2014 has seen fairly solid stuff from rap artists this year – Jeezy, T.I., Schoolboy Q, Freddie Gibbs, and Rick Ross have all done well for themselves, but ultimately, it’s been a fairly slow year when it comes to rap releases overall. There hasn’t bee a clear cut definitive album like Kanye’s Jeezus from last year or Kendrick’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City from the year before. A$AP Yams even called 2014 the worst ever year for rap music.
This is why something like the debut release from Logic, Under Pressure, can immediately throw it’s mic in the ring for best of the year.
Sounding like a cross between Gambino’s flow and Kendrick’s tone, Robert Bryson Hall (aka Logic) does a great job of not getting cornered as a ‘white rapper’ – and according a interview done during his promo blitz for this record – gets seriously pissed when someone tries to dismiss him as such. This album is brooding, somber, and if you close your eyes and listen there is nothing to do with race on this record. It’s a representation of a young man growing up in poverty, surrounded by drugs and violence. It almost seems that Logic has poured himself into this record. After releasing a number of EP’s and mixtapes since 2010, it’s great to see a long form representation of his skills.
Overall, there’s a little cheese and a few soft-spots, but it’s good. To me it’s a classic debut. Something that we’ll (hopefully) look back in 5 years and see how far he’s ultimately come as a rapper and producer.