Review: Logic — Young Sinatra IV

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 11:41 AM
Review: Logic — Young Sinatra IV by Chris Rosato Jr.

★★★★

First of all, this is album Logic, not mixtape Logic.

At the same time, let’s be clear, this is a Young Sinatra album, his alter-ego’s first true album after three mixtapes and the last we’ll probably hear from him, not a Logic album. If you’ve new to Logic’s music, you shouldn’t start here. Beginning with this album would be like starting the Marvel Cinematic Universe with “Avengers: Infinity War:” you’ll enjoy it, but most of it won’t really make sense.

Since this is album Logic, most of the tracks center around a common theme. In this album, Logic tries to convince the listener that in the end, everybody is dead, so they should focus on their own happiness rather than their status in the world or a legacy they leave behind.

The lead track, “Thank You,” begins where Logic’s last album, “Everybody,” left off. Quentin Thomas and William Kai are recurring characters in Logic’s albums, yet made the announcement that Thomas was putting on the not-yet-announced fourth Logic album, saying it was his final one.

“Thank You” picks up with Kai, essentially playing the part of any Logic fan: shocked. Thomas then clarifies that he just meant it was the final installment of the “Young Sinatra series.”

The song then continues to be an ode to Logic’s fans, who have allowed him to focus on rap and experiment with various styles within his own albums. It ends with excerpts from phone messages left for Logic by members of the RattPack, his fan club. At the beginning of September, he had tweeted out a phone number that his fans could call which then instructed them to leave him a message to be included in his next album.

 “One Day” was the first single released from the album and features Ryan Tedder. They performed the song at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The singles combine for a sub-theme of working through setbacks to find success. Logic seems to accept he has found success by now, but details the struggles he has been through and emphasizes that people need to learn to work together rather than become more divisive.

“The Return” resembles the familiar Young Sinatra style of boom-bap music and personal lyrics and allows Logic to compare his past to his present life, rather than simply talk about his past. He reveals that he thought he would be evaluated based on his rapping ability but has found that the industry often criticizes him for other reasons such as his race, and calls out people who used to criticize him but now praise him since he has become more of a household name.

Logic uses “Everybody Dies” to further his agenda of unity, telling people they should always strive to do good while using his background as evidence that it’s possible to be good even in difficult circumstances. Overall, the trio of singles largely resemble each other, often borrowing lines between them.

“Wu Tang Forever” drew attention from the media for bringing the remaining members of the Wu Tang Clan together as features on the song. If you’re a fan of the Wu Tang Clan, this is a must-listen. If not, it doesn’t add much to the album.

“Ordinary Day” is a love song that features Hailee Steinfeld and an up-tempo beat. Steinfeld’s voice complements Logic’s mostly monotone style nicely in this song about ignoring the rest of the world in pursuit of a love interest. The chorus sticks with you long after you stop listening.

The title track “YSIV” reintroduces the boom-bap beat and continues from the “Young Sinatra” tracks on the three mixtapes that precede this album stylistically, including using samples that the second and third installments also utilized. It also continues the album’s theme of making the most of life in the pursuit of happiness because death is escapable.

Logic mourns the death of Mac Miller at the beginning of “YSIV” and uses the outro to detail how Miller’s music eventually led to the first Young Sinatra track.

“Street Dreams II” is also a sequel track in which the speaker finds himself in a series of ever-increasing-in-difficulty situations after his wife is kidnapped and held for ransom. Logic uses the song to show how easy it can be to justify illicit acts when focused on a singular goal and when raised in a street life.

Logic uses “Legacy” to put the listener in the place of someone who has sacrificed his family life in order to make money and try to make a name for himself. It isn’t until lying on his deathbed that he realizes he should have made more time for himself and his family. Meanwhile, his kid and wife confront him and ask why they weren’t enough for him to be happy.

The album’s final track, “Last Call,” is Logic’s take on the “Last Call” track that Kanye West first produced and J. Cole later rapped his own version over. Logic’s music has never shied away from his personal life, and “Take It Back” on “Everybody” took that a step further with Logic detailing for the listener his rough family situation. In “Last Call,” he continues the story of his upbringing, this time detailing his rise from his first studio recording experience and listening to rappers who inspired him to his struggle to continue recording without a stable place to live.

He confirms what the opening track offered, that “Young Sinatra IV” would be the last we hear from Young Sinatra, but talks about the upcoming “Ultra 85,” which he says will follow the “Bobby Tarantino II” mixtape that was released earlier this year. He had filled “Everybody” with hints that an album called “Ultra 85 would “be the conclusion of this saga.” This album made clear that the end of the saga would not mean the end of Logic producing music, but likely the end of the subplot that has spanned his three most recent albums.

Throughout this track as with the album, Logic makes sure to thank anyone who helped him along the way, and his storytelling form always comes off as authentic and engaging. While focusing on a central theme is a tenet of a Logic album, most of the tracks run together and often overlap lyrically, often coming off as repetitive rather than focused. Still, Logic’s lyricism and storytelling ability are top-notch, and he has the ability to create catchy bops like “Ordinary Day” while producing heavy-hitting stories like “Legacy” and “Street Dreams II.”

Chris Rosato Jr. can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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