Logic: Vinyl Days Album Review

Part of Logic’s appeal lies in their transparency around mental health issues, regularly sharing stories about not feeling accepted in the world, and in hip-hop in particular. He’s a self-proclaimed half-breed comic book nerd who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in freestyle, a 30-something boom-bap enthusiast vying for relevance in the age of plugg and trap. Naturally, his brand of serious male-female rap has its supporters and detractors. Joe Budden called him “one of the worst rappers to ever grace a mic”; Ellen DeGeneres called him “the voice of her generation.” In 2020, Logic retired from rapping to get “out of a bunch of negativity” and focus on being a father.

He announced his return in the most logical way possible: imitating Michael Jordan”I’m backpress release. Like his music, the announcement was spin-off and took itself too seriously. (He never really left either; during his 11-month absence, he released music under a pseudonym, Doc D, and streamed regularly on Twitch.) His first post-retirement project, the 2021 mixtape Bobby Tarantino III, leaned into some of its less compelling qualities: mocking modern rap trends while simultaneously emulating them; exaggerating his wife’s warmth; promote mental health awareness with the frankness of a public service announcement. He released 15 projects in 12 years, wrote a novel, retired, didn’t retire, and now he’s ready to show us something new. But what would a good Logic project look like these days?

His seventh studio album, Vinyl Days, is his strongest project in years. The beats here are the best Logic has ever rapped over – most of the production is handled by longtime producer 6ix and Logic himself – and his rapping is as technically electrifying as ever. Logic box rap, and rap well, and he presents this skill until the nausea on Vinyl Days, with a length of 30 tracks. Missing are the forays into ska-rock and Trippie Redd trap; present are the odes to Madlib, J Dilla and DJ Premier. Check out the guest list: Action Bronson, RZA, Curren$y, Royce Da 5’9″, AZ. Vinyl Days is a YouTube playlist of Funkmaster Flex freestyles, dudes grabbing the mic and displaying an elite arsenal of bars. It’s impressive and tiresome, but it nonetheless highlights why Logic is so famous in the first place: he’s a really good rapper, and as a result, he’s earned the respect of a few other really good rappers.

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