The fire, spirit and energy of Logic, the Def Jam flow-smith from Gaithersburg, Maryland, could not be contained one more year without the release of another vast hip-hop LP of lyrical aesthetics and cerebral conditioning. He has quickly followed up his 2014 debut Under Pressure with a new studio project of greater ambition, titled The Incredible True Story (released Nov. 13). Like Under Pressure, this sophomore effort from Visionary Music Group’s most celebrated artist is a lyrics-fest that flaunts Logic’s crisp chops over tappable music by Logic himself, 6ix, C-Sick, DJ Khalil and several others. Working around a set of skits that focus on a space team in search of a livable planet after a future Earth apocalypse, The Incredible True Story is in fact an incredible story in which Logic shows no paucity of persistence, confidence and logical intelligence.
After the initial warmup phase and some requisite boosting, boasting and bragging (necessities of the culture), Logic openly reveals his life and inner thoughts for us to explore and contemplate, having proved in the first five songs with his neat fantastically fast delivery that he can compete at the highest level in the sport of rapping. In “Innermission” featuring Lucy Rose, he candidly shares his dreams, worries, memories and his higher goals and aspirations, and later on he states his intention to “make a difference” in “Lord Willing.”
The album’s midpoint dividing line marked by “City of Stars” presents Logic singing in the style of Kanye West circa 808s & Heartbreak with him reveling in outer space, defending Drake and showing his disapproval of race-amplification in hip-hop. He is keenly aware of some of the major problems of the world today in the Dria-assisted “Stainless” saying we’re “living in a world where the truth dies and hate multiplies” and by admonishing us to “stop spending money on things that glisten.” Fast forward to “Never Been,” and Logic again shares more of his learned values like “climbing over ego to master will.” The album ends with a classically happy ending in the concluding title track when our space travelers land on Planet Paradise and voilà!… they find exactly what they’ve been looking for all along.
Short in modesty yet cohesive and cleverly produced musically, The Incredible True Story is intentionally idealistic and sweetly, almost naively optimistic, but for Logic, he also knows that in life, pain is not an option. It’s a guarantee. The whole album is a fight (the good kind), where Logic won’t take a dive or “no” for an answer, where the many messages are so dignified and humbly balanced that it’s impossible to call them moral lip service. While Logic may seem more concerned with exercising his voracious vocal cords than slowing them down to say something really crazy, the fact remains that he has put together a real first class hip-hop album once again.