(Released May 5th, 2017)
Prior to the release of Everybody, the only project that I had heard from Logic was his latest mixtape Bobby Tarantino. The tape is decent – filled with attempted bangers and what could be mistaken as carbon copy records by his counterparts – but Logic made it clear that wasn’t going to be the direction of the LP that would follow “This shit right here for the party/that album that’s coming that shit for the spirit” (Slave II); that sentiment made me optimistic for what was to come. And that brings us to Logic’s third major label release Everybody.
Originally, it was titled after the final song – AfricAryaN – the goal was to shed some light on Logic’s African-American and Caucasian background – BREAKING NEWS: He’s biracial! – but eventually, that theme was changed to what we have now, Everybody. An extremely loose concept that revolves around a character’s untimely passing, meeting a Divine Being who informs him that he is being, and has been, reincarnated many times and must learn to see things from Everybody‘s perspective. This concept missed the mark by a long shot since he doesn’t do that throughout the album to the point where the “concept” is barely acknowledged. After listening to the album AfricAryaN wasn’t such a bad title for what the content consisted of.
Production wise, Logic seems to have a really good ear. There’s not a single beat that could be deemed lackluster. Some of the songs have a really boisterous sound – America, Mos Definitely and in my opinion Anziety even though it tethers on the subtle side as well – there are also records with lighter production – Everybody, Ink Blot and 1-800-273-8255 – both of these elements play very well together in the overall listening experience.
Lyrically, however, things seem to fall short. While Logic brings having Black Power to the forefront most of what he is saying relating to the topic isn’t anything revolutionary or out of the ordinary from what we’ve already been saying or have already heard. To me, it feels like his confidence in that area of his life is lacking a bit – maybe rightfully since he is in fact biracial (in case you missed it) – maybe the responsibility he took on to speak to the black side of his identity became watered down in an attempt to not shut out his white side? I’m not sure. Even the sentiment of “Black is beautiful” at the end of the opening track – Hallelujah – doesn’t quite reach my soul or make me want to put the Black Power fist up. That is tested even more with the title track that follows. Everybody dives into his racial identity – “BUT HE WAS BORN WITH THE WHITE PRIVILEGE” – but reinforces the notion that no matter the race we are all the same, a concept that my blackness has trouble coming to grips with in 2017. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it comes across as something Macklemore would release if he could say “nigga”; matter of fact that can be said for the whole album. Another instance of failing to dive deeper is on the tenth track 1-800-273-8255 – named after the Suicide Prevention Hotline. With subject matter as important as mental health it would’ve been nice to maybe hear Logic’s own personal feelings with thoughts of depression, instead, it’s pretty much surface level, and the line that follows the chorus – “Who can relate? Woo!” – came across comical and cringeworthy. Those things don’t take away from the overall sentiment of the record though, Alessia Cara and Khalid did a great job of adding more emotion to the song.
After multiple listens Logic’s Everybody isn’t as bad as I initially thought, just annoying to some degree. There’s no denying that Logic is a talented rapper, able to effortlessly ride the beat while keeping his flow and cadence intact, he also seems to have stepped back from “biting” from his counterparts on this album. Killing Spree, Mos Definitely and Anziety are a few of my favorite songs on the album. Surprisingly a collaboration with Juicy J on Ink Blot worked almost perfectly – I do wish the “slob on my knob” line was accompanied by “like corn on the cob” – but we can’t always get what we desire. The other featured artists also do a good job of bringing something to the table rather than taking away from it. Damian Lemar Hudson‘s vocals at the end of Black SpiderMan were amazing. Black Thought, Chuck D., Big Lendo and NO I.D. all add to the feel of America; while I can’t say that the song or their verses are incredible, they all did a good job on the record; and Killer Mike took everyone to church with his part on Confess. *spoiler* There is also a surprise appearance from J. Cole on the album, I have more cons than pros with his verse but I guess the fact that Logic managed to get a guest verse from Cole is worth some points.
Besides the fact that he mentions he’s biracial (IN CASE YOU MISSED IT) throughout the entire album instead of staying on the intended topic of the theme, failed to lyrically dive deeper into the thoughts he was trying to convey and also chose to spend only two minutes rapping on Take It Back while talking about his upbringing for more than four minutes – If you made it through that whole monologue, congratulations, you played yourself – and some other flaws like the terrible voice acting that was done; this album isn’t completely bad. I can’t say for certain if this will get multiple or even another spin from me and I still stand by what was said earlier, that this sounds like an album that Macklemore would make if he had a nigga pass. However, it is still a pretty decent album, an All Lives Matter album, but still decent.
If you’re like me and don’t know too much about Logic’s music I strongly suggest listening to his debut album Under Pressure. Although he seemed to go downhill with each project that followed, Everybody can still be an enjoyable listen.