If at the start of this year you told me that one of my favourite hip-hop albums from 2020 would be a Logic album I would have laughed at you. But here we are, I am about to start singing praises for the latest and (allegedly) his last album, No Pressure which was released on July 24, 2020.
When I say I like an album I usually mean that I like every track on the album and I don’t have any tracks that I would skip on a repeat listen. I am glad to say that I like every track on this Logic album which in itself is a new thing for Logic’s music.
Don’t get me wrong, I have liked a few of Logic’s tracks over the past few years but I have never liked an entire project of his. The album before this (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind) was quite possibly his worst studio album and if I had to pick a one word descriptor for it would be “wack”. So, when I heard that there was a new Logic album coming out, my expectations for it were quite low. Well, suffice to say that my expectations have been surpassed and then some. My impression of Logic as a person changed for the better as well due to some of the subject matter of the album.
I want to go through this album track by track for this post. Every track will be under its own heading with the name of the track. Let’s get started!
No Pressure Intro
Right off the bat, this album starts with a Thalia voiceover which as someone who has heard Logic’s music before was a good sign since Thalia was also on the last Logic album I came close to liking which was The Incredible True Story from 2015.
My most favourite part of this track is the David Hayter bit:
(Hey, Logic, Snake here
I hear you’re planning world domination through a new form of Metal Gear
Well, listen to me, it won’t work)
As a Metal Gear Solid back, this was a fun reference!
A thing I should mention is the presence of the recordings from Orson Welles’ radio plays, Logic says those are a big inspiration for him and I think that they work really well in the context of this album.
Another constant is the bits from Thalia, all of those add some sort of insight to the track itself which I love and a couple of them are kinda just funny.
Hit My Line
This track is a prayer track which samples IGOR’S THEME by Tyler the Creator and I think the samples really fucking well. Shoutout to the producer on this track, 6ix.
My most favourite bit from this track:
They say they don’t want messages in rap, it ruins the art
Well, here I am, people, yeah, now tear me apart
So much happenin’ in the world, I can’t touch on every topic
I know You hear it in my voice, make the devil stop it
Too many people dyin’ and baby mamas cryin’
It’s been a long time, God, can You hit my line?
Evil politicians, people on Twitter bitchin’
Hashtaggin’, but in real life, they never pitch in
This track interpolates Andre 3000 and has one of the best verses in the album. Logic’s flow is flawless on it.
I live by the beat, I die by the beat, since 1990, I (I)
Live by the beat, I die by the beat, like MPC Akai
Who I name William after ’cause I get bills from these beats
Wonder how the people gonna remember me, goddamn
Switch up the plan
We all say it, we all claim it but it’s no use
The greatest rapper alive is probably stacking produce
Introduce you to my train of thought
Snapping on a track like the illest conductor
With no contradiction
I brought my heart to the table
Fact and never fiction, fuck a fable
Ready and willing you better believe I’m able to spit
Power through these lines faster than fiber-optic cable, I’m gone
6ix and No I.D’s production throughout this album is absolutely spectacular and this track is no exception.
This track is a more typical braggadocio hip-hop track but again the beat on it elevates it from being boring.
My favourite bit from this track is right at the beginning:
Ayy, it’s a celebration, bitches
Came a long way from bus stops and washing dishes
From rags to bitches
Stovetop to Mastro’s, man, this shit is delicious
People denying my past like that shit is fictitious
I’m Spike Spiegel, but I’m known to be vicious
I get under people’s skin like stitches
No strings attached, I just let it dissolve
Give it time and then let it resolve
This track is the only one with a feature, one from Silas which I think is just average, it doesn’t detract from the track and doesn’t make it worse, its just there.
Open Mic\\Aquarius III
This 5 minute track doesn’t let up all the way through and it comes with a beat switch near the end which in some ways I think could have been a separate track.
Lot’s of good bits from this track:
For the listener, you’re kind of like a therapist
Or rather Cole in 2005, flowing like Canibus
That throwback shit, yeah, that throwback shit
I’m like Leo in Revenant, bear with me
Feeling imprisoned, and this is my freedom through these lyrics
As I repeat them and beat ’em into my conscience like Adonis
All this lyricism straight to the dome like cocaine through the sinus
I think I finally found my paradise, that’s word to Thomas
Soul Food II
This is another two part 5 minute track. The two parts each have a different sample and beat. Did I mention the production on this album is off the charts? The sample on the second part is from Lupe Fiasco’s Gold Watch.
This track is also a sequel to the one from Logic’s debut 2014 album Under Pressure which I’ve never heard but damn I’m tempted to go back and listen to that now.
