Blake Acri, Christian Davis and I hopped in the studio to talk about fantasy sports. We tried to find the line between gambling and fantasy sports based on our own research and interviews. This was for a sports media class.
By Trey Alessio
On the intro for “The Incredible True Story,” Kai (played by Kevin Randolph) tells Thomas (played by Steve Blum) that Logic’s second LP is “the album that changed everything.” Thomas then proceeds to say, “That’s why it’s so important.” In celebration of Logic’s new album, I would like to delve back into Logic’s discography and attempt to put my finger on how he has developed as an artist. In doing so, I will review Logic’s newest album and explain why I believe he’s a force to be reckoned with.
I remember browsing HotNewHipHop in early May of 2012 and coming across a mixtape with a picture of a young Frank Sinatra. The artwork hooked me, so I clicked in. I listened to the first song on the mixtape, entitled “Inception,” and I was instantly hooked. The rest was history.
That was Logic’s second installment in his Young Sinatra series, “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” and his fourth mixtape overall. I remember being drawn to his lyricism. The song was deep and it had the instrumental from the movie, “Inception.” Something about it just hooked me. I continued listening to tracks such as, “Set the Tone,” “Dead Presidents III,” “Young Sinatra III” and “All Sinatra Everything,” among others. I remember bobbing my head to the beats and being taken back by some of the punch lines Logic had pieced together on that mixtape. I instantly became a fan.
I went back and downloaded Logic’s “Young, Broke and Infamous” and “Young Sinatra” mixtapes. I became more and more of a fan with every song I listened to. I think one of the main reasons why liked Logic’s music so much was because it was relatable, it was lyrical and it made me think.
Let’s fast forward to the present. On November 13, 2015, Logic released his sophomore album, “The Incredible True Story,” and it was like a holiday. Now I will chronologically break down Logic’s discography and pinpoint how he has gotten better throughout the years.
Logic: The Mixtape (under the name, Psychological)
After becoming a huge fan of Logic’s work, I went back and downloaded his very first mixtape. It was kind of different going back and listening to his first project after having “Young Sinatra,” “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” and even “Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever.” But I could have told you from the first track, “The Dream,” that Logic was going to be special.
Young, Broke and Infamous
The thing that stood out to me on this mixtape was the vision he had started, and, of course, the lyricism. Logic set up multiple songs that needed sequels, such as “Young Sinatra” and “Growing Pains.” Logic laid himself an excellent foundation for his future with his raw talent and obvious love for hip-hop. One thing that really stuck with me from this project came on “Worthy” when Logic said, “My mentor once told me that fire cannot be denied.” He was 20 years old at the time of this mixtape, and he said he had sacrificed the last four years of his life to give us “the soundtrack for our lives.” Anyone who is a fan of Logic knows how dedicated he is and how much he focuses specifically on music. Logic has said multiple times in interviews that he doesn’t go out much because he’s too busy making music. His dedication is evident on this project, and it just goes to show how great you can get to be at something with hard work and determination. Some of my favorite tracks include, “Young Sinatra,” “Growing Pains,” “I Want It All,” “Nothing But A Hero” and “Stain In The Game.”
The Ratt Pack is born. This is the mixtape that Logic developed his fan base. He developed an alter ego in Young Sinatra—sort of the way Eminem did with Slim Shady. The opening track to this project samples Frank Sinatra’s “It Was a Very Good Year.” Logic said he wanted to create a classy and popular alter ego, and this mixtape did a good job in showing that. If you typed “Logic” into the YouTube before his albums came out, the first video that probably would’ve popped up would have been “All I Do.” “All I Do” was probably the most popular song off of his first “Young Sinatra” mixtape, and it showed the young MC’s versatility. He could maintain lyricism while creating a song that could’ve played on the radio. Logic also followed up a couple of songs from the “Young, Broke and Infamous” mixtape with songs like “Young Sinatra II” and “Growing Pains II,” and showed people his vision that started on “Young, Broke and Infamous.” Another topic that Logic started talking about was race. Logic has a black father and a white mother, but Logic appears as a white man. Logic said that conflict prevented a lot of people from respecting him as an up and coming rapper. The race theme is embedded throughout this whole mixtape but is really highlighted on “Mixed Feelings” where Logic says, “We all breathe the same air and bleed the same blood. And when we die, the same ditch gets dug.” I thought that was a very powerful line that highlighted what Logic had to bring to the table—lyrics with a purpose. Other songs that really mean a lot to me include “As I Am” and “Let Me Go.” Both of them have helped me through some tough times, and I just think it goes to show you how relatable Logic’s songs can be. Some other standout tracks include, “Stewie Griffin,” “Live On the Air,” “Just Another Day (In My Mind),” “Mind of Logic” and “Beggin’.”
