A ’90s themed space voyage in Logic’s ‘Incredible True Story’
Adam Ramos | Tuesday, November 17, 2015
On “Intermission,” the seventh track off his sophomore album, a 24-year-old Logic echoes “Yeah, I woke up early on my born, 25, it’s a blessing/ Progression everyday, lesson’s got me stressing,” distinctly mirroring a line in Nas’ “Life’s a B—h,” off the iconic “Illmatic.” Yet, Nas is just of the many ‘90s rap forefathers Logic aims to pay homage to on “The Incredible True Story.” Going beyond just lyrics, “The Incredible True Story” is Logic’s testament to hip-hop’s golden age, as he continues to develop his extraordinary talent in what is his most ambitious work to date.
“Take’em back to the ‘90s” Logic booms at the start of “Young Jesus,” one of the two singles released early off the album, and that’s exactly what he does. All throughout “The Incredible True Story,” Logic channels his raps roots – namely, pivotal acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Talib Kweli and A Tribe Called Quest. Characterized by subtle hooks, heavy jazz influences and with a focus on the rap creation, Logic’s new blend of old and new styles is a refreshing take.
While the intricate and interesting hooks of “Under Pressure” were certainly strengths of the debut, this is no longer the case, as Logic has transitioned into honing his remarkable lyrical and flow abilities. Songs like “Paradise” and “City of Stars” feature Logic at his best, effortlessly rhyming with impeccable timing. “The Incredible True Story” also showcases Logic’s Drake-esque singing, offering a revitalizing pause from his fast-paced, often intense verses.
The idea of a concept album is another feature the “Rattpack” rapper borrows from rap’s past. Where Wu-Tang had the Shaolin Monks, Logic uses an “Interstellar” themed space journey as a concessive image for the album. “The Incredible True Story” follows two astronauts Quentin Thomas (a nod to his — and my — favorite director, Quentin Tarantino) and William Kai, on their journey from a post-apocalyptic earth to a new planet, “paradise”. The story takes place a hundred years in the future, but the chatter between the two sounds like something I would hear walking to class. Four different tracks titled “scenes” are devoted to this banter as the two men, along with their onboard AI interface, Thalia, chat about music, relationships, hopes and dreams. While the scene cutaways are certainly interesting, I’ll have to admit to skipping them my first listen through.
The new album may be Logic’s first go at a concept album but Thalia is a familiar face, or rather, voice. “Under Pressure” featured the computer generated female voice, interjecting at various points to provide background. According to Logic, in an interview last year with Power 106 Los Angeles, “Thalia” gets her name from the Greek goddess, and “muse of music,” “It’s my muse, taking you through and explaining everything.” Logic clarified – but Thalia is, again, another nod to the past, specifically to A Tribe Called Quest’s 1993 album, “Midnight Marauders” — an album featuring a similar sounding narrator, if you will.
Yet, What’s interesting about “The Incredible True Story” is Thalia’s evolution. Thailia is no longer the simple, choppy voice, of “Under Pressure” — she can be heard retorting to her voyager companions with ease and fluency. This change in Thailia, is a great metaphor for the change in Logic, his muse is beginning to development, along with his identity as a musician. Logic is no longer a rookie in the rap game, with two impressive albums, a Def Jam label and a sold out world tour, Logic has become a force to be reckoned within the rap game, and deservedly so.