Published Oct 21, 2014Since the release of Young Sinatra: Welcome To Forever in 2013, Def Jam signee Logic has received praise from Lupe Fiasco, XXL and the BET Hip Hop Awards. On Under Pressure, the Maryland rapper has done the opposite of giving in to it; over the course of his debut 12-track album, he demonstrates every way in which he hasn't.
Calling on No I.D. to serve as executive producer, Logic conveys lyrical prowess, raw storytelling chops, poised technical skills and fearless. With a strong resemblance to the storytelling style of Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d. city, "Gang Related" speaks from the point of view of his older brother, a kid who fell into the pressures of the projects and the streets. Logic tackles his own vices on the introspective "Growing Pains III," which finds Logic speaking from his teenage perspective about growing up and his inability to ignore life's hurdles: an absent father, drugs and the first time he heard gunshots. Logic ties his family in again with "Under Pressure," alternating real life voicemails while spitting about his internal battles. However, what makes this nine-minute track is Logic's ability to flip Eazy-E's "Eazy-Duz-It" into a charged instrumental that balances the emotionally driven content.
Under Pressure's honest commentary is presented with youthful energy and rich production courtesy of in-house producer 6ix, S1 and M-Phaze (who collaborated on the double-time delivery track "Bounce" and "Til The End") and DJ Dahi (the horn-infused "Never Enough"). Logic's ability to balance production and vocal arrangements play an integral part of Under Pressure, which becomes evident on songs like the Lupe Fiasco-inspired "Soul Food" and "Metropolis." The ballad "Nikki" further highlights Logic's ability to create a multidimensional product in terms of wordplay, revealing a calculated dynamism that brings the album full circle.
Under Pressure finds Logic breaking out as an all-star emcee, raising the bar higher than anyone could've predicted. (Visionary Music Group/Def Jam)