‘Mixtape Logic’ Puts Out Diverse Tracks on “Bobby Tarantino II”
Issue   |   Tue, 04/03/2018 - 21:19
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Logic’s latest release resembles a mixtape more than a cohesive album.

On the introductory track of Logic’s “Bobby Tarantino II,” Rick, from the popular animated television show “Rick and Morty,” poses a question in response to his grandson Morty’s request to listen to Logic on their spaceship ride: “What Logic are we talking about here? Are we talking mixtape Logic or album Logic?”

As Rick later explains in the skit, differences in artistic style separate and define the Maryland MC’s two personas. Album Logic, the artist who made “Under Pressure,” “The Incredible True Story” and “Everybody,” crafts ambitious and meticulously planned albums and is defined by his conceptual daring and storytelling chops.

Conversely, mixtape Logic, a reference to the persona that Logic assumed on his surprise 2016 mixtape “Bobby Tarantino” and now on “Bobby Tarantino II,” pumps out bass-heavy trap music designed for clubs and parties.

Logic’s announcement of “Bobby Tarantino II” assuaged fans’ fears about his creative career path.

His last full-length project, “Everybody,” elicited mixed reactions from critics and casual fans alike. Some loved the creativity and boldness behind the work — a concept album that preached equality and inclusivity, while attempting to appeal to listeners of every background.

In contrast, the original “Bobby Tarantino” was a critically-acclaimed tour de force, filled with everything from hard-hitting trap bangers (“Flexicution”) to ridiculously creative beats (“Super Mario World”). Its sequel is a worthy successor to the original, and features artists such as 2 Chainz, Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean increase its commercial viability.
However, the mixtape’s greatest strength, the range of beats on it that allows Logic to experiment with different styles, also contributes to its most glaring weakness: its lack of cohesion.

There are several songs on the mixtape that adhere to the conventions of trap music — featuring hi-hats, layered synths and heavy kick drums that combine to create a uniquely dark and menacing ambience.

The first trap song on the album is “Contra,” in which he calls out the bandwagon fans who began to like him when he broke into the mainstream. He spends a significant portion of “Yuck” burying Joyner Lucas, with whom he had previously had beef: “But you jealous, you look at my life and you feel envy / Constantly comparing yourself to me and feel empty.”

On the trap tracks featuring other artists, Logic proves that he can hang with the mainstays of contemporary trap. “State of Emergency” features Logic (“You can’t put me in a box, my talent put me in the mansion / Rap without Logic’s like the game with no expansion”) and 2 Chainz (“Watch in 1080p, cost 80 apiece / I need 80G, verses ADD”) trading lyrical blows.
He also outshines Big Sean on “Wassup,” sounding more comfortable than the latter on the speedy track.

Despite the trap-heavy nature of the album, Logic does include some calmer songs, which are just as enjoyable. “Indica Badu,” in which Logic and Wiz Khalifa play off each other well over a smooth string bass beat, is a tribute to Wiz’s drug of choice. “BoomTrap Protocol” slows the pace of the album down with a relaxing rhythm. “Midnight,” a two-part song, employs unique instrumentals — a mournful synth in the first half and an eerie piano in the second.

“Everyday,” a collaboration with the DJ Marshmello, is an EDM ode to hard work and gears itself towards Logic’s peripheral fanbase, as well as EDM fans. “44 More” is a worthy sequel to “44 Bars” from “Bobby Tarantino” featuring Logic flaunting his trademark mixtape bravado.

The two most interesting songs, “Warm it Up” and “44 More,” are performed in classic Logic style, with precise and clever lyricism. With the help of longtime Logic collaborator and producer, 6ix, “Warm It Up” takes fans back to Logic’s “Young Sinatra” mixtape days. He slows down a bit while still maintaining the tempo of the song, and his lyrics are clear and concise.
“Bobby Tarantino II” lacks cohesion, but maybe that’s intentional.

Because his albums are intended to be so poignant, both lyrically and thematically, Logic may feel the need to forge a different creative path for his mixtapes. Convention does not dictate that mixtapes released by established artists are supposed to send a message or be perfect.

The fact that critics have disparaged this latest one is a testament to the standard that Logic has set for himself. Without a defined theme, he frees himself to explore different genres while providing a trap experience for those fans who want party music.