Logic “Under Pressure” album review

Chase Montani

Logic, born as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, turned 24 this past January. Since his 21st birthday, he’s been on a wild ride that’s consisted of releasing three highly acclaimed mixtapes, signing to Def Jam Recordings, and touring with Kid Cudi and Big Sean. Safe to say, he’s been forced to grow up quickly as his lifestyle has changed for the better.

Hailing from Gaithersburg, Md., Logic got broke into the hip-hop game with his debut mixtape, “Young, Broke and Infamous.” While his first release gained some buzz on music sites around the web, it wasn’t until he dropped “Young Sinatra” in 2010 that Logic started to gain a devoted following with his quick delivery in his rapping and a variation in production on his beats.

Fast-forward four years to today, Logic is heading the Def Jam lineup, and dropping his debut album entitled “Under Pressure.” Production was allotted to legend No I.D. (Kanye West, Jay-Z, Nas) in addition to Logic’s in-house beat scientists 6ix and C-Sick, who have been staples on his mixtapes. While the production value on the album is outstanding, layered with song interludes, clips from news coverage and panned drum hits, the real standout on this project has to be Logic’s lyricism.

While it’s hard to compare Logic to Kendrick Lamar with such a small sample size, this album definitely has the same tone of Lamar’s instant classic, “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” Logic rhymes mostly about his rough upbringing, highlighted by a brother who sold crack in the streets, a mother who allowed him to be kicked out of school at 16, and a father who was in and out of his life until recently. While the darkness surrounding his adolescence is apparent, so is his positivity that has accompanied his newfound fame and fortune.

“Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and films by Quentin Tarantino were in rotation constantly throughout the duration of this album’s creation,” says an automated women’s voice at the end of the track “Buried Alive.”

This is one of those quirky interludes that are layered throughout “Under Pressure,” but it actually gives the listener insight into what the recording process was like.

Despite the thematic elements of Logic’s childhood and struggle to the reach the spotlight, there are also tracks that highlight his ability to create authentic and catchy radio rap. The songs “Bounce” and “Never Enough” are sure to be played on all of the top stations in the coming weeks, as they display Logic’s uncanny ability to rap at warp speed, as well as his knack for writing hooks that will stick in your head all day.

Perhaps the best display of Logic’s true raw talent is the track “Growing Pains III,” a narrative bringing the listener inside the neighborhood that corrupted Logic’s youth. Not only does the song change perspectives over the course of the four minutes, but it also goes inside Logic’s early thoughts on achieving his dreams.

Hip-hop has been aching for some shakeup and creativity, and Logic’s debut album has everything a listener could want, from radio bangers to introspective lyrical storylines. As another automated interlude states, “Logic has recorded 1,700 songs in the span of his 10 years as an MC. However, only just over 150 have been released to the public.”

There’s no doubt that Logic is a prolific artist, and now it will be interesting to see how the world relates to his debut album, and the story of Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, who started as a high school dropout and is now touring the country making music for a living.