Logic revives his magic in his final album and bids adieu to his fans

Logic ends his rapping career with nostalgic tones throwing back to his debut into the music industry

Ananda Mayuri Chakkenchath

Logic ends his rapping career with nostalgic tones throwing back to his debut into the music industry

By Ananda Mayuri Chakkenchath, Dougherty Valley High School

It has become common for many rappers to retire as they reach their late 20s and/or early 30s. Hip Hop star Logic announced his retirement with the release of his final studio album, No Pressure on Jul. 24, 2020. The finale goes back to his roots: with colorful, genuine lyricism and adept production from No I.D., the listener is transported back to Logic’s debut.

Over the past 6 years, Logic, born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, has released five studio albums, two commercial mixtapes, headlined five tours and co-headlined a tour with Oakland rapper, G-Eazy. During this journey, Logic has lived a rollercoaster of ups and downs surrounding his releases, starting with critically acclaimed Everybody to the universally despised Supermarket. The Maryland native bids the audience adieu with a sequel to his 2014 debut album, Under Pressure.

With No Pressure, Logic acknowledges critics of his work and even expresses how this criticism has impacted him, yet he embraces it and delivers an honest portrayal of the man he used to be and who he has become. He contrasts his life by showing gratitude despite a life of hardship.

No Pressure is a blast from the past, delivering reference after reference to some of Logic’s most loved tracks (“I’m Gone” and “Upgrade,” just to name a couple). Logic also includes his love for Greek culture throughout the entire album with references to its influence. 

Starting with the intro the listeners are greeted by a familiar voice: Thalia, a voice that was present in Logic’s past endeavors. The segment is similar to her introduction to the intro of his debut album. During the narration, a voice states, “A story doesn’t have to appeal to the heart; it can also appeal to the spine.” This sets the mood for the rest of the album. The intro has everything that made Logic, Logic. With compelling lyricism and a focused flow, the intro is a great start to the album.

… Logic acknowledges critics of his work and even expresses how this criticism has impacted him, yet he embraces it and delivers an honest portrayal of the man he used to be and who he has become”

The intro is followed by “Hit My Line”. The production of the song is full of warm and summery keys but the lyrics discuss topics of gang violence and the prejudice that occur in people’s day to day life. The track is very reminiscent of Kanye West’s album The College Dropout. Surprisingly, Logic does cite Kanye West as a major inspiration for this album. With the soulful bass, it is hard to not compare both of them. 

“GP4” is the next track and  Logic’s flow could be wearing Hermès. This track’s chorus has a sample of OutKast’s song “Me & U” and Logic and does justice to the classic. His flow is tight and the lyrics refer to the success he claimed despite having a low-income background. Thalia makes an announcement, saying  “This album marks the reunion of Logic and No I.D.,” an important distinction that makes the album more promising as it has been a while since they collabed a track. 

The fourth track is “Celebration” featuring Silas, and the contrast between their voices creates an enjoyable sound. With Logic’s airy voice and Silas’ deeper voice, the track grabs the listener and entrances them in the celebrations of the track. The song is an interpolation of another Kanye West song “Celebration” and is full of references to past songs that Logic himself has composed for the videogame “Call of Duty”. 

“Open Mic//Aquaris III” is another sample that contemporary rapper Kendrick Lamar has used in one of his earliest works. The lyrics all refer to a loaf of his past lyrics in his debut album. Additionally, the album has a lot of lyrics that discuss his life and how he listened to hip hop while he grew up. Logic is a product of the game and that can be seen throughout his discography as he pays homage to multiple rappers in the record.  

“Soul Food II” is a classic sample flip. It is the second installment of Logic’s Soul Food series, the first appearing in his debut album Under Pressure.  The first half of the song deals with how he has evolved as a person and the second half raps about the storyline of his album. The confidence that’s exuded in this track sets up the rest of the album perfectly. Logic doesn’t seem like he needs to prove his worth in the rap game anymore. A rapper’s mindset makes a lot of difference in an album and seems like so far Logic is in a happy headspace and it definitely feels like he’s not in any pressure. 

The next song has a more contemporary bounce to it. “Perfect” is an apt title for the faux lie that Logic presents in this story through the album. “I started from the bottom now my neighborhood gated.” oddly reminds me of Mac Millers’ record during the “GO: OD AM” era. As usual, Logic delivers with his flow and cheeky lyrics.

The next track showcases how much Logic’s music is influenced by the music he has heard. “Man I is” is a track that has numerous classic samples. There is Badu’s “Didn’t Cha Know.” and Pimp C’s “Knockin Doorz Down”. He pays respect to the legendary  “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” horns too. One of the highlights of the song is when he says that the song has to end because he ran out of studio time. The song is full of Logic’s personality and is one of my favorite tracks from this album. 

The following two tracks “DadBod” and “5 Hooks” give the listeners reasons as to why Logic is retiring from the music industry. In “DadBod” Logic describes his day-to-day life. “I’m not a kid anymore.” “Hotels sucks and the internet is shitty.” with these lyrics it seems that the rapper feels like he has nothing to prove to anyone anymore. Confidence is inspiring to some degree. In “5 hooks” he states “No I.D. my mentor, but it’s time for the story to end.” He seems to be genuinely happy with his retirement and seems like he’s looking forward to the next stage of his life. There’s a ton of Classic Kanye, J cole element in this track. 

“Dark Place” is one of my favorite tracks all this entire album. The honesty in this tracks exudes in every lyric. The raw anguish that the rapper feels as he becomes more and more famous is heart-wrenching. “I’m tired of searching Logic in Google.” and“All my dreams came true but I bleed and cry too.” These two lyrics depict how poisonous fame can get. Logic delivers this and doesn’t miss the mark.

The following track is a good switch up from the previous one. “A2Z” features little Bobby and was an adorable start to an otherwise mean track. In Part I, each of his bars throughout the song hit on each letter in the alphabet. In part II, Logic showcases what he really started out as. Thalia also presents an embarrassing recording back from ‘05. Overall, this track is full of airiness.

The confidence that was showcased earlier in the album is referenced again in this track. In “Heard Em Say” Logic openly accepts his flaws and is not embarrassed to work on them. “My flaws, I happily greet them.” “I used to dream about becoming the man I am.” “Bobby boy ain’t no kid no more.” This song seems like one to be played in a stadium. There is an eerie resemblance to Cole and Kanye’s early mixtapes. The following track is a beautiful way of wrapping up the album. “Amen” has some beautiful keys and makes me remember “See you again.”  Again this track has samples in it and is an amazing way to be consistent throughout the entire album. It’s an intriguing build-up for a studio album and an underground mixtape. 

The album ends with “Obediently Yours.” A six-minute outro that leaves the listeners with a few questions about life. The narrator says, “To be born free is to be born in debt.”  and “To the generations: the fight is worth it.” These words leave a lasting impact, especially in today’s turbulent times. A good way to end the album. 

No pressure is driven by love—a love of life, a love for music, a love for oneself, and a love for a better future. Logic embraces the idea of a new future—one where he needs to work on himself to be better so that he can make the world better. He sheds the boyish and adolescent persona, one that he took upon when he started his career and embraces self-confidence and responsibility.

 The spirited production and the positive perspective uplifts the listeners and takes them through a journey of self-discovery—one that Logic has gone through, and is ready to embark on another. 

This story was originally published on Wildcat Tribune on August 17, 2020.