Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Logic Under Pressure Album Review

The Best Debut Album Since "good kid, m.A.A.d. City"

Out of my past three reviews, this is the one I couldn't wait to do. After his Young Sinatra mixtapes, Under Pressure has climbed up a lot of rap fans most anticipated albums. He employs great lyricism and the ability to tell great stories with every song and every bar. He has shown the ability to make great music. I would do my typical DBZ narrator "will this continue? Find out blah blah blah" stuff but I'm pretty sure that the heading gave the answer away. This is my fifth time listening to the album as I'm writing this review and I'll listen to it a few more times while writing

To be honest, Under Pressure just plays so smoothly and you can just let it play through and go about your daily activities; of course you're better off listening to every word closely, to truly appreciate its meaning and the part it has in his story. It's taken me this long to write this album because of the fact I get caught up in just listening to it; seeing if I notice something I haven't the previous listen.

I haven't heard someone mix everything so well since the best rappers to ever do it. Yet, without further ado let's finally get into it...

1. Intro

A tale of what inspired the name of the album, how Logic got to where he is now, how he felt beforehand and his thoughts on life as a whole. This also starts the sequence of skits, starring an automated voice, Thalia to give the album the feel of a tour into his life. Great start. 

2. Soul Food

In Dreams and Nightmares, Meek Mill starts off slow and smooth; halfway through the beat changes and Meek Mill goes harder, becoming very loved by many fans. Logic does something similar with Soul Food but instead of speaking louder(almost hollering), Logic just comes with harder bars and increased lyricism. There are many topics covered in both verses. Sort of a rehash of the first song, Logic covers growing up in Maryland and his family, loss, so on and so forth. The second verse is covering how he got here now and will not slow down. Also, leaving messages to everyone, fans, haters and fellow rappers. Loved it. 

3. Im Gone

Logic talks about how he is above others because he has graduated to a higher standard in rapping. Everyone is still rapping about the same stuff and he's already surpassed the simple rapping part of his life, which is a common topic in the album. After mentioning how he has surpassed those types of rappers, he raps about those types of things "females, marijuana, etc." effortlessly and shows how easy it is to him, while making a better song than his competition could. 

4. Gang Related

Usually you expect a song called "Gang Related" to be about the singer/rapper partaking in gang related actions. However, this song is more so a story about Logic witnessing them every day of his life. Actually a breath of fresh air, Logic actually talks about how it affected him instead of saying he was just as hard as everyone else. He didn't condone the actions, he questioned them. 

5. Buried Alive

This song tells everyone they should continue to persevere even when you feel like you've reached your limit. Not only is he telling the listener this, but telling himself as well. Making it through his own self-doubt allows him inspire you to get through yours. At first, I think it's the constant keyboard playing over the whole beat bothered me, but after awhile I warmed up to it.

6. Bounce

There are a lot of references to many other songs in this and mentioning "Nikki" for the first time...Logic starts to talk about how he's meant to take on the game. I don't necessarily believe these references were challenges but more so just shouting out who the rappers he considers himself amongst. "God Goddamn" sounds like an adlib in K. Dot's Good kid m.a.a.d. city song. "Take a trip, little trip" flows and sounds like "crush a bit little bit" in Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi. He also references Project Pat and many more throughout the song.

7. Growing Pains III

The third installment of the series of songs, Logic talks about how his growth has stressed him out at times which has caused him to need his precious Nikki once again. The tour continues.

8.Never Enough

Sounding very soulful at first, this is a quick song about taking over and not needing any help. It's a shorter version of bounce in a way. Probably the first song I didn't quite LOVE but I still didnt hate it or anything like that either. Tight beat, still pretty damn great lyrics. I think it served as a way to progress to the rest of the album though, possibly.

9. Metropolis

Perhaps Im looking too much into this...but obviously Superman lives in Metropolis, Logic referring to himself as Superman, is talking about the city he grew up in(Smallville for Clark Kent) and also references his love "Nikki" again, which might also be his own kryptonite. Also talking about going through the issues through his life to get to Superman's level and leaving Smallville(normal life) to get to Metropolis(fame).

10. Nikki

One of these is the love of his life...which one?

What's the difference between love and addiction? Is there a difference? You need both of the things in your life, right? Both make you feel better when you have them; even if they're not good for you or worse, killing you. Nikki is actually Logic's nickname for nicotine and throughout all these songs, the girl he's been talking about being in love with is actually just that, nicotine. As mentioned in my Game album review this is my favorite symbolism in music. Logic talks about the only thing in life that has gone through it with him from the start, the thing that keeps him alive, the thing that kills him at the same time. He can't live with or without it.

11. Under Pressure

Being nine minutes long, you dont even realize it's that long if you're just doing normal daily activities. The song progresses and Logic switches his flows and certain aspects of the beat accordingly to keep your interest throughout. In a way, I also think he's trying go against what a lot of rappers talk about when it comes to money, a lot of rappers only want to talk about money. Logic has it, but when it becomes the main topic, he gives everyone the dial tone. To be honest this song has so much in it....its actually kind of the whole album's topics in one song. It's hard to cover all the topics but his life, his friends life, their problems, his haters, his dad who wasnt there for him, so on and so forth. You can really just dive into this nine minutes and not get bored.

12. Till The End

The end to the regular album, he ends his story, for now, talking about the improvements he's made because of everything mentioned in the rest of the album. That is why everything is all connected and laced with the tour guide like narrator. You're supposed to experience the same epiphany and realization that Logic came to from reaching fame and while making this album.

13. Driving Ms. Daisy ft./ Childish Gambino

Surely it cant be over though right? Can we keep going, please?

Mr. Glover approves
The fact that two of my favorite rappers are on the same track together made this amazing for me. This is about appreciating the good things that life gives you and being yourself. A lot of references and word plays connecting to driving are heard throughout the song. 

14. Now

Second bonus track..
This is about his doubters and how they've switched up over the time he went from nothing to something. He's mocking them; now showing off in front of them. Probably the hardest beat on the album as well.

15. Alright ft./ Big Sean

I kind of feel like Big Sean was just put on here to...I guess attract some fans, I dont know. Dont get me wrong, I like Big Sean, but he just doesnt seem to even fit in the track at all. An otherwise well put together song, he seems to ruin the mood and chill feel that the beat along with Logic's lyrics establish early on. Probably should've made this a song to come on earlier instead of the finish to a great deluxe edition.

Final Thoughts...

This is possibly my favorite album of the year. Honestly, straight off the top of my head, its the hip-hop album of the year. A lot of people talk about how it feels so 90s...I disagree. I just feel that the album perfectly utilizes what true hip-hop is, similar to how it was IN THE 90's. This is exactly what music needs right now. A few small issues cant keep this from being a...

10 out of 10

Now rewind...

and replay..