I have had a weird relationship when listening to Logic. A lot of times I love his music and a lot of times I hate it. He can be extremely predictable in his lyrics and styles. However, this album feels different. Historically, we have seen rappers take on a secondary persona; Eminem had Slim Shady, Tupac had Mackaveli, Madlib had Quasimoto, and Mac Miller had Larry Fisherman. Logic pulls his alter ego from his main musical inspiration, the legendary Frank Sinatra. Logic seems to get away from his old school influenced trap albums, Bobby Tarantino and Bobby Tarantino II, as well as his more political projects, Everybody and Under Pressure, to go back to his mixtape roots. His Young Sinatra projects have demonstrated a lot of classic hip-hop influence as well as his vocal and lyrical talents. This project only builds off those old Datpiff mixtapes onto a bigger level.
Logic opens the record with a conclusion of the skit that overlays his album The Incredible True Story. He then moves into the remaining six minutes of a “thank you” track focused towards his fans. The Maryland rapper claims he wouldn’t be anywhere without his dedicated fans, especially those who have been with him since he first started, therefore, its definitely not a bad move to start with this piece. As the album moves on, we start to see the resurrection of his alter ego, Young Sinatra, on the track “The Return.” From here, he continues with his style of modern “boom bap” flows with upbeat lyrics of perseverance and overcoming obstacles. Now sure, Logic gets a lot of heat for being corny on some verses, overly political or personal on others, however, it’s hard to deny that the man has talent and lyricism. He can spit and its often fast as hell. This is proven through his “syllability” on “100 Miles and Running” when he hits 11.7 syllables a second. That is damn fast. Logic also plays a lot with his hip-hop influences. On “Everybody Dies,” he does an interpolation of Kayne’s “Barry Bonds,” he jokes about J. Cole in the intro of “The Glorious Five,” and talks about how much influence the late Mac Miller provided him in making the Young Sinatra projects on “YSIV.” But obviously, the biggest collab on this album had to be with the entire Wu-Tang Clan (minus OBD of course…RIP). That track is special on so many levels, from the fact that Logic was able to work with them to the fact that it will introduce many of his listeners to one of hip-hop’s most influential groups of all time. And we can’t cover the vocal aspect of the project without highlighting Logic’s line about how many of us feel with the current trends in rap:
“Fuck a mumble let’s make America rap again”
Many of the beats throughout YSIV are created by one of Logic’s closest friends and head producer, 6ix. The guy was a neurology major at the University of Maryland before dropping out to pursue music with Logic if that says anything. Yet, once again, he proves his worth, demonstrating that there is a reason the rapper has kept him around. Throughout the album, we hear lots of different types of beats, from ones that have very old school vibes, to ones that have more of a stripped down modern take on boom bap beats. “Everybody Dies,” “Wu-Tang Forever,” and “Street Dreams II” are just a few that stand out in particular. However, my favorite beat on the record has to be “100 Miles and Running.” A combination of funky synths, a really clean drum kit, and Steve Wyreman slapping the bass throughout just makes you feel excited. Plus the horns coming in as Logic speeds up his flow towards the end of the track…oh man! You know I love brass in any instrumental or beat.
Solid. Through and through. The transitions are smooth, everything sounds pleasing, no weird chords or poor vocal mixings, and every feature fits in perfectly. I know among Logic’s fans there was some confusion whether YSIV would be released as an album or a mixtape, given the history of the other Young Sinatra projects. However, this feels like a very meticulously well-produced album with its general flow. To be honest, my brother said it best talking about the flow of the project, describing it as “the kind of album you put on and beginning to end feels like one long jam.” He is not wrong. Everything flows together so nicely that you hit “Last Call” and still could keep on listening.
“Everybody Dies,” “Wu-Tang Forever,” and “100 Miles and Running.” However, one of my top albums of all time is The College Dropout which includes one of my favorite Kanye songs, “Last Call.” Therefore, Logic’s rendition of the track is music to my ears.
You can be the biggest fan or most outspoken hater of Logic, but its hard to deny the man’s talent. He has solid verses, fantastic beats, and tight production. Some of his albums and projects haven’t always been my favorite, yes Everybody I’m looking at you, but this one is special. I can see myself putting this record on and just letting it spin for a while in the future. YSIV is a:
This album also made me go and listen to a bunch of the old Wu-Tang stuff. I highly recommend you do the same.