Under Pressure might be Logic’s first studio album, but the Maryland rapper is not new to the game, at all. With four lengthy mixtapes under his belt, all focusing their theme around the “Young Sinatra” concept, Logic has been in the underground hip-hop scene for a good five years. He is known for his fast, yet flexible flows, in addition to his conscious lyrics and heavily sampled production.
The first two songs to be released were “Now”, in April 2014, and “Alright”, featuring Detroit’s own Big Sean. These songs were initially meant for an EP, however Logic decided to keep them for the deluxe version of this album. “Now” features a very heavy beat, with a higher pitched riff underlying. In stark contrast, “Alright” is much slower and more atmospheric, with Logic still presenting his impressive flow and wordplay.
The first promotional single released was “Under Pressure” in September. The song features a very Logic-esque repetitive sample underneath his ever-so impressive and consistent flow. It’s not hard to see why this was chosen as the first single; it has a hard impact when you first hear it, and its catchiness sticks with you for a while after. The second single to be released was “Buried Alive”, in October. Although not my favourite, this song is very different from “Under Pressure”, and is much more mellow in its production, as well as Logic’s tone.
The introductory track to the album, “Intro”, places a calmly paced piano below the mellow tones of Logic’s singing. Later accompanied by his infamously on-point flow and other instruments, the rapper seems to be talking about bringing hip-hop back to when listeners first loved it. Although at first I didn’t enjoy this introductory track, it has since grown on me, and I appreciate the serenity of it.
An interesting track on the album is “Nikki”; a song depicting Logic’s past smoking habit, talking about his addiction by using the name and character ‘Nikki’ to depict nicotine. Here, not only is Logic reminiscing about the past, as a “slave for the nicotine”; but also talking about why he had to let her go, and what other vices he has to replace her; namely drugs. The songs lyrics are not the only dark aspect of the song; the production has a similar melancholic feel,
My personal favourites on this album are “Gang Related”, due to the realness of the lyrics, and the use of “Carrot Man” by Sepalcure as the sample, creating quite an eerie sound; “Soul Food”, due to the use of a live band in the production, and of course Logic’s flow is a highlight once again; and “Nikki”, because of the gripping comparisons of nicotine to a partner, and the production of the song, which I feel to be the best on the album.