Logic - Vinyl Days Music Album Reviews

Logic - Vinyl Days Music Album Reviews
Both impressive and tiring, Logic’s seventh studio album stuffs 30 tracks’ worth of throwback beats and technical rapping into overbearing conceptual frameworks.

Part of Logic’s appeal relies on his transparency around mental health struggles, regularly sharing narratives about not feeling accepted in the world, and especially in hip-hop. He’s a mixed-race, self-proclaimed comic book nerd who can solve a Rubik’s Cube while freestyling, a boom-bap-loving thirtysomething vying for relevancy in the age of plugg and trap. Naturally, his brand of earnest, wife-guy rap has its supporters and detractors. Joe Budden called him “one of the worst rappers to ever grace a mic”; Ellen DeGeneres labeled him “the voice of his generation.” In 2020, Logic retired from rap to remove himself “from a bunch of negativity” and to focus on being a dad.

He announced his return in the most Logic way possible: By mimicking Michael Jordan’s “I’m back” press release. Like his music, the announcement was derivative and took itself too seriously. (He never really left, either; in his 11-month absence, he released music under an alias, Doc D, and regularly streamed on Twitch.) His first post-retirement project, the 2021 mixtape Bobby Tarantino III, leaned into some of his least compelling qualities: deriding modern rap trends while simultaneously imitating them; hyping up his wife’s hotness; promoting mental health awareness with the directness of a PSA announcement. He’s released 15 projects in 12 years, wrote a novel, retired, unretired, and now he’s ready to show us something new. But what would a good Logic project even sound like nowadays?

His seventh studio album, Vinyl Days, is his strongest project in years. The beats here are the best Logic’s ever rapped on—most of the production is handled by longtime producer 6ix and Logic himself—and his rapping is as technically electrifying as ever. Logic can rap, and rap well, and he showcases this skill ad nauseum on Vinyl Days, which is 30 tracks long. Absent are the forays into ska-rock and Trippie Redd trap; present are the odes to Madlib, J Dilla, and DJ Premier. Just look at the guest list: Action Bronson, RZA, Curren$y, Royce Da 5'9", AZ. Vinyl Days is a YouTube playlist of Funkmaster Flex freestyles, dudes gripping the mic and flaunting an elite arsenal of bars. It’s impressive and tiring, but it nonetheless highlights the reason why Logic’s so famous in the first place: He’s a really good rapper, and, resultantly, has earned the respect of some other really good rappers.

Similar to past projects, Logic’s at his most dynamic when he doesn’t tell us about his rap talent or the state of his crypto portfolio and instead just spits bars. His verse on the Action Bronson-assisted “In My Lifetime” is all slick wordplay and exuberant punchlines, while “Rogue One” boasts a high-energy double-time flow over the same sample as Wu-Tang Clan’s “Protect Ya Neck.” One of the album’s more memorable moments comes on the Beastie Boys-sampling “Bleed It,” where Logic offers imaginative, image-laden verses with a sense of urgency. Another driver of urgency is Flex himself, who serves as Vinyl Days’ omnipresent host, a larger-than-life hype man affirming Logic’s place in the contemporary rap pantheon.

But the choice to hire Flex to host Vinyl Days feels a little cheap given that Tyler, the Creator just deployed this conceit to perfection with DJ Drama on last year’s chart-topping, Grammy-winning Call Me If You Get Lost. Unlike Tyler and Drama’s comedic, experimental, and thematically resonant love letter to hip-hop’s mixtape era, Flex’s presence on Vinyl Days feels less considered. His main purpose is to explosively reiterate whatever Logic says in his verses: He retired but never left!; he’s one of the hardest rappers out!; real hip-hop is back, baby! It’s hard to hate—who doesn’t get an adrenaline jolt from a Flex bomb?—but the playfulness required to pull off a gimmick like this is mostly absent.

It’s not just Flex’s hosting that interferes with an otherwise pleasurable listen. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy Logic’s music without being swarmed with whatever conceptual framework he’s applied to a given song. One can’t simply relish in the sampling nods to Dilla and Madlib; Logic repeatedly reassures us that he reveres these guys, stans them, is an heir to their lineage. In the intro to “Ten Years,” we learn that Logic beat GZA in a chess match. And have you heard that he recorded this album with a microphone once used by JAY-Z? What about the 10-minute outro, where he personally thanks all the people he worked with at Def Jam? Or how, as he tells us on “Introducing Nezi,” he “found a strong Black woman from the land of Nigeria…Helping other musicians is my criteria”? It’s not enough that Nezi Momodu’s verse is excellent on its own; Logic wants his flowers for putting her on.

On a record ostensibly concerned with letting loose and returning to one’s roots, Logic seems set on clearing up the reasons for his retirement. On “BLACKWHITEBOY,” he describes how the up-and-down nature of the industry messed with his psyche; on “LaDonda,” he recalls a fantasy of murdering YouTube music critic Anthony Fantano over a negative review. Although clearly still grappling with these insecurities, Logic seeks to assure us that he’s moved on. Despite the good things going for it, Vinyl Days is weighed down with bitterness and frustration. Logic wants to get his respect and can’t for the life of him understand why it’s being withheld. So he tries harder than ever to elicit our understanding, to force us to see him the way he sees himself.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Logic - Vinyl Days Music Album Reviews Logic - Vinyl Days Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 Rating: 5

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