Album Review: Logic, ‘Everybody’
Over the course of numerous mixtapes and several albums, Gaithersburg, Maryland MC Logic proven himself to be an elite rapper. After whetting our palates with his Bobby Tarantino mixtape, the 27-year old rapper returns with his highly anticipated, third studio album, Everybody. For a third consecutive time, Logic lives up to the hype on Everybody, exploring race and societal racial issues.
“Hallelujah” opens Everybody epically, to say the least. Led by a grand, gradual crescendo, Logic blesses the track with quick-paced, sharp rhymes. On the hook, he affirms his own beliefs, painting the exuberant major key production masterfully:
“I’m like hallelujah! / Praise God, almighty, the most high / Alpha and omega in the sky.”
Throughout “Hallelujah,” he plays on words, incorporating the spiritual and secular. Lengthy, a skit about death – part of the conceptual narrative – extends the length. Here, the listeners get their first taste of Neil deGrasse Tyson, playing the role of God.
Standout “Everybody” segues from “Hallelujah.” From the jump, Logic exhibits a crazy flow on the promo single. He kicks off the track ferociously, claiming his spot atop the rap game.
“Okay I was gone for a minute but I’m back now / Sit the f*ck back down / Seem like everybody nowadays Hollywood / Oh, it’s like that now? / I’ma show you mothaf*ckas how to act now / I’ma show em how to act / I’ma show em how to act.”
The meat of “Everybody” occurs on the verses, where he revisits a rough childhood and upbringing. Logic touches upon being biracial and racism he’s faced from both sides. On the second verse specifically, he references slavery, white privilege, and ignorance when it comes to racism in general.
“Confess” is among the grooviest joints from Everybody. Groovy it may be, it continues to explore spirituality and race. Spiritually, the sentiment of the song is both firmly planted in Christianity and yet there’s a fair share of skepticism and secularism as well.
“Somebody save me / I need you to save me / To wash away my sins on high.”
Killer Mike appears at the end, specifically addressing God about inequality.
“Why do you put us below these evil motherf*ckers? / And then we crawl and we scratch our way out …”
“Killing Spree” featuring an unlikely collaborator, Ansel Elgort, who sings on second verse. Yes, actor-musician Elgort played Gus in The Fault in Our Stars. Moving beyond Elgort, “Killing Spree” features some of the hardest hitting production of Everybody. It serves a perfect fuel for the fire for Logic, who is on autopilot. His autopilot status is solidified on the hook, where he criticizes society’s shallowness as a whole:
“Ass, titties, pussy, money, weed / Everywhere I look a killing spree / All the things they wanted me to e / Is all the things that I turned out to be.”
Throughout the course of the song, he contrasts legit concerns with first world problems:
“Real shit goin’ on in Lebanon / But I don’t give a f*ck, my favorite show is coming on / Hashtag pray for this, pray for that / But you ain’t doing shit, get away from that.”
On “Take It Back,” Logic addresses being biracial head-on. While he’s addressed this in subtler fashion earlier, the outro truly sheds light on his walk and how others perceive him. Perhaps he overstates at times throughout Everybody, but give the MC credit for being personal – vulnerable if you will.
“George Bush doesn’t care about black people / 2017 and Donald Trump is the sequel so / Shit, I’ll say what Kanye won’t / Wake the f*ck up and give the people what they want.”
“America” assembles a cast including Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, and No ID. Arguably save for Chuck D, none of the guests are flashy, but fit the vibe that Logic has assembled. Like numerous musicians, Logic drops his anti-Trump sentiment:
“Fight the power, fight the power / Fight for the right to get up and say f*ck white power / Everybody come and get up, get on / And no matter what you fighting for I promise that it’ll live on / Like Make America great again / Make it hate again / Make it white / Make everybody fight…/And everybody wonder why the world insane”
Expectedly, the support cast follows suit, criticizing the Trump presidency and his respective followers. Notably, Chuck D makes reference to the Flint, Michigan water crisis, in relationship to the larger problem of dirty politics.
“Ink Blot” featuring Juicy J is deeper than it comes off, at least given Logic’s commentary. Regardless, even if it’s meaning is shallower to the listener, it’s a treat to hear Logic and Juicy J trade bars. Adding to the treat is the production work, which is luxurious and soulful in sound.
Logic raps at a lightening quick pace on follow up “Mos Definitely,” a play on rapper, Mos Def. Like “Take It Back,” the outro arguably outshines the verse. “Waiting Room” connects with the skit from the opener, “Hallelujah,” with Tyson continuing his role as God masterfully. “Waiting Room” dabbles in reincarnation.
What makes “1-800-273-8255” so heavy? The title is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Logic approaches the song as a progression, starting from the suicidal perspective, encouraging the suicidal person to embrace life, and the suicidal person coming to the desire to live. Alessia Cara enters the picture, flaunting a beautiful vocal performance. The sound is angelic, but not morbid, marking the realization of life and a new beginning. Khalid appears at the end of the record, adding the punctuation mark; the suicidal person has seen the light of life. Ultimately, “1-800-273-8255” is an uplifting, relevant, and well performed gem.
On “Anziety,” featuring Lucy Rose, Logic once more gets personal. Rather than focus on race, he focuses on anxiety, specifically his health scare. Ultimately, he thinks big picture once more – we all have our fair share of issues, but they shouldn’t hold us back. Again, he seeks to educate and uplift his audience.
Penultimate standout “Black SpiderMan,” featuring Damian Lemar Hudson,” features lush, gospel-tinged production work, giving the record an exuberant quality. Logic sings respectably on the hook, over the spiritually-driven backdrop. Following the spirited hook, he breaks into quick-paced, spirited rhymes. The central theme – everybody is included. Once more he references his race, as well as his wife’s race to make the point that everyone should be treated the same regardless of differences.
“I ain’t ashamed to be white / I ain’t ashamed to be black / I ain’t ashamed of my beautiful Mexican wife as a matter of fact.”
He continues to explore the message, adding sexuality and religion to the mix. The titular lyric arrives towards the end of the lengthy verse, with Logic changing the perceptions of familiar things, including references to black Jesus.
Closer “AfricAryall” featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson is the lengthiest selection, topping the 12-minute mark. It’s a lot to absorb, but Logic continues to sermonize about the impact of race. While deGrasse Tyson continues his excellence, the biggest surprise is an appearance by J. Cole, which doesn’t arrive until around the nine-minute mark.
Once again, Logic delivers the goods on Everybody. Thematically, he focuses on social issues, eschewing more shallow rap clichés. That isn’t to say that he has no fun, or that he isn’t profane (f-bombs run rampant), but he aims for transcendence as opposed to commercial success. Does Logic overplay his hand, focusing so intently on racial issues? Perhaps he is heavy-handed, but if there was ever a time for an album like Everybody, this is the time.
Gems: “Hallelujah,” “Everybody,” “Killing Spree,” “Take It Back,” “1-800-273-8255,” “Black SpiderMan”