Industry rule number four thousand and eighty one
Your new shit ain’t good as your old shit
‘Til your new shit is your old shit, son
The second part is more of the storytelling Logic which is one of my favourite Logic modes, he does it really well.
The year was 2115 at Babel Space Station
Was home to the very last of the human population
The captain name was Thomas, the infantry man was Kai
And he’s the man that discovered the Ultra 85
Accompanied by a girl inside their ear, her name was Thalia
Made of ones and zeros, she was a program
You could ask her any question even about the fall of man
All the characters in Logic’s sci-fi world get mentioned here
To balance out the two 5 minute tracks in a row, we have a 1:40 banger produced by Keanu Beats, FnZ and 6ix. The beat on this just bonkers and Logic’s flow is just…whew lord.
This shit right here a masterpiece, I’m comin’ in hot like the police
Shooting my shot like the police
All on the block like the police, man, who gon’ (Stop, stop)
The police from leaving bodies in the motherfuckin’ streets, man?
man i is
We return to a more introspective Logic on this track which samples Dreamflower by Tarika Blue. Those horns are just sublime.
I love hip-hop
Hatin’ motherfucker, go kick rocks
No matter what happen I never gon’ stop
Like Cole said, if they don’t know yo’ dreams
Then they can’t shoot ’em down
This man sure loves his J Cole references.
When I first saw this in the track listing I expected a corny track but it turns out I shouldn’t have judged a track by its title because this track is fantastic.
And it has one of the best lines in the album:
And I love my wife like I am Chance
Logic takes a shot at people who keep expecting him to keep talking about the same shit:
They say that that boy done changed
He don’t rap about his everyday life, he ain’t the same
Goddamn, already had a hard life once
Am I supposed to recreate it every album for you cunts? Okay
Y’all like beat switches? This track has got you covered. Samples the Toro y Moi joint that is referenced in the previous track.
Hey, yeah, this that barbecue music
Life is a blessing and a curse depending how you use it
Some days I’m happy, some days I’m fucked up
Some days I tell the voice in my head to shut the fuck up
This one is heavy, Logic gets into the topic of his mental health and how hip-hop and fame has affected him.
I remember makin’ music alone, just a pen and a microphone
But nowadays it’s hard to get in the zone
Writin’ rhymes was easy before the fame
Now I’m constantly overthinkin’ every line, it’s a shame
Rap used to fill me with joy, now it’s nothin’ but pain
I’m stuck in the game, tryna get back from where I came
I write this letter for the person who’s listenin’
Fed up and tired of people dismissin’ ’em, I’m with you
Yeah, just some real shit in here.
I love the alphabet scheme in this song and the outro with one of Logic’s demo tapes.
Are you ready? I’m calm my arms are steady
I’m armed and ready, digging in you like a machete
You going to need more than bed rest when I hit you with these 26 bullets, no excess
I never went to school, never went to MIT, but my imagination out of this world like MIB
Heard Em Say
I love the Chris Thompson chorus in this track.
Stackin’ money and readin’ my son Sam I Am
Love life, can’t tell you how much a fan I am
This is grown folk music if you did not know
Thirty somethin’, I ain’t rappin’ ’bout no dumb shit, ho
Keep it real, Bobby boy ain’t no kid no more
Now keep it real, Bobby boy ain’t no kid no more
Now if you feelin’ how I’m feelin’, let a motherfucker know
This is the last track on this album with Logic rapping on it.
Came up on Section 8 and I made it, yo, mom, look
Writin’ these raps in a Louis Vuitton rhyme book
I never thought I’d make it out the hood and now I’m shook
I finally made it out my hood, everybody look
I’m across the street waving where the grass is greener
Hating on how far I’ve come, I don’t give a damn, Gina
This a celebration with no invitation
This the last one then I’m done, permanent vacation
Only place I felt I belonged was Babel station
Cooking crack, cooking crack for my generation
Now it’s time to conclude the incredible true story, and transformation
Bro, you are making me cry 😭
This track is all Orson Welles and I’m fine with most of it except for this bit:
Not by well-wishers, but by policemen, and I mean good policemen
😬 That hasn’t aged particularly well, no such thing, Mr Welles.
My Final Thoughts On This Album
I hope by this point I have given you enough reasons to give this album a listen. Its well produced and Logic has some of the best verses in his career on it. I seriously cannot overstate just how good the production is on this album, 6ix and No I.D absolutely killed it.
If this is indeed Logic’s last album, what a way to end his hiphop career. I wish him and his family the best. Good luck on your future endeavours fam.
Thalia, do Big Sean.