Courtesy of Def Jam

Courtesy of Def Jam

March 18, 2018

TEST SPIN | Logic – Bobby Tarantino II

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From the release of his debut mixtape Young Sinatra, Logic has been dropping the jaws of listeners with his fast-paced lyrical acrobatics. His discography includes three studio albums and seven mixtapes consisting of a diverse collection of bangers and vibes, each packed with jumbles of tongue-twisting talent. Drawing on inspiration from directors like Quentin Tarantino and artists like Jay Z, Logic writes concept albums that tell stories in which science fiction meets street and emotional vulnerability meets eye-rolling confidence.

On March 9, Logic released his newest mixtape, Bobby Tarantino II, as a follow up to 2016’s Bobby Tarantino. The original Bobby Tarantino was widely criticized for its lack of a coherent concept, its simplicity and for the aloof, braggadocious version of Logic that it presents. Despite the criticism, with hits like “Flexicution,” “Super Mario World” and “The Jam,” there is no denying that the album slaps.

Bobby Tarantino II starts off with “Grandpa’s Spaceship,” a dialogue between television characters Rick and Morty, during which the two are choosing what music to play on a spaceship ride. After a long, extremely explicit conversation, they finally decide on Bobby Tarantino, because they view it as the perfect combination between rap with meaning, and rap that just bumps.

The dialogue leads straight into the simple but bouncy “Overnight.” This track consists of a simple synthesizer riff with seven repeating notes. Logic uses a lyrical pattern in which the first two beats of each bar consist of a slow delivery of stressed syllables, and the next two are fast and choppy. In the song, he maintains the braggadocious theme of the last installment to the Tarantino series but adds a flavor of wisdom.

Amidst an array of self-aggrandizing lyrics, he says “I treated everybody with respect and now I’m rich.” Although this song could have fit perfectly into the 2016 album, the wisdom that is lightly incorporated into it presents a version of Logic that, though still intent on bragging, is able to reflect on his success, emphasizing the prosocial qualities that he embodies and that many ignore in chasing money and power.

“Boomtrap Protocol,” the mixtape’s fourth track, is unique. It begins as a classic Bobby Tarantino banger, with a sample peeking in at the intro, a beat drop four bars in and a quick and slick entry by Logic. He begins rapping over the beat in his classic double-time triplet rhythm. By the end of the verse, though, he transitions to a Drake-style flow in which he raps fast in the beginning of the bar and leaves silence at the end. The remainder of the song consists of Logic singing in a slightly autotuned voice. It seems that he is embracing a Ty Dolla Sign-esque style. Although the lyrical content fits within the Bobby Tarantino theme, the style represents Logic’s embracing yet another new sound.

Perhaps two of the most exciting tracks on the album are “Indica Badu (feat. Wiz Khalifa)” and “State of Emergency (feat. 2 Chainz).” These tracks are complete opposites, with “Indica Badu” acting as a chill stoner’s anthem and “State of Emergency” acting as heavy hitting trap banger. What is interesting about these two pieces, however, is that they showcase an ability of Logic that was not apparent in the 2016 mixtape: his adaptability. The previous mixtape only contained one feature — in “Wrist (feat. Pusha T),” Pusha seemed to conform to Logic’s style. Contrastingly, in “Indica Badu,” Logic takes up the persona of a stoner, and by doing so, he both compliments and highlights Wiz’s iconic stoner vibe. On the other hand, some would say 2 Chainz and Logic are opposites. While 2 Chainz focuses on making hard-hitting trap anthems filled with difficult to distinguish, slurred, misogynistic words, Logic often focuses on making crisp, smooth, woke (yet tough) lyrics. Nevertheless, Logic adopts 2 Chainz’ style in “State of Emergencies,” using a slower delivery and taking many breaks to make the listener anticipate each hard hitting drum.

The beauty of this mixtape as an addition to the Bobby Tarantino collection is that it actually supports what Logic has spent 24 tracks bragging about. He can be thought of as what rapper Q Tip calls a “rap chameleon.” This album presents an artistic expansion to a new range of unexplored styles by Logic. Somehow, in adapting to new instrumental and artistic environments, he doesn’t compromise his own abilities or uniqueness. In his own words, “You can’t put me in a box / my talent put me in a mansion.”

Adam Kanwal is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. He can be reached at ask272@cornell.edu.