Saying that I’m disappointed with the way this album turned out would be an understatement. Logic, the inherently talented rapper-producer from Gaithersburg, Maryland, turned heads back in 2015 with his sophomore studio album The Incredible True Story. It marked the arrival of yet another bright emcee on the brink of stardom. With dope tracks like “Upgrade,” “City of Stars,” and “Young Jesus” as well as comedic interludes, Logic proved all his haters wrong by adding cohesive curation and surprisingly good singing to his rapid-fire rap delivery. Much like Kendrick Lamar, Logic’s second commercial project used a concept album approach, telling an elaborate and entertaining narrative from start to finish. His creative vision was clear and his raps were sharp, insightful, and keen. His efforts seemed to foreshadow beautifully polished and imaginative storytelling in the releases ahead. However, Logic’s path to greatness has taken more than a few detours with his new full-length album Everybody.
Upon first hearing the title track of this album about a month or two ago, I was excited to hear the rest of the project. But as time went on and albums such as All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$, More Life, and DAMN. dropped, my expectations for Everybody shifted back to neutral. I’ve been a fan of Logic’s since the release of his debut album. And with the follow-up being so well put together, I thought the sky was the limit for the double-time spitter. Unfortunately though, this album is a considerable step back for Logic. The themes here are messy and scattered. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson stops by to play God as he narrates how Logic believes life begins, ends, and reinvents itself. Of these 13 tracks, Neil shows up for only three, making this theme of existential theory feel like a last-minute addition rather than a driving narrative. What takes its place as the primary focus on this album is Logic’s incessant scolding of white people as a whole, his personal origin story, and his slogan of “Peace, Love, and Positivity”. I am certainly someone who embraces peace, love, and positivity with welcome arms, and I applaud Logic for his continued passion for equality and unity as a people.
But, for me, my gripes with this album aren’t with what his message is saying. My issue is how he is choosing to spread his message on this album. Everybody is stricken with overbearing redundancy. From beginning to end, Logic has wonderfully uplifting social and emotional commentary. He dedicates two songs to victims of suicidal thoughts and actions as well as those who struggle with the devil known as anxiety. These are real issues that many citizens go through on a daily basis. I love that Logic sheds light on these subjects, choosing to take a stand for those without a legitimate voice in music today. Nevertheless, with how much he beats a dead horse in regards to the lyrical topics on this album, most of his message still gets unheard. Like I said before, I am a fan of Logic and I consistently tune in to his interviews and Genius annotation videos. Therefore, not only do I know the story of his upbringing, I am somewhat tired of hearing about it. He addressed his origins on his previous albums in a much more functional and compelling way than what is heard on Everybody.
Logic countlessly spends time rambling about his childhood fight for acceptance. As a pale-skinned bi-racial black man, Logic was the victim of insufferable bullying and shaming, feeling too black for the white kids and too white for the black kids. His Section 8 home was not fit for a young child due to the weapons and narcotics he witnessed being wielded and sold within its four walls. His adolescent years were filled with racism (from his mother of all people), isolation, and even kidnapping. Needless to say, Logic had a rough time growing up and that should not be downplayed by any means. However, I feel as though if he’s going to repeatedly bring up the past he should do so with his pen rather than his tongue. “Confess,” “Take It Back,” and “Anziety” all feature more talking and ranting than actual rapping. This, along with a near-five-minute interlude, makes this album’s replay value plummet drastically.
Three albums in, I would like to have seen Logic give his fans more complete songs. Many of these tracks are too short to make a real impact, too long because of how much spoken word is present, or feature hooks and choruses that are so underwritten that the song has little to no lasting effect. His agenda is admirable without a doubt, but his total execution musically leaves much to be desired. The production here is lush and wavy (Logic is the primary producer on 11 of the 13). But ultimately these mostly impressive beats aren’t enough to rescue Everybody from Logic’s off-center personal vendettas. I reiterate: Logic has great things to say but the way in which he says them makes them feel uninteresting and unimportant. At the end of my final listen of this album, I couldn’t help but have a bad taste in my mouth. Its themes are underdeveloped, its song structures are sporadic, and its message becomes tiresome after 71 minutes. I may not have grown up in a toxic environment like Logic did, but as a bi-racial black man I do know what it’s like to not feel completely accepted; to feel like you’ll never truly belong.
As I’ve matured, I’ve realized that we all belong. We all belong on this planet and deserve a fair shot at achieving our dreams. I understand that Logic is more concerned with how people treat each other than his private matters. But on this album it doesn’t feel that way. The preachy atmosphere of this album takes away from hearing just how talented Logic is. This album feels like a statement of condescension since no one has experienced what he has during his time on Earth. That’s not fair to anyone, if you ask me. He’s telling listeners how to live their lives, but when it’s his turn to comment on what the meaning of life is he either cuts his lines short or has someone else step in to speak for him. His political views are generalized at best and his bashing of his parents (however deserving they may be of it) seemed a little unnecessary; especially considering how much he spoke on that topic throughout Under Pressure. All in all, this album is a huge letdown, placing Logic in an inessential category of current emcees. That doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad rapper or rap artist. It simply means, at this particular point in time, he is not releasing music that advances his artistry. Everybody is basically Logic laying out all of his and the world’s problems without ever stopping to ask what his fans want to hear, which is beyond disappointing. No one person has the solution for the world’s problems, and I don’t expect Logic to have it either. But I do prefer, if he’s going to go down this path, that he at least sound like he’s working toward one rather than stating the obvious or the continuously aforementioned.