I’ll be the first to admit that I am skeptical when it comes to white rappers, as I would argue a majority of the hip hop community is. I grew up in an extremely conservative, heavily Eurocentric community where the handful of people I knew who actually listened to hip hop worshiped Eminem simply due to the fact that he is not an African American. When I started to hear Logic’s name coming up everywhere, I was expecting to have a similar, negative response to his music—but I was happy to realize that I was wrong.
After a hysterical coworker screamed to me all day about how well-mannered and humble this guy Logic was, I went home and watched his interview with Peter Rosenberg for myself. He said a lot of interesting things, but when he told anecdotes about No I.D.’s role on the album, I knew all signs were pointing to me listening to, and probably enjoying, this album.
Under Pressure is an extremely well put together album with production that just might blow your mind. The beats and production are so good that when Logic comes into rap, It’s almost disappointing; Not because his bars aren’t up to par, but because it disrupts the purity of the essence established in the intro to each song on the album—though that juxtaposition does something really interesting, and makes clear the influence he gets from people like Outkast and Kid Cudi. When I listened for the first time, his flow took some getting used to for me—it seemed forced and almost unnatural, but the more I listened to him rap the more I enjoyed it.
“I’m Gone” is a real standout track on this album, sampling Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” and background vocals from Jessica Andrea whose sultry voice can be easily confused for Jhene Aiko. This track is hard to follow at times because there is so much going on, but it all comes together in a hectic, beautiful way. While listening to the album in it’s entirety a few times through, I found myself pausing some of the other tracks to go back and listen to this song.
The whole album is very reminiscent of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. The first few seconds of “Metropolis” meets you with a slap in the face of deja vu with the drums from Lamar’s “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst,” until the realization sets in that the whole duration of the track is a manipulation of K.Dot’s classic. A common theme throughout the duration of Under Pressure is the exploitation of the work of his peers, but doing so while making it almost unrecognizable and completely his own.
In Under Pressure, Logic proves that he deserves a legitimate spot in today’s hip hop community. Both in interviews and several times on the album, he brings up how ridiculous he thinks it is that he has to legitimize himself as a rapper through his extremely tough childhood, but he does just that. With a flow unique to most people in the game right now and subject matter that surpasses the material goods we are always privy to on the radio, Logic creates a world of his own in Under Pressure that we are all lucky enough to be invited to.