MY RATING: 6.5/10 ♣
Makaveli (Tupac), Slim Shady (Eminem), Kung Fu Kenny (Kendrick Lamar), and now Bobby Tarantino (Logic); alter egos aren’t anything new in Hip-Hop. But they are much more “meaningful,” than we may think. They represent the duality and “multi-faced,” nature of mankind. After all, we all have one name, but we aren’t the same person we were two months ago. Nor are we the same person with our bestfriend as we are with our grandmother. You get the deal..anyway, this is Logic’s version of that, a sequel of his 2016 Bobby Tarantino Mixtape, and most recent work after his exceedingly ambitious project, Everybody, released last year. Unlike Everybody, supposedly deep, and meaningful music is put aside for this project, and fucking lit bangers are on the agenda. Dope bars, bangin’ beats, and formidable confidence are a priority, just like any Trap mixtape or album. But it is important to be aware that this is so-called “Conscious Trap,” as Logic explains in an interview with HardKnockTv, so totally meaningless party-beats was not to be expected. If one didn’t know that already, “Grandpa’s Space Ship,” the opening track, was made for that exact purpose. This is the first time I’ve seen such a thing; having a cartoon skit in a music album. It features none other than the notorious Rick and Morty and they essentially discuss the fine line between “Mixtape” Logic, and “Album” Logic. Rick memorably says “I’m not in the mood for a message about how I can be whatever I want or….equality..and all that shit…Just wanna hear some fuckin’…titties, throwin’ stacks on some ass…just some good old fuckin’ ATL style club rap!” As far as major themes go on here, its super messy and unfocused but it stays true to the regular attributes of any Trap record; Braggadocio (“showing off”), pugnacity (aggression), and luxuriating in ones riches and affluence.
However, there is just one small, standout feature on here that slightly exceeds the default Trap ideology. The double-entendre (word with two different meanings) of the word “Trap,” is something Logic subtly peppers this mixtape with. Trap is often alluded to as the very popular subgenre of Hip-hop of course, but it occasionally refers to Logic’s childhood as well, being raised with familial turbulence, and drugs and violence that was set to trap him. On “Yuck,” he talks about having no interest in beefing with other rappers and letting his success talk for itself: “And I know that they talking, can’t fuck with the tone, Talkin’ shit about Logic, I never respond, I’ll let success talk.” The beats here are pretty fucking hype, boasting some elongated whistle-like sounds in the instrumental that give you that true Trap feel. And then you have that line signifying “Conscious Trap”: “I was born in the trap (trap!), chains on, cooked crack,” which keeps things quite interesting in that Trap is the fun style of music here, but also a crappy, terrible hub of drugs, and violence that was a big part of Logic’s upbringing. In the outro, there is also a really cool voicemail from Elton John, in which he wants to talk to Logic for a collaboration of some sorts. However, Bobby Tarantino is on the mic, and Logic is nowhere to be seen so that just brilliantly reinforces the idea that Logic’s alter-ego is dictating this whole project. “Midnight,” was also a great song, especially in the second part, when the beat changes. The instrumentation is really dope with some exciting euphonic shrills, and subtle keyboards. Logic is playing that classic braggadocious commentator, spitting hot bars and flaunting his success. The “Black and white like a piano,” line representing his biracialism and a couple of quirky dental metaphors like “So much plaque on my wall I need a dentist,” as well as that one line that just cracked me up: “No kiddin’ like vasectomy,” made for some of the hottest MCing in this entire mixtape. “44 More,” was just pure FIRE. The instrumental was vigorous, and high-octane, and the stanza “You in the club throwin’ dollars, but I’m savin’ mine so my kids go to college, Or maybe whatever they wanna do Just as long as they never say; Daddy blew 20 million dollars He had to flex to be acknowledged He in the club throwin’ dollars, And now cannot afford to send me to college,” was probably one of the best in the entire tape.
