite extended plays of the year.
The project begins with the title track, which has some really hard-hitting percussion that I appreciate. The beat is really melodic. I like it a lot. Illogic fucking murdered this shit too. I love the way this dude writes, man.
Any fidgeting or twitching in my presence is in essence an envision of listless movement
Proven chakra alignments not a defining trait that makes balance tangible
To reach this status, the hapless haven’t grown
As you can see, Illogic is a very wordy lyricist. I like him for a lot of the same reasons that I like Aesop Rock. The way he writes is just beautiful to me. I think this song is really fucking dope, and the remix of it that appears at the end of the EP is even better. It’s pretty weird how the beat completely cuts out for the hook, but in a cool way. The reason I like the remix more is just because I prefer it’s jazzy instrumental over the more Electronic-tinged original version. Both of them are really dope though. Track 2 is entitled Handwriting, and it’s pretty awesome. I love how hard-hitting the percussion on this track is, and the weird, dark production is dope af. The verse from Illogic here is beautifully written.
I’ve been a drama-free mahogany handle to a paintbrush for a while now
Fighting the feeling of dying to read your handwriting
Open letter penned, I’ve been learning between kombucha sips and hookah rips
While noticing that you haven’t changed a bit, and don’t intend to
Been a struggle to just befriend you with all these warheads locked and loaded
In hopes no one closes in on your flaws
For many days I marched around your barricade seven times every seventh day
With trumpets blaring, waiting for the walls to fall
I kind of have no idea what any of it means, but it sounds awesome to me. Illogic songs are a lot like Charlie Kaufman films in that regard. They leave me confused and entertained at the same time. I think the song is dope as hell. The following track is entitled Chokehold, and it’s even better in my opinion. I have to say that the transition from Handwriting into Chokehold is extremely smooth. They sound great together. I think the production here is fantastic, and the sung hook on this track is shockingly catchy. The singing itself isn’t amazing or anything, but the melody is so good that I don’t even care. I think it sounds awesome. The actual verse from Illogic here is great too. I feel like it has one of his most accessible flows and rhyme schemes on the project.
We all been on the sidе of the chokehold with no breath
Never knew the weight of my footsteps
Breaking atoms in the process
Couldn’t really fathom how to shine with the time that I got left
He killed this shit. I think the song is awesome. What’s crazy is that I like the following track even more. I think the production on Trafik Jam is fucking incredible. I don’t know how to describe it, but it just sounds really warm and comforting to me. It sounds like what would play in my head if I was on a school bus. I think it’s amazing. The rapping from Illogic is awesome too.
The tsunamis look so beautiful in the nighttime glow
Leading laughter in the falter of the phrase
Spine-tingling gestures mingling with lost souls
Foundational breathing sipping telegraph punch
Pinky to the hеavens, just hoping that lunch is unleavened
See you’ll never notice the damage until the crunch
Now I’m not sure of where to go but I have a hunch yet I don’t know what to say
I think the song is dope af to be honest. There’s not a single aspect of it that I don’t like. The stellar production really pushed it to the next level for me.
Honestly, this project turned out about as well as I could have hoped. I think these are the best beats Illogic has rapped over since Celestial Clockwork. This is the best project I’ve heard from him in years. I just wish it was longer; this project really left me wanting more. The production has been kind of a weakness for a lot of Illogic’s more recent work in my opinion, so to hear an EP like this with genuinely awesome beats was a really nice breath of fresh air. I hope these two work together more in the future because this EP was a massive success in my opinion. This shit is dope as hell.