Logic’s debut album ‘Under Pressure’ comes after a host of EPs and mixtapes including the favourite ‘Young Sinatra: Undeniable’. He’s trying to solidify himself as a rapper that’s worthwhile and it appears to be working; on a lot of the tracks he says about how his idols are now his peers. He makes Pop rap without dumbing down his lyrics, and it’s more evident here than ever as he’s trying to dive into more mature themes than he has before.
Stylistically Logic goes for an approach that honestly feels so close to his contemporaries like Lupe Fiasco, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. This becomes a bit of a problem when you consider that thematically this LP is similiar to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Good Kid M.A.A.D City, which makes it hard to tell whether he’s being legit or just imitating his other contemporaries; especially when his flow is often similiar to Kendrick’s. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for the sake of it; most of this album does seem legit especially when he tackles problems in his life such as his addiction to many different things, family problems, and poverty. The songs ‘Growing Pains III’ and the (nine minute) title track both feel like some of the more sincere tracks on the album where he dives into personal details of his relationship with his father and are done in ways that are distinctively him.
The production on this record definitely deserves praise, which is to be expected when the primary producer is 6ix and the executive producer is No I.D. Though a lot of the drum beats are reasonably simple, the instrumentation around it is a lot more complicated. This album featuring looped vocal samples, instrumentation played back over itself backwards, horn sections and much more. Sometimes Logic’s voice will trail off and be looped over and over at the end of a line while he continues rapping over the top like on the song ‘Buried Alive’. Other times his voice will be pushed right to the back of the mix on a hook like on the song ‘Bounce’, which is one of the tracks that sounds like he has his own style down to a tee. Logic does a good job on sounding like he’s part of the mix rather than rapping over the top of it, it really feels like he tried to come in and work with the producers rather than just let them give him a beat to spit on. Of course it’s not always full proof like at the beginning of the album Logic tries to go for a very layed back and natural approach by sounding like he’s engaging in some banter with his pianist, it ends up sounding unbelievably fake and cringe worthy. There are also little clips throughout the album saying how the LP was made in this female robot voice. Whether these insights into the album will be any use for you will entirely depend on how invested you are in Logic as a person, but most of the time for the casual fan they will be literally pointless, adding nothing to the songs.
Logic is an extremely talented rapper who has definitely proved that he is worthwhile of at least some of the hype, the only problem is still him finding his OWN voice. Too many times on this record he sounds like he’s got the vocals of Drake and the exact flow of Kendrick like on the song ‘I’m Gone’. It feels like he’s trying to match his contemporaries in terms of quality but never surpass them or bring anything too new, which in the end effects the album in a very derivative way. Every time he utters the words ‘section 8’ it instantly reminds me of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Section 80.’ and the hook on ‘Never Enough’ sounds exactly like the Kendrick Lamar song ‘Hol’ Up’. Not only this but he actually takes the same drumbeat from Kendrick’s song ‘Sing about me’. If you can get over that though, this album is a very coherent, promising and solid pop-rap album detailing Logic’s life in great details while remaining relatable.