Conceptually, Logic’s The Incredible True Story, is one of the most creatively ambitious hip-hop albums in recent times. In terms of lyricism and his storytelling ability, Logic is miles ahead of the generic, auto-tune rappers that seem to dominate modern hip-hop. As a fan more concerned with intricate lyrics, I believe Logic, who has struggled to establish his identity in the world of hip-hop, has produced an infectious album which strives to stand among his contemporaries.
The Incredible True Story succeeds his debut album, Under Pressure, which I found was a profoundly tame effort, with only a few tracks that I actually enjoyed, but when considering the calibre of his second effort, his debut failed to resonate the ability Logic clearly has. Perhaps he was trying too hard to attain a distinct style, which resulted in stagnating his efforts. Something did not quite work on that album, many critics arguing he mimicked the sound of other influential rappers. However, on his second album, Logic voyages in a completely different direction, navigating both an album and the narrative of a sci-fi epic, that takes place one-hundred years in the future. Within Logic’s sci-fi narrative, the Earth has become uninhabitable and the remainder of Earth’s population, reside in a space station, and the characters, Kai and Thomas, are travelling to a planet called Paradise, whilst playing through the album.
Logic’s ascent into a conceptual cinematic soundscape, involving space travel in the distant future, which may seem slightly over-the-top, does not undermine or distract from his prolific lyricism, which has improved since Under Pressure. Clearly, Logic is eager to transcend his sound into something masterfully original, arguably fighting back against his critics. The album opens with “Contact”, a euphoric introduction to the concept of the album, establishing the characters as they journey through space. Logic’s ambitiously presents the album like a motion picture, with various skits throughout, which are not too frequent, but are relevant for the progression of the story.
Within its 18-tracks, The Incredible True Story has a range of stand-outs. The second track, “Fade Away,” is an infectious affair, in which Logic asserts the message of accepting the inevitability of death, and he implements the idea that no matter how influential or historical you are, one day your name as he says, will ‘fade away’. Logic stresses the importance of making the most of the time we have. Contrastingly, Logic exchanges meaningful lyricism for celebratory content on “Like Woah”, where he hails his own achievements. What might seem narcissistic, Logic is only replicating the type of confidence that the most successful rappers exhibit. The song is both smooth and catchy, featuring lush female vocals throughout. The album has an air of diversity, and Logic displays his ability to adapt to different sounds, on “Young Jesus (Feat. Big Lenbo)”, which is a nostalgic 90s throwback. Logic’s animated and charismatic flow explodes on this song, as he raps, ‘Hip-hop descendant, gold Jesus on my pendant / Got to pull it out for everyone in attendance.‘ Logic has such an entertainingly joyous flow, which continues on “Lord Willin” and “Stainless (feat. Dria)”, both very good songs.
Although Logic clearly tries to amplify the sense of an epic journey taking place on this album, very much reflecting his own personal journey, I felt like the album could have been shorter. Excluding songs, “City of Stars” and “I Am the Greatest”, would have made the album more dense, as neither tracks add much to the album as a whole, being pretty weak efforts. The album is thus much longer than it needs to be.
Much of the production of this album was composed by Logic himself, and he definitely has a talent for producing hard-hitting beats. The Incredible True Story’s production is a big step up from his previous work. Logic successfully finds the balance between brilliantly executed composition and complex lyricism, but I still feel that Logic is a distance away from posing a genuine threat to the superiority of Kendrick Lamar or J. Cole, who I believe, are currently hip-hop’s best. However, Logic does have huge potential and the body of work that truly sets him free from underdog territory, cannot be too far away. The Incredible True Story deserves attention regardless though, as it is an album that diverts substantially from the repetitive and formulaic music that is all too frequent today. This album could provide a taste for what is to come from Logic, and there is absolutely no doubt that his career is moving in the right direction.