Young Sinatra: Undeniable
This is where it all started for me, so it has a special place in my heart. Logic showed a continued improvement from “Young Sinatra” to “Young Sinatra: Undeniable.” There was a great mixture of inspiration, darkness and lightheartedness compared to “Young Sinatra,” which was more lighthearted for the most part. Logic really showed his versatility with this mixtape as well. It started with the first track, “Inception.” One line that really got me was when he said, “This is everything I dreamed of. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. But is it really, truly in my plans? Or did God mix up my blueprints?” I think that line just highlights how Logic can challenge you to really think about what he’s telling you. Logic also continued the Young Sinatra song series with “Young Sinatra III,” which was clearly the best one yet. It was dark, lyrical and really packed a punch. “All Sinatra Everything” is a great display of Logic’s ability to rap fast and maintain lyricism with epic punch lines. Overall, “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” was dark but had inspiration sprinkled in throughout. Logic rapped about some deep topics and really made you think. Some other standout tracks include, “Dear God,” “Life of a Don,” “The Spotlight,” “Relaxation” and “Disgusting.”
Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever
This is the mixtape that introduced Logic to the world. Logic made the XXL Freshman cover in 2013, which catapulted him into stardom in the eye of the hip-hop community. Logic really blew up after signing with Def Jam and releasing “Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever,” but he insisted that although he may no longer be an underground rapper, he would still maintain his lyricism and storytelling. Logic stayed true to that promise with this mixtape. He was able to balance the stardom and the need from the public wanting a hit and keeping his lyricism. It’s starts on the title track, “Welcome To Forever.” It’s inspirational, tells a story, maintains lyricism and is easy on the ears. This mixtape was lighthearted for the most part. The only beef I had with this mixtape was that it felt at some parts as if Logic was recycling lines and telling some of the same stories that he had in the past just because he had gotten so many new fans from the XXL cover. It felt like he was helping the new fans play catch up sometimes. But other than that, Logic really showed his storytelling skills on tracks such as, “Just A Man,” ”Welcome To Forever” and “Roll Call.” Logic also gave the public some bangers with “Ballin’” and “On The Low.” Again, he found that balance of lyricism and giving the public what was viewed as a popular song. Some other standout songs include, “Walk On By,” “Nasty,” “Feel Good,” “Young Jedi” and “Man Of The Year.”
The hype continued to build and build. People knew who Logic was before he dropped his debut album, “Under Pressure,” and they wouldn’t forget him after they had heard it. Logic flat out told his story. He didn’t care about radio play. He didn’t care about features—there were none. He just wanted to tell his story to the masses, and I think he accomplished that. Logic set up a cohesive storyline that started with the “Intro,” which was very inspirational. It ends by repeating, “You can really do anything.” After Logic gives the listeners hope, he goes back in time and tells the dark story of his childhood, growing up in West Deer Park. Logic really painted vivid pictures with this album. Prior to the album coming out, he said he wanted to “show and not tell.” He painted pictures of sitting in his house while crack was being cooked in his kitchen among many other vivid, dark stories. After he showed the dark side of his life, Logic ended the album on a very positive note with “”Till the End,” just showing with peace, love and positivity, anything is possible. Logic also showed his continued growth as an artist by rapping under different perspectives such as his brother, his dad and his sister. On the title track, “Under Pressure,” Logic sets up a string of missed calls and raps as his sister and his dad as if they were leaving voicemails. In my opinion, it was the best song to take on different perspectives since Eminem’s “Stan.” The only arguement you could make on “Under Pressure” is the evident plethora of influences on the album. There could be arguments made that Logic tried too hard to be like A Tribe Called Quest with the snippets of information being read throughout every other song by Thalia or the clear samples from newer songs such as Kendrick Lamar’s “Sing About Me” or even some of Logic’s borrowed flows. It was clear Logic was taking what he had learned from hip-hop and telling his story. Personally, I thought it was great—one of the best rap albums of 2014. Some standout tracks include, “I’m Gone,” “Buried Alive,” “Gang Related” and “Growing Pains III,” where he brought his vision set on the “Young, Broke and Infamous” mixtape to fruition.
