Recording information: 4220 Studios, Los Angeles, CA; BlumVox Studio; United Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Ryan Jay.
With a story that takes place 100 years in the future, Logic's sophomore LP is also a concept album, and with the Gaithersburg, Maryland MC's vibrant, ambitious debut providing evidence the young artist could do it, it doesn't take long for The Incredible True Story to live up to its title. The "true" bit comes from the album's honest yet uplifting message, as early highlight "Fade Away" gives up "Everybody's gonna die, gonna go one day/Maybe it'll happen on a Monday, drop in to work and get hit by a Hyundai," as that flippant wisdom is delivered with Logic's usual breakneck speed. As fast as he raps, it's arguable that the musical ideas come even faster, with the flute-driven "Like Woah" reimagining hip-hop in the age of hippies and flower power, while highlight "Young Jesus" kicks with the old-school boom-bap from 6ix and Sir Dylan, as this clever devil MC gets in the Eminem spirit with "Eat whack MCs like Hannibal/Cause Joe Pesci's my spirit animal." Much of the album comes off as a De La Soul-like kaleidoscope with that OutKast attitude of anything goes, and then cuts like "Lord Willin'" and "Paradise" with Jesse Boykins III offer something new, with a small funk band formation delivering music that could easily be reproduced on-stage. This kinetic album can get flashy, and the sci-fi interludes grow as big as a Michael Bay movie, yet it is anchored by the more thoughtful numbers, like the wise "Never Been" ("You gotta climb over your ego to master your will") and the overwhelming title cut, where Logic delivers a stream of consciousness looking back at his life and in a style somewhere between Kendrick Lamar and a jazz singer. The guest list is lean plus the production is mostly from in-house folks like 6ix, DJ Khalil, and Logic himself, and the whole experience is like Prince in his heyday, where a creative force and a tight-knit crew create something startling and fully formed. An outward-aimed Drake is another comparison, based on style and swagger, but like the album's intro says as it captures two future cosmonauts going through music from 2015, this is the album where it all changed, as the one they call Young Sinatra comes into his own and proves his nearly perfect debut was no isolated fluke. ~ David Jeffries