It takes precisely one second into No Pressure to be transported back to 2014, as Thalia, the same robot used on Logic’s Under Pressure, welcomes you to the show and flips back and forth between giving background information on how the album was made and making fans emo. Logic decided to end his career the same way he started it: with colorful, genuine lyricism and masterful production from No I.D., reminding listeners that despite the fame and fortune, he’s still the same Logic we met years ago.
On July 16, the Maryland rapper took to Twitter and Instagram to announce his retirement from music following the release of No Pressure. Logic decided he’s gotten everything he wanted out of his career, and “now it’s time to be a great father” to his son, who he lovingly calls Bobby Boy.
No Pressure is a blast from the past, delivering reference after reference to some of Logic’s most well-loved tracks (“I’m Gone” and “Upgrade,” just to name a couple). After his last album, 2019’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, was met with heavy criticism from fans who “missed the old Logic,” he knew he had to go out with a bang, and he certainly did. “Celebration,” a collaboration with Silas, who is signed to Logic’s record company, is a boisterous channeling of Kanye West, who Thalia reveals at the end of “Perfect” is one of Logic’s inspirations. The beat switch-up of “5 Hooks” is mind-boggling in a good way. “A2Z” is a cute way of demonstrating how great of a father Logic is destined to be, but the execution is a little questionable. Logic may be done now, but his music will live on, and No Pressure has solidified that.
Here are the best five tracks from No Pressure:
5. “Dark Place”
There isn’t anything too special about the subtle production of “Dark Place,” but the lyrics are a different story. Logic gets down to the nitty-gritty of his deteriorating mindset, divulging that he’s not even motivated to make music anymore because of hateful comments online and his depression. He also validated the sadness of anyone else who is listening and struggling: “Every time I look in the mirror, I wonder, ‘Why you?’ / Shit, I’d love to end this on some positive shit … But it’s OK to be sad sometimes and tired of shit, I guess.” The track fades out with a sample of a thought-provoking speech from writer Alan Watts, who was also sampled on Logic’s “The Incredible True Story.”
4. “Soul Food II”
It’s safe to say with No Pressure, fans were hoping for some sort of sequel to Under Pressure. Verse one of “Soul Food II” employs a slightly altered beat and interpolates the same first line from “Soul Food.” While Logic discusses his slow rise to fame on the predecessor, this track shows how he’s up there with his idols now, and the criticism is heavier than ever before: “If you’re searching for love in the industry, you’ll be let down / They don’t love you ‘til you dead, and then they call you profound.” He completely switches gears in verse two, where he further explores the story of Kai and Thomas, the main characters from The Incredible True Story.
Don’t let the title deter you. The ethereal synths are reminiscent of “Innermission,” and they perfectly help emphasize how relaxed Logic is with his new life. He even calls out his haters with one of his best set of lyrics ever: “They say that that boy done changed / He don’t rap about his everyday life; he ain’t the same / G------, already had a hard life once / Am I supposed to recreate it every album for you c---?” Now, all that’s on his mind is making sure his son gets the family support Logic never had.
2. “Open Mic\\Aquarius III”
Yes, those are the same samples from the nine-minute masterpiece “Under Pressure.” Logic discusses everything under the sun: overcoming his adverse childhood, his rise to fame and how this past year has made him realize nothing, not even the worldwide acclaim, matters except for his newfound family: “All I ever gave a f--- about was my career / But all that shit out the window now that my son is here / F--- sales and streams; none of that shit entails dreams.” The samples of “A Peace of Light” by The Roots and “Do That Stuff” by Parliament blend together almost too well.
1. “man i is”
The production on “man i is” could absolutely not have been done better. The horns will take you to outer space as Logic thanks his idols (Pimp C, whose song “Knocking Doorz Down” is interpolated in the intro, is named, among others) for shaping him and his music. Despite what others have to say, Logic is content with how he turned out: “I said I’m happy the man I is / And I’m proud of the man I’ve become / I never got cold; I never got numb / Except for the wintertime and then some.” The track is too good for this world, making it the best on No Pressure.