The Incredible True Story
And finally, “the album that changed everything.” Logic set up a futuristic, sci-fi themed album. The man even wrote a script for this album. It starts out with Thomas and Kai embarking on a journey to find a planet called Paradise because Earth is inhabitable. Kai asks Thomas what he was doing on his way over to aboard the ship and Thomas replies, “Just listening to some oldies.” In this futuristic world, Logic’s music is considered oldies. Thomas tells Kai he was listening to Logic’s first album, “Under Pressure,” and says he was about to pop in the second album. Kai says, “Well you know this was the album that changed everything, right?” Thomas replies, “I know. That’s why it’s so important.” That scene set up the first audio cinematic experience in the rap genre’s history, so it could possibly be the album that changed everything. For me, this is what albums should do—tell a story. Logic puts us in the moment with Thomas and Kai as they listen to Logic’s second album, “The Incredible True Story.” The crazy thing for me was the role of Thalia. Thalia (played by Anna Elyse Palchikoff) is the spaceship’s interface program or virtual Siri of the ship. But she also appeared on “Under Pressure,” giving us information about the album, which could have been Thomas listening to Logic’s first album and Thalia telling him facts about it. Logic’s vision is out of this world—literally. To have the mind to create something like that is remarkable. As for the music on the album, Logic reaches new heights. He speaks on some very deep topics on nearly every song, such as accepting death (on “Fade Away”), making a difference in the world (on “Lord Willin’) and going on a inner mission to find yourself (on “Innermission), to name a few. Where there might have been an argument on “Under Pressure” that Logic leaned too heavily on his influences, I don’t think the same argument can be made on “The Incredible True Story.” Logic really honed his sound on this album and I think one of the songs that highlighted that was “City of Stars.” On the “City of Stars” track, Logic sings over beautiful melodies in the first half of the song and raps bluntly about his thoughts on the current state of hip-hop in the second half of the song. Logic was also able to throw in some radio-friendly songs such as “Like Woah” and possibly “I Am the Greatest.” Overall, this album is a masterpiece. It tells a well-thought out story and maintains the lyricism we’ve all grown to love Logic for. There are so many layers to this album, and the cohesive story really ties it all together. This album is the first of its kind—a true audio cinematic experience.
Logic started with an amazing foundation of lyricism and only got better with time. He continued to find his sound with every project and finally honed his music with “The Incredible True Story.”
On “Worthy” from the mixtape, “Young, Broke and Infamous” Logic was 20. On “One” from “Young Sinatra” the then 21-year-old said, “It’s been a year and everything I said what happened has.” Logic says the same line on the song, “Numbers” from the mixtape, “Young Sinatra: Undeniable.” At that point, he was 22. Logic also says on the song, “The Spotlight” that he’s “finna blow in the next three years, tops,” which would take us from 2012 when “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” dropped to 2015 when “The Incredible True Story” dropped. In between, Logic signed a record deal with Def Jam, made the XXL Freshmen cover and released his debut album, “Under Pressure.” Logic had the vision and it’s all finally coming to fruition. I think Logic is mature beyond his years and he is definitely a legend in the making. On “Just A Man” from the mixtape, “Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever,” Logic said, “Signed a deal but I’m still me. In five years will I still be?” Only time will tell, but I think it’s safe to say he’s on the right track.
In our second episode, Andy Alessio calls in to talk about the latest in the world of hip-hop, including Logic's album, "The Incredible True Story," Chance the Rapper's new song, "Angels," a comparison of "The Documentary" and "The Documentary 2 and 2.5," among many other topics. We also touch on our Star Wars theories are some other topics in the world of film.
The Don of Entertainment