Maryland rapper Logic has experienced a distinct career in hip-hop filled with notable highs and devastating lows. Over the past few years, the artist’s musical output’s some of the most shameful and embarrassing moments of his career, such as 2019’s “Supermarket” and “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” If anything, these projects are a clear indication that Logic was making reactionary music that was a response to his critics rather than music that he made on his own terms.
However, on July 16, Logic announced on Twitter that his retirement would come with one final studio album titled “No Pressure.” On Friday, fans were given this project, and it truly is a return to form for the rap underdog.
“No Pressure - intro” opens the project. Its chill production, FM radio-inspired background vocals and spacey atmosphere set the tone for Logic’s last album. Roughly halfway through the track, he begins to bust out the flow and delivery that put him on the map in the first place. Longtime fans are sure to hear this and feel a sense of nostalgia and relief knowing that Logic intends on doing what he does best on this project, which is giving fans personal, introspective verses with punchy flows and slick delivery.
On “Hit My Line,” Logic says on the first verse, “Now I ain't sayin' this my ‘Jesus Walks’ I'm just sayin', God, I need to talk.” This line is the perfect description for this project. Seeing Logic embrace his lane as a rapper who exists in the industry to simply tell his story is refreshing to experience. “Dark Place” is a solid indication of this desire to tell his story, with mental health being the main topic of this song. The track can be seen as reactionary, but it comes from a genuinely heartfelt place and the lyrics display this.
“Soul Food II” is a true highlight in the tracklist. This can be said about the majority of the songs on “No Pressure,” but it’s admirable how well Logic matches the production and its energy. The first half of the song is bombastic beat-wise, while the second half is more soulful but still fast-paced. Generally, it doesn’t matter what beat Logic chooses; he won’t be afraid to let his vocals shine through.
Songs such as “Perfect” and “A2Z” are moments when Logic’s confidence and braggadocious personality peak, but at times his persona can come off as somewhat bitter and unlikeable. The latter song has lines such as, “All you non-talent rappin' motherfuckers better run and hide / You worthless, you have no purpose, fuckin' imposter,” and just hearing this proves that Logic still isn’t exactly above taking shots that fall somewhat on their face.
“Amen” is the second to last song on “No Pressure” and contains Logic’s last verses, with the final track “Obediently Yours” being an extended sample of an old radio segment from Orson Welles. The two tracks flow into each other well, but Logic’s delivery and vocals aren’t as sharp as one would expect for a finale. Regardless, it’s pleasant to hear him be so grateful toward his loyal fanbase.
Because this album seems to be the last project Logic will drop as a hip-hop artist, it’s important to realize what “No Pressure” represents for his career. As stated before, Logic has seen his fair share of highs and lows, and this project perfectly reflects that fact. While some moments may be repetitive in terms of production and Logic can come off as goofy and cringey at times, “No Pressure” serves as an appreciable send-off for the artist with its introspective lyricism and displays of impressive technical ability.
Logic’s retirement may be an unfortunate reality for some, but this final project can serve as a reminder that he left the music industry free of the pressure he felt when he entered it back in 2014. Logic has now grown into an artist worthy of notoriety.
Contact Julian Denizard at email@example.com. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter and Instagram @Breeze_Culture