Logic YSIV

Logic YSIV
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Rapper Logic — though he's created one of the most admirably powerful brands in hip-hop over the past decade — remains oddly polarizing. His ambitious conceptual theme on Everybody found a way to save lives (literally) and dominate charts, while still turning off purists who felt disconnected from his biracial experience. He's been shaking off negative vibes and pesky comparisons ever since, even after delivering a Billboard-topping mixtape, Bobby Tarantino II.
 
His latest, YSIV, is a few things simultaneously: a salute to those who have followed his ascent to rap royalty (since his mixtape days), and a reminder that, despite commercial success, his heart is and always has been in hip-hop.
 
In many ways, YSIV is the Logic album for people who hate Logic albums. Despite some redundant themes, like the tired gangsterism of "Street Dreams II," and cadence similarities between himself and J. Cole (see "100 Miles And Running") — among other artists — he manages to craft a well-balanced top-to-bottom ode to his roots.
 
Whether it's revisiting his "Young Sinatra" song series on the title track with a reworking of Lord Finesse's "Hip 2 Da Game" (which includes a tribute to Mac Miller), or getting the entire Wu-Tang Clan — a grand feat even for the Clan themselves — onto one track ("Wu-Tang Forever"), Logic never seems to lose steam or resort to filler content.
 
It's on the intro, "Thank You," that you really get a full scope of how powerful his music is in the lives of his fan base, which continues to propel his releases and pack out his tours. It's the answer to "who the hell even listens to Logic," delivered with a heap of class.
 
Logic has made it abundantly clear that he isn't here to impress the sect of true-school purists that seem more fixated on his race than he does. He is doing this for his real fans. While veering off his message of peace and love to slap braggadocios bars at points throughout the tracklist, its cohesive vibe remains intact.
 
This is Logic at his best: making music that makes him happy. His comfort zone is infectious. If YSIV doesn't sell you on Logic, nothing will. (Visionary/Def Jam)