Off the heels of his recent commercial success, the ultra-talented artist Logic fumbles the fourth installment of the Young Sinatra series; getting too caught up in trying  to remind the Hip-Hop community that he belongs.

Over the past few years, it’s become trendy to discredit Logic, for one reason or another. Most of the hiphop community that call Logic ‘fake’ or ‘corny’ haven’t given Logic’s music an opportunity. Hate him or love him, Logic has carved himself a vital role of the hiphop world and as of recently becoming one of the very few artists that connects the mainstream audience with authentic hip hop.

Logic career arc could be compared to very few others, as he dominated the underground rap scene with classic mixtapes and lyrical wordplay similar to some of the all-time greats. Mentioned in the same ilk of generational talents such as Kendrick Lamar, Wale and J.Cole, it’s no surprise that Logic has trailblazed himself a path among the pantheon of great rappers.

But somewhere along the line, Logic changed.  Rather than obsessing over the quality of his content and appeasing to his core fanbase, he seems to be obsessed with his legacy and mainstream appeal. We saw more melodic and obscure songs from Logic, with a central focus around mental health awareness.

It’s not peculiar to see an artist experiment with their sound, but when rappers start altering their personality in order to represent themselves in a way that is more financially lucrative than who they were before, than it raises some concerns.

Throughout the buildup of the project, Logic was clamoring to fans that this was “his best project yet” and giving  some  typical rapper quotes that you would hear before any release, but I remained optimistic due to the intellectual property that were the Logic ‘Young Sinatra‘ albums. It’s no secret that Logic revered these tapes in the same way that Wayne views Tha Carter series, so it should be a safe assumption that Logic provides some quality music.

Logic consistently stated that Young Sinatra IV was going to be for his rattpack, but after multiple listens of the project, it’s safe to say that this may be Logic’s worst album up to date. At it’s peak, YSIV provides some heavy boom bap 90’s flows and Logic can just focus on the beat and some bars. But the majority of the project is bogged down with mundane production, recycled bars and underwhelming/predictable raps that has become synonymous with the rebranded Logic.

The fourth and alleged final installment of the Young Sinatra series, Logic uses the 14-song LP to shove messages  of positivity down his consumers throats in order to  push for a Grammy bid. Instead of coming off as endearing and genuinely concerned, the message feels political and calculated. Not only does Logic come off as in genuine in his album concept, but there are instances across the LP in which Logic comes off as eerily familiar as some of contemporaries. Whether it’s discussing about delivery, cadence, breath control or the manner in which he is spitting, Logic lacks the originality that would propel him to the forefront of rap.  Throughout the span of the project there are a fair share of moments in which he finds himself repeating the same rhyme schemes and bars and it leads to a level of disconnect his previous works didn’t have.

Logic’s Under Pressure may very well be the crown jewel of his discography and the beauty of that particular project is how raw and in your face it was.  Under Pressure was pure and genuine with hardhitting raps filled with substance, whereas YSIV feels guarded,forced and shallow.  It seems as if Logic is content with making filler music, covering it up by rapping quickly over beats.

To be fair, Logic does provide some strong cuts throughout the project. The title track acts as Logic’s tribute to the late Mac Miller, sampling the iconic Nas and AZ’s “Life’s A Bitch”  beat and Logic just spits. Endearing, emotional and straight from the heart Logic provides quality content for six minutes, riding a piano-laced beat and handles business as an MC.  “Wu-Tang Forever” comes early in the project and provides the boombap fans (including myself) some satisfaction. Sure the song features all 435 members of the clan and runs at a staggering eight minutes, but the contrasting styles and flows keep a certain level of freshness that makes the runtime feel  a lot shorter. The overall feel of the track is on some classic 90’s s**t that I love, and Logic uses the track as a statement to his doubters that he can go toe to toe with certified rap killers such as Ghostface and Raekwon.

“100 Miles and Running” ft. Wale & John Lindahl also stands out among the tracklist, filled with a vibrant go-go beat clearly influenced by the DC- Maryland connection between Wale and Logic. The album is a clear homage to the great N.W.A and they do them justice by both Logic and Wale murdering the beat. Wale seems more than comfortable with the uptempo pace, holding his own against a heavy winded Logic and Bobby Tarantino himself seems comfortable breaking out of his shell to spit on such a unique beat.

Logic seems to be a genuinely kind hearted human being. He spends the final four minutes of “Thank You,”on Young Sinatra IV running through phone calls of young fans from all across the world showing deep gratitude for being an inspiration. Logic cherishes every single member of his fanbase, never straying away from reciprocating that same energy his fans show him, as he is one of the few musical acts that understand that Logic wouldn’t be who he is without the tenacious support of his Rat pack. But that does not exclude him from criticism.

The album shows glimpses of greatness, but that’s all that they are. Brief, fluttering moments that quickly become overshadowed by the same recycled message we have been getting for the past two projects. To his core fans and his unbiased supporters(including myself), I think it’s only a matter of time until Logic takes a hiatus from music. As each project passes it seems as if the aura and shine around Logic dims, removing himself from the pedastool of generational talent to hitmaker. It’s time for Logic to regroup, and it’s as clear as it can possibly be with the misfire that is Young Sinatra IV.

Grade:4/10

Ananth Para
paramana@mcmaster.ca

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