Review Summary: Young Sinatra's newest mixtape introduces us to a much prouder version of the Maryland MC, which isn't exactly a bad thing, but it does make for some pretty underwhelming skits. He does make up for it though with confident flows and terrific production by
When I first heard the name Young Sinatra, I couldn't help but refuse to find anything that stood out about him. There wasn't much that caught my attention at first glance. I mean, at first he kinda looks like any old teenager on Youtube trying to become the next big white rapper. Come to find out that the kid's not as young as you'd think. Young Sinatra is actually well into his early 20's. But aside from that, his snapbacks and crew sweaters didn't really make him look like someone I'd be willing to give twenty tracks worth of attention to. So when I finally checked out his Undeniable project, it turned out that I was neither right nor wrong. Let's put it this way: he definitely surprised me with his wittiness and cocky delivery, but at the same time I just felt like I heard it before. The whole tape almost felt like a cheap mix between Mac Miller and Drake. And yeah, I know that's a weird mixture, but honestly, that's what I thought of when I first heard it. And after hearing Welcome To Forever, I understand why.
While he doesn't come off as a straight up carbon copy, it's safe to say that Young Sinatra isn't the most innovative sounding rapper in the game. I mean, he does have his own voice, but is it really that different from the rest of his competition? All throughout this tape I kept hearing flows from all types of new school artists. Yes, Drake was one of them. But aside from him, YS almost had a little bit of J. Cole in him, as well as even some Big Sean and XV. On bangers like "On The Low", his spitting definitely reminds me of some 2010-2012 Vizzy. The Cannon assisted "Nasty" is one that I think many Dreamville fans can envision their beloved Cole rapping over (I mean seriously, give that same exact beat to Jermaine and the only difference is the younger pitch in Logic's voice.) Also, on "Just A Man", he does discuss the concept of temptation similar to how Cole does on tracks like "Lights Please" or even songs from the "Friday Night lights" mixtape. But even if he sounds similar to the Cole's and the XV's, the dude can spit for sure. This is obviously proven on "Nasty", but an even better example would be on the third track, "Roll Call". Outside of being an awesome homage to OutKast, Young Sinatra rhymes every line like a premature wordsmith, letting short and simple phrases quickly fall into the next until they eventually form into a quick 3 or 4 set of bars:
"I'm finna blow like Hiroshima, my demeanor get meaner
Watch me elevate to arenas
Me without the mic, that's like
Martin without the Gina, Venus without Serena"
and he continues it by giving us some of the wittiest wordplay found on the entire tape with "Now these thirsty bitches on the dick, we call that Aquafina". Now some might call that corny, but coming from someone who needed to pause it to understand the lyric, I think it just shows his ability to be one clever S.O.B. Also, I have to applaud him for being able to use rhymes in the beginning or in the middle of each line, and not just using the end to make all his punchlines.
Another thing I admire from the young Maryland spitter is his introspection. Now I will admit that Logic isn't the deepest rapper in the world. But he at least tries to get us to understand his struggle. One of the things that did make me think twice about him is that even though he comes across as just another "swag-rap" affiliate, he did in fact have it tough growing up. On "5AM", he talks about what it was like growing up watching the police constantly raid his family's house for drugs. On "Roll Call", he raps about his mother's discrimination toward him because he was born biracial. On tracks like "Just A Man", Logic contemplates his long term relevance in the music industry, and even opens up about religion. Later on in that same song, he talks about the moment when he discovered his father was a crack addict. These are just a few songs that show the more personal side of this young cat.
So, he's witty, thoughtful, and he's a spitter. This must be a perfect project, right? Well, not exactly. Like I said before, the OVOXO sound was very alive and well on Undeniable, and it does not stop here on Welcome To Forever. Just by a quick 10 second listen, you can tell that this dude was going for that soft, R&B style that has become synonymous with Drake. I mean, seriously, those soft melodies and that monotone rap/sing combo that Drizzy does is emulated almost perfectly on tracks like "Man of the Year". The keyword there is "almost". And that song's produced by No I.D.! Are you serious? I would have never guessed that the man who brought us classics for people like Jay-Z and Nas would choose to co-sign such a boring track. I mean, the violins were a nice touch, but nothing else really pales in comparison to other No I.D. beats you would find on a MBDTF or even The Blueprint III.
Speaking of "Man of the Year", what the hell was up with that lame punchline? "I was dirt broke, now I'm ballin' like a sphere"? C'mon Logic.
Also, some of the other beats were also similar to Drake, but not in the stereotypical soft and emotional way. The beats on songs like "The Come Up" and "The High Life" definitely reminded me of some of the newer stuff we've been getting from Mr. OVOXO (the latter of the two sounded eerily similar to "Over My Dead Body"). Also, the jittery pitter patter type drums from "5AM" made it sound like something off of So Far Gone. The fact that he constantly uses Drake quotables as ad-libs don't exactly help the comparisons either (I swear I heard this dude say "Started From The Bottom" like 3 times throughout this thing).
The skits were another thing I kind of had a problem with. The first one with John Witherspoon was okay I guess, but it felt sort of unnecessary. Why did we need that skit? It wasn't that funny, and it didn't really contribute anything to the tape. It was just kind of filler. Also, the "Randolph" skit gets more stupid the more I listen to it. I get that what he was trying to do, but in the end it just didn't need to be there. If that "Randolph" guy exists, I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up kicking Logic's ass for making him sound like a dick.
All in all, this is by far one of the better mixtapes I've heard this year. And after just finishing up Chance's "Acid Rap" project, that's saying a lot. This mixtape shows off more of Logic's cohesive lyricism, professional flows, and solid wordplay. Also, the features were pretty good too. Kid Ink, who I'm not a fan of by means, did a decent job on his part. So did newcomers like Castro and Dizzy Wright. Jhene Aiko brought her vocal A-game as usual. And this does include some bangers like "On The Low" and "925". Bottom line is, Logic has definitely proven himself to be a threat in the new school picture. But the good news is while he will continue to get better as an artist, he has already shown that he has skills regardless.