Photo via iTunes
Producer: 6ix, Logic, Bobby Campbell, C-Sick, Deats, DJ Khalil, No I.D.
Label: Visionary Music Group, Def Jam
Album Rating: ExplicitRating: ***½:5
Robert Hall, or “Logic” as he’s known through his career, is a rapper hailing from Maryland. Born into poverty with a drug-using mother and non-existent father, Logic gravitated to music after dropping out of high school.
If the title doesn’t say it clearly enough, the theme for this album focuses on Logic rapping from the perspective of everybody. The main themes on this album include racism, suicide, social media, and other controversial topics. Logic raps a lot about his experience with racism, being half black and half white. Although being part black, Logic has a very fair skin tone, leading to stories of him not being accepted by either the white or black community.
In 2009 he released his first mixtape titled “Young, Broke & Infamous,” and then proceeded to release three more mixtapes afterwards. His second mixtape was titled “Young Sinatra. ” Next was “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” in 2012, and then “Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever” in 2013, boosting Logic into the mainstream. Logic signed to Def Jam Recordings in 2013, and soon announced his first studio album titled “Under Pressure,” which was released in November 2014.
“Under Pressure” was met with mixed reviews, but left no doubt that Logic would soon become a household name. A year later, Logic released “The Incredible True Story,” which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 100. Logic’s third studio album titled “Everybody” was released on May 5, 2017.
On the song “Everybody” Logic says:
“White people told me as a child, as a little boy, playin’ with his toys
I should be ashamed to be black
And some black people look ashamed when I rap
Like my great granddaddy didn’t take a whip to the back.”
Logic also speaks more on this in the song “Black SpiderMan” where he says, “I’m just as white as that Mona Lisa, I’m just as black as my cousin Keisha.” Logic throughout this album tries to preach a message of acceptance, of all races, religions, and sexual orientations.
On the song “1-800-273-8255” Logic raps from the perspective of somebody who wants to commit suicide. The title of the song is actually the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and was actually done in partnership with the NSPL. The chorus features Logic singing as if he is the person calling the NSPL, saying he doesn’t want to be alive, and that he wants to die today. As the song progresses, the caller realizes that he does in fact want to be alive, and that he doesn’t want to die today. It’s a powerful song, and something Logic says he wrote due to the number of fans who said his music helped them through suicidal thoughts.
On top of a pretty heavy message throughout this album, this album is also extremely well produced. Executive producer “6ix” leads the way on almost every song while also getting some help from legendary producer No I.D., DJ Khalil, C-Sick, J. Cole, and even Logic himself. The instrumentals on this album are insanely well diverse. On tracks such as “Killing Spree,” “Take It Back,” “America,” and “Ink Blot,” the beats are much more in-your-face and hard, bass heavy beats. On songs like “1-800-273-8255” and “Black SpiderMan,” the beats gets more melodic and free-flowing.
Logic also displays his usual crafty lyricism on this album, with lines like, “All alone in my room in the middle of the night, I don’t have the words but my stereo might,” off of the track “Black SpiderMan.” However, I personally felt robbed on this album. On multiple tracks Logic only gives us one verse, choosing to focus more on skits that fit a story he tries to tell within the album. One track titled “Waiting Room” is a nearly five minute skit featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson. While deGrasse Tyson is great, and Logic tells a fantastic story, it left me wanting more from this already short album.
This album also had a lot of artist features, something that Logic usually strays from. However, I can argue that the features subtract from the album more than they add. Names like Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, and Killer Mike all sound good, but their contributions are mostly flat.
In particular, I was most disappointed in Killer Mike’s feature. One half of the duo “Run the Jewels,” Killer Mike has demonstrated, in recent years, a ridiculous flow to match with an uncanny set of lyrical skills. In this album, though, Mike is left to just rant on a speech at the end of the track “Confess.” Although the speech isn’t necessarily bad, I was very disappointed to not hear Killer Mike lay some bars down following along with the major themes of this record, as Mike normally tackles controversial topics.
Although the production is probably the best we’ve seen on a Logic album, the content in the album left me wanting much, much more. On four songs we only received one verse from Logic. On two tracks we had long monologues at the end of the song which add nothing from a musical perspective. We’re left with an album that feels more like an audio book than a rap album.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a huge Logic fan, and as a fan of him I just felt like this would be the album where he would blow me away. On the albums “Under Pressure” and “The Incredible True Story” I felt like he was getting better, and I thought maybe his third album would be the same story. Unfortunately, I think Logic took a step back with this album.
The album on Metacritic received an underwhelming 65 out of 100. Metacritic uses a system where they take scores from other worthy critic sites and averages them out to reflect a total score on their site. In a review on hotnewhiphop.com, Editor Richard Bryan writes, "Everybody is a bit too self-centered considering the propertied scope of the project. There's excessive self-loathing about his whiteness, and pride about his blackness."
What Bryan goes on to say is that Logic seems to talk more about his life journey than the journeys of "everybody." Other sites such as RapReviews.com gave the album a higher score, sitting at 85 out of 100.
Even though I applaud Logic for the message and theme of the album, it’s not enough for me to overlook my disappointment. Logic’s verses were pretty much all great, but on basically a 12 song album, we just weren’t given enough. The consensus opinions via reviews seems to be that although Logic delivers lyricism and great production, the album tries too hard with political/social issues and long skits.
As previously stated, the features just were lackluster, and looked better on paper as opposed to how they actually sound on the album. Logic’s message on this album also seems rushed, and while he tried to make some statements, a good portion of the messages were just misses. Logic has said that his next album will apparently be his last, so let’s hope he can get back to his roots of slick wordplay and stay away from long skits.
AT A GLANCE:
- Robert Hall, or "Logic," recently released his third studio album titled "Everybody."
- Logic's rise to fame came through a trio of "Young Sinatra" mixtapes - "Young Sinatra," "Young Sinatra: Undeniable," and "Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever."
- Logic's message on this album is to try to rap from the perspective of everybody in the world today.
- Themes include racism, sexuality, suicide, politics, and more.
- Although this album has its pros, the cons almost outweigh them, leaving this album feeling rushed and lacking.