Review Summary: 'It takes 3 million years for a diamond to shine- I did it in 21, see I'm ahead of my time...'
The power of dreams is quite amazing. Raw ambition can serve as the most impressive of driving forces, and when it becomes an all-encompassing desire to achieve- the results can often be more impressive than the results yielded at the end of the road. Logic’s first efforts- mainly the Young Sinatra
mixtapes and the original Psychological Logic tape- showcase minimal development in terms of sound, but the utmost expansion in confidence and prowess. This single-minded approach by the young rapper has undoubtedly produced a large number of tracks focusing on the achievement of his goal, but it has also created a metric by which his progress can be monitored. From the initial, tentative hopefulness presented on Psychological Logic
all the way through to the unabashed pride of The Incredible True Story
, there is a legitimate dream coursing through the material, and it is interesting to gauge the changing times for the rapper. With his third release, Young Sinatra
, Logic hits his prime; a peak he has still yet to surpass. Fuelled by the classic hip hop beats he is so eager to keep as standard in his material, yet peppered with the modernist school of rhyme he is clearly so comfortable spitting, Young Sinatra
is an energetic, endearingly rough-around-the-edges experience with soulful heart at it's core and a witty, caustic lyricism worn loosely about its sleeve.
Opening track ‘One’ serves as a mission statement of sorts. A hip-hop typified version of Frank Sinatra’s ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ serves as the backing track, and a short introductory rap from Logic serves as a brief but skillful introduction to the rapper’s world of emotional honesty and buoyant optimism. For the uninitiated, Logic’s style and lyrical content might seem a tad simplistic- and truthfully, they are. However, his talent is rooted in his flow rather than the material. Utilising a consistently evolving rhyme patterns and an emphasis on dexterity within delivery rather than progressive rhymes, Logic found his style early, and has been working on perfecting it ever since. In more recent times, he has focused on the speedy style of delivery more, and whilst impressive on a surface level, this does come at the expense of some of the raw emotion found on his earlier material. YS finds these two facets in a rich balance, besides which, it is always refreshing to hear a rapper whose sole focus is not guns, drugs, and women.
The release is filled with memorable tracks, and a well-rounded assortment of music styles and flows. ‘Beggin’’ is a stylish marriage of a classic rhythm/ chorus and modern hip-hop sensibilities. Inspirational lyricism and a singalong chorus make the track noteworthy, if a little corny. Tracks like Logic’s 2nd installments of both 'Young Sinatra' and 'Growing Pains' are exceptionally versed and musically sound, with an undercurrent of menace to the latter that Logic, unfortunately, does not utilize too often- it gives the track a stylistic edge that may have benefited a number of Logic’s lesser songs. 'Live On The Air' is no-frills rap, with Logic showing exactly what ranks him among hip-hops most promising. Presented as a radio spot, the beat is painfully simple, but the flow is tricksy and clever, the lyricism humorous and the overall effect fantastic; a prime example of genuine rapping talent. The mixtape is not without its low points, however; single tracks 'All I Do' and 'Stewie Griffin' are particularly weak. 'All I Do' is redeemed by a catchy beat and earworm chorus, but 'Stewie Griffin' is an obnoxious and underwritten mess. It’s still endearing in its’ intentions, but ultimately lacks anything beyond the initial smirk of the opening Family Guy excerpt.
An eclectic and ultimately very positive assortment of songs, taken from before Logic started to experiment more with modern trends such as the ill-advised trap phase, Young Sinatra
is a heartfelt collection and the most consistently solid the young rapper has ever been. Even though the albums he has since released have allowed him more development space and a greater audience, it is truly on this mixtape that Logic’s style feels most freed and potentially realized. The true miracle is that, despite being a mixtape, the release feels very uniform throughout, and could almost certainly pass as a full length in its’ own right. Aside from the few filler tracks and the overuse of certain themes, Young Sinatra
is a refreshing glimpse of true talent ascending the slippery slope to hip-hop greatness. He’s definitely not there yet, and the complacency of some of his more recent releases may hint at a slight lapse of vision, but if he is ever in doubt- all he need do is give this record one more spin. The potential, the ability and the variety? It’s here, plain for all to see.