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Logic’s ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ is the rapper’s third full-length in nine months. (Photo via @Logic301 on Twitter)

Album Review: Logic offers a different sound while staying true to himself on ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’

Just a month and a half after rapper Logic released his book Supermarket accompanied by a delightful, coinciding soundtrack under the same name, the rapper has dropped another full-length album. The Maryland-born rapper’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind dips around a bit but, at times, gives a heartfelt glimpse into the rapping style that made him a household name. The 16-track album features huge collaborations, sincere lyricism and serene vibes.  

Though he’s most well-known for his international hit “1-800-273-8255,” Logic’s story does not begin there. After falling in love with hip-hop while hearing the mostly RZA-produced score of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1, the young Robert Bryson Hall wanted to make music of his own. Hall’s mentor, Solomon Taylor, brought him a plethora of CDs holding instrumentals to put lyrics over. Hall started performing under the stage name Psychological, though he soon shortened that to Logic, and released an unofficial mixtape that accumulated enough attention to get him a spot as an opening act for big names like Ludacris and Pitbull. 

Logic performed a national headlining tour after releasing three official mixtapes. With the release of his fourth, Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever, he announced his signing with Def Jam Recordings. From then on, he started releasing LPs, with his first two, Under Pressure and The Incredible True Story, being the pinnacle of soulful rap. 

The overarching theme on Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is Logic makes his life seem quintessential, but in reality, it’s so much more complex. The album switches between acknowledging his enigmatic thoughts and singing trap anthems: tracks like “Icy (feat. Gucci Mane),” the album’s most insufficient moment, are used to parade both artists’ riches. Logic has every right to flaunt — he’s certainly worked for it — but “Icy” fails in almost every sense and is not the way to do it. “Don’t Be Afraid to Be Different (feat. Will Smith)” has the potential to be incredible, but it severely falls short. “COMMANDO (feat. G-Eazy)” contains Logic’s Michael Jackson impression, and it’s humorously excellent. “Out of Sight” and “Limitless” both barely miss the mark of being in the album’s top five, but they give vibes of his work before attaining international fame, and that’s something to appreciate. All in all, most of the album succeeds because of tracks that contain passion and genuity.

Here are the best five tracks from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind:

5. “Mama/Show Love (feat. YBN Cordae)”

Many comments on Logic’s Instagram say they don’t like the new album because it lacks the energy and feistiness his older discography contains. Split into two parts, “Mama/Show Love,” completely contradicts those statements, and it goes hard. In the first segment, “Mama,” Logic, surrounded by forceful instrumentation, spends time disclosing how he’s amassed fame and fortune — and he wants to make sure his mom knows just how big he’s become. Next comes “Show Love,” where Logic imparts his gratitude to his fellow rappers. The realm of hip-hop has continuously been dominated by a competitive attitude, and Logic doesn’t know why: “Shoutout that boy Gambino / Shoutout that boy K. Dot / Shoutout that boy Drizzy; all y’all been through a lot / Why the rap game so scared to show love? / I don’t know, but I am not.” Though the track sounds more mainstream, it maintains Logic’s distinct touch. 

4. “Lost In Translation”

From the first second, the concluding track sounds like it’s straight off The Incredible True Story — it even references two songs from the album, “I Am The Greatest” and “Fade Away” — and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. “Lost In Translation” is sonically tranquil and perfectly matches Logic’s overall feelings about his life post-affluence — it’s nice, but it still has its struggles: “Chillin’ with my homies and we vibin’ / All this potion that I’m sippin’, I ain’t drivin’ / Life a motherf------, but we still survivin’.” It ends with a new Japanese version of Thalia, a female robotic voice which makes an appearance on Logic’s first two albums, who thanks listeners for sticking with Logic and telling the haters to get out. The 2003 romance film Lost In Translation takes place in Japan, which seems to blatantly correlate with the new Thalia. Tracks like this remind us why Logic earned stardom in the first place.

3. “Clickbait”

“Clickbait” discusses drug use, the detrimental nature of social media and declining mental health. The track references two people: the late rapper Lil Peep who overdosed in 2017 and host of the radio show Breakfast Club, Charlamagne tha God. The latter has garnered more attention because it’s a diss: “I don’t do the Breakfast Club ’cause Charlamagne is shameless / That’s the only one I leave out when I run my bases / Do your research ’fore you call somebody homophobic / You make a living off of controversy, and you know it.” Within 24 hours, Charlamagne responded by making Logic his Donkey of the Day on his show and saying no one cares. The public’s reaction to the track, saying it’s cringe-infested, proves Logic’s message: he’s always misquoted when all he’s trying to do is respect people and live his life. The track is meaningful and very much deserves to be heard. 

2. “Homicide (feat. Eminem)”

A collaboration with Eminem is one we never thought we would get, but it’s one we certainly needed. “Homicide” gives listeners a taste of both rappers’ insanely fast flows, with Eminem’s verse being the best thing he’s done in a while. Eminem knows he’s the greatest ever, and he acknowledges it: “With so many foul lines, you’ll think I’m a free throw / Figured it was about time for people to eat crow / You about to get out-rhymed; how could I be dethroned?” Two lines later, he says: “From the East Coast to the West, I’m the ethos and I’m the G.O.A.T.” The track ends with comedian Chris D’Elia’s impression of Eminem, and it’s hilariously perfect. Every aspect of “Homicide,” from the nasty beat to each rappers’ ridiculous wordplay, couldn’t have been executed better. 

1. “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”

There’s a reason this is the track that inspired the entire album: it’s the most profound piece of work Logic has released in a long time. “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” taps into Logic’s sorrow-laden thoughts and his true feelings on how people react to his music. The instrumentation is graceful, and the lyrics are dark and impactful: “Now why you think rappers be overdosin’ at the crib (overdosin’ at the crib)? / ’Cause people just won’t let ’em live / And the public is constantly thinkin’ they know ’em / But nobody knowin’ what’s goin’ on inside.” Logic promises to remain persistent despite the criticism and finishes the track with a humbling message: “Put your ego on the shelf and love yourself.” It’s uplifting, and it’s the best on the album.

Rating: 4/5


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