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Logic’s debut album has drawn a lot of attention this year, as it was one of the better major-label hip-hop albums of 2014. I reviewed this album for CulturedVultures.com when it came out, and my thoughts are still the same. Logic is definitely talented and someone worth listening to, and while his story is interesting, this album is tarnished by a huge lack of originality to its sound. It’s a good album, but its unoriginality keeps me from giving it the 10/10 “classic” status the internet seems to be throwing around.
Logic’s rapping is dope, as he’s able to bring his story to life and flow in a way that’s enjoyable to listen to. He has good punchlines and wordplay for braggadocios tracks, but mostly takes us through all the pressures in his life, including upcoming fatherhood, gang violence where he grew up, taking on the responsibility of taking care of his family, and quitting smoking, among other things. He also shows really strong storytelling abilities on this album, including rapping from different family members’ perspectives. My only problem with the album is there isn’t much besides his story and versatile flow that’s unique to him.
Throughout the album you’ll hear Logic doing a lot of imitations. You’ll hear Drake’s melodies when he’s singing, Kendrick Lamar’s overall style on songs with speedy flows & mellow beats, J. Cole’s attitude/mannerisms on more aggressive tracks, A Tribe Called Quest’s “Tour Guide” skits, and even a lyrical concept already done by MF DOOM on “Nikki”. Despite all of this, Logic’s technical skill as an emcee is still strong enough to keep this album from being wack, and he may even have more raw talent than a couple of the aforementioned artists. Very much like the previous entry on the countdown, Logic barely has any guest features on his debut, which allows him to make a really cohesive project. Under Pressure blends in well with the current hip-hop landscape, but Logic will have to either adapt over time or become original in order to stay relevant; I think he definitely has the talent to do it.
My Grade: B
Remember to check back here tomorrow to see which album came in at #13 on the countdown!