On Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, Robert Bryson Hall II, also formally known as worldwide famous rapper “Logic”, released his fourth studio album “YSIV.” This has been a long wait for fans, since his last part of the Young Sinatra series “Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever” had come out in 2013. While this album is not growing as popular compared to previous works such as “Everybody” and “Under Pressure”, this is still a piece of work that needs to be listened to by the world for its hard beats, lyricism, and emotion.
The first song on the infamous album is dedicated to all of the fans, also known as Logic’s “RattPack.” “Thank You”, featuring singer Lucy Rose, puts light on the rapper’s following and shows how many lives he has touched from people all around the world. It features voice recordings from fans, some here in the United States, but also from countries like Israel, Ireland, and Lebanon. The fact that this was the very first track really shows the appreciation Logic has for his fans. To those, like me, who have made it all the way from his first studio album “Under Pressure” to now “YSIV”, this is a song that was unneeded but touching nonetheless. In the end, he gives his final note of thanks saying, “Thanks so much for letting me do what I love every single day and spreading a positive message.” To that I say, on behalf of all fans, thank you Logic for opening up that door with your music to be able to spread that message.
The next song “Everybody Dies” takes a sharp turn coming out with fast beats and meaningful lyrics, which is what this rapper is known for. Living your life to the fullest and not letting anyone tell you what you can or can’t do is a theme in a lot of Logic’s songs and is inspirational, real, and raw. He makes a note that anyone should do what they love because in the end everybody dies, so you might as well do what you’re passionate about. The artist also makes a stand for himself and his own success compared to other rappers in the industry saying, “All these rappers come and go wonder where they went.” At the end of this anthem, we can safely say that we are watching a master at work.
In “The Return” and “The Glorious Five,” Logic pulls himself out of the darkness sending a clear message that he cannot be beaten. When times get tough and when it just seems like the world is against him he picks himself back up and moves forward as one of the greatest. The constant line in the chorus of “The Return,” “I get up,” is not only a phrase for himself and his persistence, but inspires all of his fans out there to do that same as he does. He also calls out the “trap” music that is currently on the charts. What Logic raps is real with a message, and others who are just rapping about sex, drugs, and gangs can stay away. Young Sinatra is back with a message and everyone is going to hear it, bottom line.
An earlier release, “One Day” featuring One Republic singer Ryan Tedder is another track of inspiration on this album. Although, one thing that’s disappointed a lot of fans is the “pop” feel of this song. Compared to tracks in his first album “Under Pressure,” this song really strays from the rawness Logic usually puts in his anthems. The disappointment started from his worldwide famous song “1-800-273-8255” which spread a good message about suicide prevention but really brought Logic into the mainstream of pop music. For those who have been with him from the beginning, it’s safe to say that we would’ve liked to have seen him stay in his uncensored nature. “One Day” is just another one of those tracks that fans like myself would skip, not because it’s bad, but because it takes away from what we know Logic is and what he is capable of.
This next song is my personal favorite. “Wu-Tang Forever” is a tune that the RattPack, as well as myself, will jam out to any day. It’s one of those songs that you can listen to at any time, and it will still be just as good as the first time you heard it. There is always one song on every album of any rap artist that stands out above the rest, and this one is it. The original Wu-Tang Clan (Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Jackpot Scotty Wotty, U-God, Master Killa, and GZA) features in the track, of course, giving it a whole new level of amazing. The fact that this collaboration happened in the first place, is astonishing and mind-blowing all in itself. Well done, Wu-Tang and Logic, well done.
“100 Miles and Running” brings back the fun side of Logic’s jams. He is in a constant state of silliness and entertainment with this track and it is shown through his fast rhymes. If you’re part of the RattPack and just want to have a good time, it’s clear that this is the song for you.
“Ordinary Day” is a track that was rumored to be released on Logic’s previous album “Everybody”, but was saved until later due to it not being relevant to the album’s message. This song featuring actress and singer Hailee Steinfield and serves as an upbeat version of a broken heart’s tale. A man seems to be speaking to an ex of his, saying that he can see right through her and her happiness after their breakup. It was just a day like any other until the girl had come around again and he had seen her. A good tune for those who are going through a split, but don’t want a slow and haunting melody.
The heart and soul of this album, however, is shown in “YSIV.” This anthem brings the “I don’t care” attitude that is known to show up in Logic’s mixtapes like “Bobby Tarantino” and “Bobby Tarantino II,” but not so much in studio albums like this one. It’s a refreshing look at what Logic sets to produce for his upcoming projects. He talks about his life and how he does what he wants to get through it. Although being a rapper is fun, it does come with its pressures and stresses. His distress comes from his past, how he went from living on the streets dealing with drugs and gangs to becoming an international sensation. Although his life may be glamorous now, the ghosts that he left behind in Maryland still creep into his mind.
“Street Dreams II” is a simulation brought on by the rapper. He takes us through this fictional journey of him and his friends robbing a store. This may be because he is still looking back at his past reliving the horror of being a criminal in his younger days. At the end of all of it, Logic reveals that the whole story was just a dream. What this song brings us is perhaps an informal form of PTSD that he still goes through to this day.
For all of the party people out there, “The Adventures of Stoney Bob” is the song for you. Simply, it’s about having a good time with friends whether that be drinking, smoking, or just hanging out. What makes this one song in particular so interesting is the personification of “Mary Jane.” Talking to her as if she is a normal person brings out a part of Bobby that we as fans have never seen before. He is letting go and letting himself live his life. Something I think we all strive to do every once in a while.
The track “Legacy” is all about the story that Logic wants to leave behind for his family and his fans. Logic hopes to do something that is bigger than himself. He wants to give to others and leave an everlasting message of positivity to the world. It stirs up thoughts in fans like me, wondering that when I die, what kind of legacy will I leave myself?
Now, the most surprising song on this album by far has to have been “ICONIC” featuring Jaden Smith. Smith, who is the eldest child of early rapper and actor Will Smith, made a big debut in this collaboration. I have to admit, at first I was very hesitant to listen to this song because of my disappointment with Smith’s own work. One of my favorite rappers paired with someone with less than satisfactory work…it scared me, to say the least. However, I was very impressed with this pairing. They both complimented each other very well in seriousness and hard rhymes. Needless to say, this duo is nothing less than iconic.
Lastly, inspired by Kanye West’s “The College Dropout” is Logic’s last note, called “Last Call”. The ending of “YSIV” takes us through Logic’s whole journey from the bottom of being in Maryland and selling drugs to working his way up to the top. Before he had been such a success, he would stay on couches of friend’s dorm rooms and apartments. Moving around from one until the other until he finally got himself a recording contract with Def Jams. It’s a very inspirational story and really shows the raw detail in the artist’s life. In “Last Call” Logic also officially announces that this will be his last Young Sinatra album/mixtape. This has been a series that has gone on since 2011. For fans though, not to worry, for sometime very soon he has also announced his soon release of an album called “Ultra 85.”
This album is a masterpiece. It balances fun and positivity with darkness and reality. I am very relieved that the rumor that Logic was done making music was squashed in “Last Call” and look forward to hearing his new projects in the near future. Thank you Logic for another album that inspires and enlightens hearts all over the world, every day. Peace, love and positivity for all.
Bethanie is a junior at St. Cloud State and is a mathematics education major with minors in mass communications and special education. This year, she is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle, a director for in house productions at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and a math tutor. She enjoys writing, rock concerts, and serving her community and fellow students.