An avid lover of music with a flair for writing. A core hip-hop fan with a thing for boom-bap beats and bars.
Saying farewell to the rap scene at the age of 30 is something seldom seen among elite rappers. So when Logic announced his plan to retire from the rap game and focus on being a father, it was quite shocking. However, when he announced the release of his sixth studio album titled No Pressure, as a final project to appease his longtime fans, many were skeptical about whether the album would be great or not due to how underwhelming his fifth studio album, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind was. I was quite certain however that it would be a befitting farewell to the rap game and I was not disappointed. After the buzz and excitement over the album had died down, I listened to it again and it still sounded fresh and undiluted. I instantly made up my mind to review the album because it feels like an album that I would revisit from time to time.
No Pressure, which is a sequel to Logic’s critically acclaimed first studio album titled Under Pressure was an obvious indication that Logic was delving back to his roots. Consisting of 15 tracks, No Pressure succeeds in evoking various arrays of emotions in the listener as it progresses. The reintroduction of Thalia, the android assistant who helps the listener navigate through the album is something longtime fans of Logic would appreciate.
Logic had a lot of issues to talk about on this album, as he delves into topics such as gang violence, racism, police brutality, his humble beginnings, his career and criticism that surrounded him, his day to day life, reasons for his retirement, etc. The album had several highlights and one of such highlights was when Logic was at his most vulnerable. There were certain tracks where Logic discusses his lack of self-worth and insecurity such as “Heard Em Say”, “Amen”, “dark place” where he raps “I been beaten and battered, my confidence shattered /been broken and tattered”. His ability to get the listener to resonate with every emotion he feels on those tracks with lyrics is something top tier and should be appreciated.
Rapid-fire flow and delivery are something Logic is revered for and he proves on No Pressure that he still has it. His flows throughout this album is something done gracefully and effortlessly. A track where this is well portrayed on the album is “A2Z”, where he tried teaching his son, little Bobby the letters of the alphabet while rapping to every single letter. It was so sleek and enjoyable. His flow throughout the album was top tier and enjoyable. A major highlight of the album for me.
Another major highlight of the album is the excellent production. The production team led by NO I.D, the executive producer of the album, did not put a foot wrong throughout the entire album. The album reunited Logic with NO I.D for the first time since the prequel, Under Pressure which was released in 2014 and they successfully recreated the magic they made on that project on the sequel. The fourth installment of the growing pain series “GP4” is a testament to the quality production of the album. The album interpolates many classic songs in paying tributes to artists that influenced Logic's style of production and rapping. Songs such as “Hit My Line”, “Celebration” and “Heard Em Say” were all sampled from Kanye West’s earlier works.
The cohesiveness of the entire album is a major highlight of No Pressure. The concept and structure of the album are meticulously planned. Every track bleeds into one another seamlessly and no track seemed out of place on the entire project. The listening experience was further enhanced by Thalia who gives the listener a virtual tour of the entire album, giving the listener certain backstories and facts about the album.
No Pressure as a final project from one of the finest emcees of the past decade is expected to be filled with deep-rooted messages and he did not disappoint either. On the final track “Obediently Yours”, the album is signed off with a powerful speech from Orson Welles, first delivered on a Radio Station in 1946 about how what needs to be done before everyone can truly be equal irrespective of race. This message was vital due to the prevalence of the Black Lives Matter movement all over the world before the album’s release, a message that calls for deep thinking with lines such as “Race hate isn’t human nature, race hate is the abandonment of human nature”.
Although some might argue that the corny lines and the rapping quality does not make it a 10/10 album, I find this album as one of Logics' most enjoyable projects in a long while and a befitting farewell to the rap scene. I hope it comes into the album of the year conversations. Fingers crossed on that.
Essential Tracks: "Gp4", "Soul food ii", "Perfect".
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Fawaz Akintunde
Fawaz Akintunde (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on October 16, 2020:
Marissa I agree, leaving the rap scene at the age of 30 to focus on his family is not much of a bad idea either. I wish him well
Marissa from Nigeria on October 16, 2020:
Wow, I had no idea logic was throwing in the towel from rap music. I'm sure his fans would be so sad to see him leave the rap scene. However, it's a nice gesture on his part to leave them a parting song. Nice one!