Logic
Under Pressure


1.0
awful

Review

by GnarlyShillelagh EMERITUS
October 28th, 2014 | 305 replies


Release Date: 10/28/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In defense of the genre.

As a quick disclaimer to start this review, Under Pressure is actually a pretty good album, provided the name Kendrick Lamar means nothing to you – or rather, provided hip-hop means nothing to you. On his mixtapes, Logic pigeonholed himself as a sort of one-trick pony, who, despite being an affable personality and a talented songmaker armed with serviceable wordplay and nimble flows, was forever entrenched in the laborious routine of writing the same song over and over again. With the same structure to each track and the same one dimension of lyricism consisting of (and this is a complete list) his skin tone, his parents’ troubles with addiction, and how his work ethic would help him overcome his troubled past and inspire the world, the hope was that Logic could find a new way to tell his story for his major label debut. But though he found a way to make that story less tedious, Under Pressure is just so remarkably disrespectful to the canon of hip-hop that he really just made everything worse. And as the album unfurls itself and Logic exposes himself as a fan, a phony, a fake, a pussy, and a Stan, we learn that despite what his team’s moniker may imply (Rattpack stands for the somewhat ironic ‘real all the time’), the greatest trick Logic ever pulled was convincing the world that he was real.

Establishing himself swiftly and firmly as a follower, more fan than rapper, Logic from the album’s outset systematically name drops his favorite artists and brands their influence onto his sleeve, hoping to ‘benignly’ retread their successes as his own. In today’s climate of rap, where a dearth of originality plagues hordes of artists, Logic’s recipe isn’t inherently flawed, but the trouble comes when he so blatantly violates the most fundamental tenet of the hip hop paradigm: no biting. In both idea and execution, Under Pressure serves as Logic’s iteration of Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid Maad City, an introduction to Logic by means of anecdote and empathy, but Under Pressure seems so enamored with Kendrick’s 2012 classic that it replicates the album as best and as often as it can. “I’m Gone” and “Never Enough,” with their acrobatic flows, harmonied vocal layers and ad-libs, and melodious pre-hooks/hooks, are perfect Kendrick imitations from top to bottom. “Metropolis” summons the drums from Kendrick’s “Sing About Me,” and the constant references to Nikki (not the girl from Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever’s “Feel Good,” as some may have guessed) are curiously reminiscent of Sherane. And how about that “Growing Pains III” skit"

Maybe we can write this all off as the product of overwhelming influence (as the rest of this review has tacitly done in regards to the effusive J. Cole and Drake influence) and maybe we can even forgive the Midnight Marauders Tour Guide who peppers the album with random tidbits about the album’s creation, but the transgression becomes abundantly clear on the second half of the album’s title track. Not only do those “Sing About Me” drums reprise, but Logic literally steals “Sing About Me”’s premise as well, writing a pair of verses from different perspectives to represent individuals who are speaking to Logic, and corresponding via a final verse from Logic’s perspective responding to them (for those that don’t know/remember, replace every instance of Logic in the above sentence with Kendrick and you’ll have “Sing About Me”). It’s not a verbatim copy of Kendrick’s work, but it’s every bit the stylistic counterfeit, and while it, along with the other mentions above, could be seen as imitations done in reverence had they been released on a free mixtape, their use on an album is no doubt a calculated effort to profit off of the ideas and work of another who did it first, in an attempt to capitalize on the ignorance of those listeners who may not know better – that’s biting, and we’ve never stood for it in hip-hop. Outside of these disgusting faults, Logic’s album isn’t a bad effort at all, with few truly dull moments and good production and rapping from front to back, but in its unabashed plagiarism, Under Pressure desecrates our beautiful hip hop, and I’ll be damned if I abide that.




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user ratings (258)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
IsomerDuck (3)
Plagiarism aside, Under Pressure is a versatile record that largely overcomes its inconsistencies....

ADV123 (4)
The review this album deserves....

TheMabee (4)
...



Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
October 28th 2014


6385 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

Shouts out to all the teachers who give 0s for plagiarism.

aaronrkc
October 28th 2014


336 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

YO, you're pretty mad dude!

Digging: Dylan Brady - Peace And Love

GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
October 28th 2014


6385 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

not like super mad or anything - this is mostly on principle - but yeah it's pretty fucked up

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2014


6676 Comments


the Kendrick references were kind of a given I guess. would've liked you to deviate a bit more from that but w/e.

review is pretty scathing, and a blast to read.

Cloudcity
October 28th 2014


110 Comments


lol

ExplosiveOranges
October 28th 2014


4408 Comments


Aziz giving something a 1? Yeah, this is definitely bad. Review is pretty ranty, but given the context and entire premise you base it around, I can't complain. Plus, I had fun reading it.

GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
October 28th 2014


6385 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

appreciate that Johnny, yeah when I started this review I was planning on talking about everything with this

album, but as I got into it the review started to write itself a bit, and I realized that if I was going to

commit to this position I probably wouldn't have a lot of room to talk about other things without making the

write-up overlong so I kind of cut everything else. Hope it doesn't read too ranty, wanted to make sure my

censure came across well but I also wanted to back everything up as best as I could.



EDIT: Oranges: hehehe welp

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 28th 2014


6676 Comments


nah you did a dece job, definitely gonna stir up some interesting conversation too VVV

ExplosiveOranges
October 28th 2014


4408 Comments


That summary though

heyadam
October 28th 2014


2311 Comments


I have a friend that worships this dude. Still haven't checked out his stuff, though. Not that excited to anymore after reading this haha

Digging: Ichiko Aoba - QP

ti0n
October 28th 2014


1769 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i have a friend liking this but not liking kendrick lamar. i laughed at him

RoundOnEndHiInMiddle
October 28th 2014


898 Comments


people who like good hip-hop

betray
October 28th 2014


9378 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

omg two artists are similar 1.0



East Hastings
October 28th 2014


4403 Comments


defend pop skramz

Asdfp277
October 28th 2014


19107 Comments


ok review 3.0

edit: not enough bitterness (srly)

sonictheplumber
October 28th 2014


9825 Comments


sabbath>

deathschool
October 28th 2014


22879 Comments


Best summary to ever get featured.

botreezy
October 28th 2014


42 Comments


Good review. I'll have to check this out eventually.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2014


31367 Comments


haha i like this review but sabbath>

MMX
October 29th 2014


5012 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Kendrick’s 2012 classic" I don't agree with this



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