Logic is, by any reasonable measure. a prolific rapper; having released six albums (and one soundtrack) in the last six years. However, the days of almost-yearly Logic releases are now over, as the rapper has revealed that his sixth album is also his last. As Logic leaves music in the past, he can take comfort in the fact that his final album is easily his best yet.
‘No Pressure’ is Logic’s most intimate and personal album to date, with the rapper covering topics from his mother’s drug addiction (“battled addiction in the womb / A crack baby by definition”), his turbulent upbringing (“Social worker trying to take me away”), his struggles with his mental health (“Feelin’ hated and underappreciated”) and his fatherhood (“Become a better man, I better be / For the child in my baby mama stummy”). Despite this, however, Logic does take the time (albeit briefly) to address wider societal issues. in ‘Hit My Line’, Logic addresses worsening violence (“Too many kids in the community outlined in chalk”) and how less-privileged people aren’t given the chance to express their potential (“The greatest rapper alive is probably stacking produce”).
However, despite dealing heavily with darker, deeper issues, parts of ‘No Pressure’ are almost buoyant. Logic spends much of his time on this album celebrating his fame and good fortune (“Came up on section 8 and I made it, yo, mom look”). While at times this celebratory tone can seem braggadocious, at other times it showcases a genuinely inspiring tale of someone who used their talent to go from poverty to unbelievable success. It is this stronger lyrical content combined with good melody and production that makes this Logic’s best album to date.
While this is a pretty solid retirement album by anyone’s standards, obviously it is not perfect. The robotic, electronic voice of ‘Thalia’ that ends multiple songs on this album is overused and interrupts the flow between songs. The only time the addition of ‘Thalia’ is genuinely impactful is in ‘5 Hooks’, where she says “actually living your life is exponentially different from just being alive”. Perhaps the reason this line is effective is because of the tragic irony of a lyric about living your life fully being delivered by a robotic, emotionless voice.
Meanwhile (as aforementioned), this album contains some of Logic’s best lyrical content to date, and showcases Logic’s artistic progression over the years. Logic’s lyrics are best when they are written in a disciplined way with clear purpose and intent. The only time Logic’s lyrics really go off the deep end is when they seem directionless and meandering – like on ‘DadBod’ where he starts rapping about his….erm…. “bowels”, before singing about “a really hot girl” with “a fat ass” (an odd choice of lyrics in a song where he also talks about how greatly he loves his wife).
Nevertheless, any low points on the second half of this album are more than made up for by final two tracks ‘Amen’ and ‘Obediently Yours’. ‘Amen’ is a perfect farewell song from Logic – an uplifting anthem addressed to his fans. Meanwhile, final track ‘Obediently Yours’, contains almost none of Logic’s own words, but is instead a six minute sample of a 1946 episode of ‘Orson Welles Commentaries’ played over an understated melody. This is an unusual (to say the least) way to end an album, but amazingly it’s effective. Below are some of the most insightful words from Orson Welles commentary (which focuses on Isaac Woodard Jr, a black veteran attacked and blinded by a white police officer):
“We’re lucky to be alive / But only if our lives make life itself worth dying for”
“race hate is the abandonment of human nature”
“A healthy man owes to the sick all that he can do for them”
“Giving the world back to its inhabitants is too big a job for the merely practical.”
“To the generations: the fight is worth it / And that just about means that my time is up / When my time’s up, I remain as always, obediently yours”Orson Welles