While this is a decent project, it has plenty of bland and average moments as well. “Overnight,” the first actual song of the record, was pretty mediocre and the sentiment of “Tell me how you really feel, how you really feel,” to his haters was awfully corny and cheap. “BoomTrap protocol,” is a song that’s instrumental I actually liked; it had this crispy, blurred, olden-style sample and some deep “do or die,” vocals from Logic, but the theme was confusing and not well-executed. Sources say its supposed to be Logic laying down the “Protocols,” of a “Gangsta” Trap, or “BoomTrap,” culture, and that’s kinda what I figured too, but that is not at all well expressed. He has some nice bars about having millions in the bank because his dream was strong, and his priority for working hard as an artist but it was a scattered and unclear song. Also, I’m left confused as to what or who he’s referring to when he says “I’m so alive, leave that pussy crucified.” “Indica Badu,” was a song I just didn’t fuck with. While I get what he’s trying to say; chillin’ out, having a good time and “Ridin’ round the city….blowing trees,” the song just bored me. Wiz Khalifa’s feature on here was pretty lackluster too, since he didn’t spit any hype bars or anything like that. The “Wizard of Oz,” song was just totally garbage. While I don’t mind the metaphor of him likening himself to the “Wizard of Oz,” in the context of the Rap game, the instrumental was absolutely terrible. The sample from some random Norwegian song “BBB,” makes for a disgustingly Sci-Fi/Retro-esque sound that I hated. Also the line “Money ain’t everything, tell me now what’s that money to a god,” was just cringe-worthy and gave me the impression that he’s trying sound all “philosophical,” and “intellectual,” but foolishly implying that a “god,” doesn’t like money, is just a nonsensical thing to say. He should’ve just eliminated this song from the track-list. And if there wasn’t enough muddiness already, in terms of themes, “Warm it up,” was also a disappointment because of throwing in “Young Sinatra,” another alter ego of Logic’s. It was just a conflicting shit-show and I didn’t care for it at all. “Everyday,” was the last track that was not good. I almost tried to like it after many listens, but the singing was just a miss from Logic. While the production was pretty smooth, and catchy on here, Logic’s vocals were just corny, distasteful, and gave me this bad Justin Bieber-like vibe that slightly disturbed me afterwards.
I was having a conversation with a friend a few days ago, who said he loved the mixtape. He asked me why I wasn’t a huge fan of it, and I simply said DAMN! After Kendrick Lamar released his superlatively poetic, and insightful meditation on politics, racism, and black culture, he deliberately went for a more accessible and catchy sound on DAMN. But there was still great focus and organization in the project. There was a powerful set of themes that I loved and the album just flowed very nicely. With this, I literally spent hours of scrutinizing Logic’s lyrics with a magnifying glass and found one little nugget; the double-entendre of “Trap, ” and even that was just a subtle embellishment on here, accounting for only like 4 or 5 lines in the entire record. You can’t totally compare DAMN, with Bobby Tarantino II though since DAMN, wasn’t meant to be anything close to a total Trap record, or Kendrick describing it as “Just having a good time,” like Logic had done. I am kind of using that as a benchmark though, which makes it obvious that this mixtape lacks an essential focus and cohesion. And that’s always been a problem with Logic. Even with Everybody, (will review later!) his ambitious attempts to make a super meaningful and influential piece of art was totally futile and bad because his fundamentals were too messy and not well-groomed. I wouldn’t say this to any other rapper, but honestly, with the grand ideas and ambition Logic carries like “Concious Trap,” he should probably hire a team of really solid ghostwriters or something, because for how long he’s been in the game, he hasn’t made an amazing piece of art yet, and if he wants to match a Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Eminem etc., he needs some serious change in formula.
While I’d listen to this shit far more than something by Migos, 21 Savage, Future, Travis Scott, Lil Yachty etc., it was kinda of a clusterfuck, with scattered and inconsistent themes. The idea of “Conscious Trap,” sounded so cool and inventive to me, that it pissed me off that this is the best Logic could come up with. However, the beats were decent with all the songs listed on my written-over cover art, so that kind of compensated for the lackluster lyricism. Overall, brilliant idea, terrible execution, and decent beats; not a totally bad project. I’d give this mixtape an average 6.5/10.