A good friend of mine once said that with every lover of music, there’s bound to be one thought in everyone that’ll shake things up and create conversation. It happens more than ever these days, right? The only issue is you can’t tell if someone is serious about their critique of an artist or they’re simply trolling for fun. With that said, here’s my unpopular rap opinion: Logic’s debut album Under Pressure was the best Hip-Hop album of 2014. I argue with friends about it from time to time, revisit on off days to make sure I’m not crazy, but the thought still sticks with me. Sure, we can talk about YG’s My Krazy Life or Run The Jewels’ self-titled LP (which I never found time to sit with), but Logic created a body of work that deserved to be in the conversation.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t…
Granted, it was the first project I ever heard from Logic and I didn’t expect much, so my unpopular claim comes without bias. It was his story, and the pieces surrounding it (concept, lyrics, production, etc.) molded it into an impressive debut album which I believe no one really expected to be as good as it was. For some, the knock on Logic is his tendency to “sound like other artists” and yet to fully discover a sound he can call his own. Then again, there only may be a slim amount of artists with their own sound. Could Under Pressure be labeled as a poor man’s good kid, m.A.A.d city? Sure, that would be a pretty fair comparison, but does it really matter? Music is more fulfilling to listen to when your mind/ears are open and willing to hear it through and making a solid, reasonable verdict without the trolling effect or corny comparisons.
And that was the approach for Logic’s highly-anticipated second album, The Incredible True Story. Though his continuous speech in his latest interviews may not get the recognition it deserves, Logic makes a good argument about forgetting the critiques and simply making the music you want to make. It makes complete sense when you think about it, although are people listening? Could his sophomore effort surpass his first and quiet the critics? I guess it’s time to answer from the eyes and ears of a “critic”. Another day, another review.
First things first: It must be acknowledged that the connection between Under Pressure and The Incredible True Story, thanks to the Midnight Marauders-inspired guide Thalia, is quite genius. And as Thalia upgrades in album two, Logic takes his artistry to another level as well in his new effort. It’s mighty evident from the moment you press play as the album’s opening track, “Contact“, holds the impact of a score in a film. The drums may garner comparison to the ones used on Kanye West’s “Amazing”, but these hit much harder at a faster tempo… So let’s not discredit Logic’s creativity, okay? It sets the tone for the album before we’re eventually introduced to the album’s main characters, Thomas and Kai. Though the album takes place a hundred years into the future, the skits aren’t too out of touch with modern times. Going too far with the skits and connecting the music to its theme would’ve hurt the album in a major way. Well played on Logic’s end to keep things in a balanced pocket throughout the project’s duration.
The production? Are you kidding me? The production? Man, the connection between Logic and 6ix on the boards is pretty strong. Yes, we can talk about this sample or that sample, but I really could care less as long as it feels original. “Stainless” could be used as a good example, being an actual flip of Travis Scott’s “Backyard” with some original instrumentation where the groundwork will stand out to the ear but we dismiss the other layers to the production that completes it. The live instrumentation plays a huge part in songs like “Like Woah” and “City of Stars“, creating a feeling that’ll stand the test of time. A shift is coming to Hip-Hop where musicality is becoming a staple for the directions your favorite artists are headed, and I believe Logic is beginning to understand that more and more, especially with the creation of this album. Having the album of club bangers will always be accepted, but to be able to go out and take the risk of creating outside of your comfort zone? That takes a lot of heart. And the experimental touch to the overall sound of TITS is what makes the project whole.
As expected, Logic doesn’t fall short with the lyrical content. But, I will honestly say that the hook for the song I’ve been dying to hear, “I Am the Greatest“, is disappointing to say the least. The song is fun and different from what’s expected of Logic, but that also may be the downside of the record. Outside of that, there’s a bit of everything with The Incredible True Story if you’re truly a Hip-Hop head and always looking for the bars before anything else. From channeling Bone Thugs & Harmony on “Paradise” or his inner Kanye with the aforementioned breakup song with Hip-Hop, “City of Stars“, he’s unafraid to take inspiration from his idols and turning it into his own. The excellent production may overshadow the lyrics with this album, but Logic makes some bold statements all through the eighteen-track LP that you may need to rewind if you’re too caught up with the beats. The topics vary into the negatives of today’s era of music, claiming Under Pressure as a classic, and much more; it’s apparent he had a lot to get off of his chest, though he’s sharper this time around with a good mixture of clever and melodic flows.
Melodies are becoming the must have for artists today. Interesting, isn’t it?
Overall, people are going to find something to pick at when it comes to music. And at the moment, Logic seems to be the poster boy for the blurred line of “inspiration and imitation”, but guess who doesn’t care about the consequences and critiques? Logic. If you’re worried about whether he’ll find his own sound, it’s not hard to tell that he’s getting very to close to reaching it in The Incredible True Story. Only time will tell, but the good part is there’s nothing but time to figure it out, Lord willin’ (no pun intended…okay, maybe a little). Now, with an open mind, Logic has one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2015 without a doubt. If the overcritical cap is on, then you’ll probably find a hundred ways to discredit how good a body of work TITS really is. Which side are you on? Because, for me, Logic stepped up to the plate, swung for the fences and…..well, placed himself very close to some good company in Hip-Hop.
This is The Incredible True Story. Take it or leave it..
Is it time to give Logic some credit? I believe so.8
Production score 9
Lyrics score 8
Composition score 8