Just a bit over a year after dropping his commercial debut album Under Pressure, Gaithersburg, Maryland rapper Logic is back with a fresh new project filled with smooth, entertaining cuts complementing an imaginative outer space concept.
Logic’s sophomore album – The Incredible True Story – is filled with the clever lyricism and complex rhyme patterns that many listeners fell in love with on its predecessor, in addition to the rapper’s well-received Young Sinatra mixtape series.
On top of this, it attempts to bring even more to the table with the story of two space travelers (played by producer Kevin Randolph and voice actor Steve Blum) in search of a habitable planet named “Paradise” in year 2115, following the human destruction of Earth five decades prior.
While the idea sounds quite abstract, it somehow allows Logic to come through with raps that don’t necessarily need to tie to one overarching theme. The concept is that his sophomore album is being played by the two astronauts in their spaceship; his tracks are considered “oldies” at this point in time, and on occasion, the songs coincidentally have a bar or two about going on an intergalactic adventure.
In the effort of bringing some more detail to the futuristic setting, the automated Midnight Marauder-inspired program Thalia – you may remember her voice from Under Pressure – makes a return as a component of technology on the spacecraft, as it is revealed that one of the pilots just finished listening to Logic’s debut album prior to playing The Incredible True Story.
“I’m on this interstellar mission, is you down to ride?” Logic asks his audience on the smooth-flowing “Innermission”.
With the 14 tracks (and four “scenes”) that he provides, it’s safe to assume that the audience will be down for the hour-long space voyage.
Like in his previous work, Logic wears his influences on his sleeve – sometimes utilizing a delivery that may still come across as Drake or Kendrick Lamar-like to many, or putting forth a taiko drum pattern reminiscent of Kanye West’s “Amazing” (on the album’s intro). However, this time around, the Maryland spitter has found comfort amidst all the comparisons. He’s acknowledged that they exist, and isn’t letting them stop him from proving to everyone that he is, in fact, just being himself.
For this reason, The Incredible True Story finds Logic in a comfort zone he’s never resided in before, letting him showcase his love for sci-fi alongside his love for music, while painting a picture that seems quite authentic.
Tracks like “Stainless” and “Run It” confirm that Logic’s pen game and feisty flows are still top-notch, as the rapper drops line after line at wicked speed, without the need to sacrifice a single syllable.
The Big Lenbo-featured “Young Jesus” and the aforementioned “Innermission” also build upon the already strong case that this rapper’s pacing is better than most, as Logic’s producer 6ix works to craft instrumentals that perfectly cater to the listeners who prefer rap tunes with an older vibe.
The variety that the project provides is further proven through the use of the Muhammad Ali-sampling on “I Am The Greatest” and autotune on “City of Stars”.
Both songs sound notably different from the vast majority of records Logic has done in the past, while they tackle the issue of his space in the rap/hip-hop genre – addressing his biracial heritage and his earlier work boxing him in when it comes to people’s expectations.
“Can’t they just be happy I no longer have to face eviction? / That I’m living out my life, I’m living out my inner vision right now / I be on my Big L braggadocios rap shit / I could flow on anything from Premo to that trap shit,” he raps.
The album as a whole marks an important step in the 25-year-old Def Jam signee’s career.
While the music on The Incredible True Story doesn’t quite reflect the existential journey that the underlying tale of two 22nd century astronauts represents, and it doesn’t fully separate Logic from his modern-day peers, the album as a whole still marks an important step in the 25-year-old Def Jam signee’s career.
He’s proven that even with his ascension to fame, his skill on the mic should not be questioned. Furthermore, he’s shown that he’s still open to putting his own twists on what his rap inspirations have done.
Through accepting things as they are and finding comfort in his versatility, it looks like Logic is inching closer to his “Paradise”, regardless of what the naysayers may think.
Photos By. Isa Ransome (© Urbanology Magazine 2014 Archives)