Headphones: Mixtape Logic Is Back
Nearly two years ago, Robert Bryson Hall II, better known for his stage name “Logic”, released a mixtape titled with his self-proclaimed alter ego, Bobby Tarantino. The mixtape, primarily produced by 6ix with the assistance of Logic, filled the gap between his sophomore album The Incredible True Story and his third studio album Everybody. This past week, Logic once again assumed the identity of his alter ego releasing the follow-up mixtape Bobby Tarantino II.
Rumors of the mixtape began after the release of the tape’s first single, “44 more”. The track is the first we’ve heard from Logic since his release of Everybody. The song sequels “44 bars” which came off the first Bobby Tarantino mixtape. Both tracks feature exactly 44 bars and in the more recent installment Logic addresses his current status in the rap industry, attempting to silence all those that continue to doubt and undermine him. The song features an 808 beat, typical for Logic tracks, with the addition of additional drum cymbals and electronic synths.
The album is introduced with a 122-second interlude featuring the voices of famous cartoon characters Rick and Morty. Logic has had a past with the show, appearing as a himself in the show in a Season three episode. In the interlude, the two discuss the progression of Logic’s music since his early Young Sinatra mixtapes.
While the first mixtape under Logic’s alter ego only had a single feature from Pusha T, Bobby Tarantino II appeals to the modern day hip-hop fan, with a slew of impressive features.
The first of these features brings Wiz Khalifa back into the spotlight after a long period of silence from the artist. The production on “Indica Badu” feels like it belongs one of Logic’s early mixtapes, something that his fans have longed for since he first began to blow up. Wiz Khalifa offers up a perfectly flowing verse cut with the laid-back, slow beat. Not only did fans get a surprise verse from Wiz Khalifa, but also got an old-school Logic track that meshes perfectly with his new style of spitting.
The album finds a perfect balance between traditional rap beats and new style trap tracks. “BoomTrap Protocol” and "Overnight" portray this balance better than any track on the mixtape. Both songs feature a more relaxed rhythm laid over a fast-paced drum sequence. With the beat creating the feeling of a traditional rap track, Logic’s lyrical expertise is what creates the impression of a trap song. In the pre-chorus of "BoomTrap Protocol", Logic flows “Pull up with that new-new in the driveway/So fast I double park that bitch sideways”, creating the feeling of a trap chorus. On "Overnight", Logic is able to showcase a combination of his fast spitting skills and singing talent to create a unique song only a few artists like him can produce.
“Warm It Up” is the track that truly makes this feel like an old-school Logic mixtape. The song even features a lyric (“I’m visualizing the realism of life in actuality”) that has been used in a number of his old “Young Sinatra” tracks. Occupying his old persona once again, Logic lays down another of his traditional 808 drum beats. For much of his early career, Logic was praised for how fast he could spit, which is on full display in this track. However, he incorporates the newer trap vibe into this song on the chorus announcing, “Fuck that rap shit, this that trap shit”.
Possibly the best track on the mixtape is the team-up with trap star 2 Chainz on “State of Emergency”. Again, electing for more of a trap vibe on the track, 2 Chainz opens the track with a fast-paced verse complimented by a drop that introduces the heavy bass of the song and the synths that make it come to life. Following the first verse, Logic comes in and rips up the beat himself giving fans a verse that sounds like it came off his first album, Under Pressure. The track shows off Logic’s confidence without a doubt. However, while flexing his money and success he’s accumulated through his music, his humility is made apparent when he says, “No that ain’t a rapper flex/I just gotta let ‘em know/That money don’t mean shit without self-respect”. Logic grabbed everyone’s attention featuring 2 Chainz on the track, but it is both his lyrics and the production of the beat that make the song shine.
The album also includes features from rap star Big Sean on “Wassup” and EDM DJ Marshmello on the mixtape’s second single, “Everyday”. While the features on this mixtape unarguably boost the publicity of the track list, it is Logic’s beat production and lyricism that make this mixtape great. Logic even addresses his beef with fellow rapper Joyner Lucas who recently took shots at him on his remix of “Look Alive”. While not directly addressing Lucas by name on the track “Yuck”, Logic says, “Talkin' shit 'bout Logic, I never respond/ I'll let success talk, 'cause a word of advice/ More achievements for yourself and less talk”. Logic typically avoids beef with those who hate on his craft, but since their feud began in 2016 the two have not let it die and continue to take shots at one another.
On his last album, Everybody, Logic goes away from his typical messages and instead focused on the message of social activism. While this received criticism from hip-hop fans including many Logic fans, the album was extremely important to him and the message he hoped to produce. However, with Bobby Tarantino II, those fans received more of what they were looking for: old Logic. The mixtape is a breath of fresh air from his official studio albums and showcase a track list of songs more focused on production and lyrics than activism. Logic recently said on Twitter before the official release of the mixtape, “I just want to say how much I love you as my fans! Growing with you has been amazing. And you’re why I do this. To create any kind of music I want, from boom bap to the turn up to the radio has been such a blessing! Thanks for letting me be me and supporting me always.”
Logic released this mixtape not just for the message it produces and not for the notoriety, but for the fans. This album gave fans a taste of the Logic they came up with as he meshed his Bobby Tarantino alter ego with the vibe of his older Young Sinatra mixtapes.