Arts & Entertainment

Review: YSIV album adds to impressive discography

By John Marchese
Contributing Writer

Logic is a Maryland native rapper who dominated the early 2010s with his Young Sinatra mix-tape series. He was signed to Def Jam Records in 2013 and released his debut album, “Under Pressure,” in 2014. With the release of his second album, “The Incredible True Story,” he began a storyline and theme of space, in which two characters of his creation, Kai and Thomas, search for the planet Paradise. In this world, Earth has been destroyed, and all of humankind lives on a space station.

The second album begins with Thomas and Kai just finishing up a listen of his debut album and listening to his second on their journey to find Paradise. Since the second album, this story has continued throughout the rest of his albums. His third album, “Everybody,” finds our heroes reaching the planet and beginning to walk and explore the planet to find “paradise” where all humans can live in peace.

As this album begins, Thomas and Kai walk through the forest, and Thomas explains to Kai that YSIV is the last installment in Logic’s Young Sinatra series. The intro track, “Thank You ft. Lucy Rose,” begins with a very light and jazzy production featuring some 90’s style drum patterns and a very simple, but enjoyable, flow from Logic.

He begins to thank his diehard fans for supporting him thus far, explains his future goals and promises more music to come. He includes voicemails from fans around the world on the album to show his appreciation for all of his fans. This song fades perfectly into the next track and the album’s second single, “Everybody Dies.”

This song has a very up-tempo and aggressive mood through which Logic begins to detail his childhood, saying, “I wish that I could be a dog in a rich family.” He then delves into the state of hip-hop claiming that he is, “not top 10 more like top 3. [He is] 2 ‘cos nobody could top [him].” His flow is constantly changing on this song, and the punch lines are phenomenal. He also includes various samples and sound bytes from his Young Sinatra mix-tape series to bring a pleasant feeling of nostalgia.

The next track, “The Return,” was the first single from the album. Once again, the transition between songs is immaculate with on track fading perfectly into the next. On this song, Logic continues to impress with lyrical flexibility displaying his punch line ability and fantastic flow. The song has a chant-like chorus that was obviously designed for stadium shows.

The mood begins to somber as the fourth track, “The Glorious Five,” begins. This song details Logic’s journey through the music industry, issues with his ex-crack addict father and how he hopes to be an important point of his future child’s life. He assures his fans that, even though he is becoming more and more mainstream and recognized, his mindset hasn’t changed and he will remain true to himself. “One Day ft. Ryan Tedder,” another radio single, spreads the message of peace, love and positivity that Logic is known for and is a feel-good, danceable track.

The song, “Wu-Tang Forever ft. The Wu-Tang Clan,” is by far the best track on the album, as it includes every living member of the Wu-Tang Clan on an eight-minute masterpiece of a track that pays homage to 90’s era hip-hop. The songs, “100 Miles and Running ft. Wale & John Lindahl” and “Ordinary Day ft. Hailee Steinfeld” lighten the mood from the hardcore “boom bap” sound and are light, poppy and enjoyable songs.

The title track, “YSIV,” returns to the 90’s style that Logic is loved for and includes a tribute to the now deceased Mac Miller, who inspired Logic to start the Young Sinatra series.Following the title track, “Street Dreams II,” inspired by “Casualties of a Dice Game” by Big L, is a fictional tale of the kidnap of Logic’s wife and how he goes on a journey through a city to get her back. This is followed by a skit where Logic awakens to find that he is at the studio. His friend jokes that ever since he started smoking weed he is always late, which leads into the next song, “The Adventures of Stoney Bob ft. Kayjo, Slaydro, & Big Lenbo.”

This song is a stoner ballad about making music and smoking weed. The tone is again switched with the song “Legacy,” where Logic encourages people to love and appreciate their families and to not focus all their attention on building a legacy as they will lose connection with those they love.

The song “ICONIC ft. Jaden Smith” is reminiscent of Jaden’s song “ICON” and is a lightning-quick display of Logic’s wordplay and lyrical ability. The final song, “Last Call,” is an homage to the Kanye West song of the same title, in which Logic tells his life story with a mixture of rapping and talking.

Overall, this album is a fantastic piece of art; it shows that 90’s style hip-hop is not dead and that rappers can still rap. If a listener is not a diehard Logic fan or a member of the “Rattpack” fan base, they may not get the full enjoyment out of this album that fans will. Logic wrote this project to end his Young Sinatra series, and it serves as a love letter to his fan base thanking them for all of the support. This album is an 8.5 out of 10 and a great effort by Logic.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment