Review: Logic – YSIV

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It's a Bop

Logic still has a place in Hip Hop thanks to YSIV.

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Boom Bap is back as Logic aka Sir Robert Bryson Hall II returns to rap’s rotation with his latest album release YSIV (Young Sinatra IV). The rapper is increasingly becoming an irreplaceable figure in hip-hop as he offers respite from the banality of club bangers and a changing hip-hop scene. For many, Logic is a spiritual guide who ties today’s generation to past prophets of rap. The inclusion of retrospective and nostalgic beats creates a playlist that inspires and motivates.  As a musician, Logic secured his prominence in the music industry through the song ‘1-800-273-8255′ that featured Alessia Cara and Khalid; the YouTube music video has collected over 290,000,000 views. After much positive acclaim, Logic has returned to the industry expressing his philosophies and expecting a repeat to the response following the ‘1-800-273-8255’ release, or alternatively when made a cameo appearance in the hysterical show: Rick and Morty.

YSIV begins on a humble note as Logic thanks his fan base and includes multiple samples of fans praising his music and the personal value it possesses. At face value, this is a genuine homage to the people that give Logic power but with closer examination, a trend does emerge. By inspecting his 3 prior album releases it is noticeable that Logic lacks the hubris and self-confidence to let an album speak for itself. YSIV continues his habit of include skits and samples that glorify his talent.

Unfortunately, the rapper has done this so often that it is beginning to lose its charms, the skits start to seem like pats on his own back, compensation for the lack of belief in one’s own music. This could be a result Logic’s imposter syndrome due to his biracial identity that is conflated with the difficulty of being a non-stereotypically Black artist in an art form with Black roots. Once these self-affirming pats on the back are overlooked, YSIV packs a formidable punch. If this album were to punch you in the face, your mouth would be left toothless, and all your tongue would taste is lyricism, passion, and a love for hip-hop.

Key songs to skip to are: ‘The Return’, ‘Wu Tang Forever’, ‘Ordinary Day’, ‘YSIV’, ‘Legacy’ and finish with the appropriately named ‘Last Call’. This album has elegant lyrical content; the songs mentioned above will reveal nostalgic and grace Logic has produced.

Stopping at ‘The Return’ showcases the persevering heart that Logic’s music possesses, the song carries on for four minutes with momentum and pace (something some would love to experience not only in music). ‘Wu Tang Forever’ offers the best moment in the album and potentially in this year’s hip-hop calendar. This song reunites the Wu Tang Clan – the ephemerality of one song brings the best out of all the included members of Wu Tang. As this song plays, you cannot help but scrunch your face and bop to it: this is a bop for sure. ‘Ordinary Day’ is a brief moment of cute clarity that induces peace and happiness despite being dissatisfied with one’s circumstances. Hailee Steinfeld is a wonderful addition to the song adding a belle appeal. The true landmarks of this album’s musical journey are ‘YSIV’ (which the album is titled after) and ‘Legacy’. Both these tracks offer in-depth introspection that numbs you into a thoughtful gaze. As you listen to these songs, memories will revisit your mind, and daydreams will dance along with you to the tunes and vibrations culminating in catharsis.

Like any journey, there is always an end; YSIV ends with a ‘Last Call’. This song is analogous to the feeling you have at the end of a night with friends, after laughs, and arguments. In such moments, genuine bonds are made. Logic delivers this exact sensation with the last song, leaving you warm, and touched by his experiences.

YSIV is available now via Visionary Music Group and Def Jam Recordings.

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