Album: Under Pressure
Label: Visionary Music Group / Def Jam
Release Date: October 21, 2014
Logic, defined as the science of reasoning, is a perfectly suited pseudonym for the 24-year-old rapper from Maryland. Logic has amassed a large Internet following through Youtube and his mixtapes, but Under Pressure, released by Def Jam and Visionary Music Group, is the young emcee’s first studio album. This freshman’s debut LP is surprisingly refreshing; relying more on lyrics and songwriting than just the catchy hooks and beats that have become the norm for radio hip-hop.
His style is reminiscent of Outkast in the days of Southernplayalistic and Atliens, with a twist of Kid-Cudi and hint of Kendrick. His honest, true to life lyrics and song subjects seem almost anachronistic in this day and age of hyperbole. Logic doesn’t only spit about money, drugs, b*tches and cars (although they are mentioned) but instead delves into the real life struggles that he has been through, and with impressive results.
As a child growing up in Maryland, both of his parents suffered from alcoholism and crack addiction and his father generally wasn’t involved in his life. His brothers sold crack out of the house and were even selling rocks to his own father. These situations obviously had a profound effect, which can be heard through his lucid explanation of the struggles and savages of daily life. His vocalization of the inner struggle and cold unforgiving world that we all face each day hits close to home regardless of social class or upbringing.
The album only features two other emcees; one track with Big Sean titled “Alright” and one with Childish Gambino titled “Driving Miss Daisy,” so it truly showcases Logic’s lyrical ability. Most of the production for the album was done by 6ix, the in-house producer for Visionary, with Logic and a few others contributing as well. Some of the more notable tracks are “Soul Food,” “I’m Gone,” “Under Pressure,” “Nikki” and “Till the End.”
From the very first track, it is obvious to see that Logic has a different style and perspective than many of the other emcees that have just came out. As opposed to the egotistical and money driven lyrics of hip-hop today, Logic states that “I’m not defined by the sales of my first week/ cause in my mind the only way I fail is if my verse weak.” The second track, “Soul Food,” is where Logic really begins to develop the theme for the album, the struggles and hardships he has faced his whole life. With lyrics like “Welfare, food stamps, stealing from the store/come home and see an eviction notice taped to my door/ can’t take no more/ momma on crack, daddy M-I-A/ what can I say/ I just wanted to be a kid and play,” it is obvious that he doesn’t plan on holding anything back about himself.
At times “Under pressure” feels more like a documentary about Logic’s life than simply an album. For instance at the end of the “Intro,” we are introduced to Thalia, who states she is there to “assist you with information about the album and its creation,” which helps add to the documentary feel of the album.
Under Pressure is a solid debut album that proves Logic is a respectable lyricist with a defined flow and delivery and a penchant for being blatantly honest, not only with the listeners but with himself. Under Pressure is not an instant classic or anything like that, but it is an authentic and introspective tale of struggle and reality, which is increasingly hard to find in the sea of bling, gaudiness and watered down bullsh*t.