With what he has claimed to be his second to last album of all time, rapper and producer Logic has returned with his third studio album, Everybody. While far better than his subpar 2016 mixtape Bobby Tarantino, this latest project falls short of even 2015’s The Incredible True Story. Much like those two projects, Logic consistently fails to deliver on his promises, never living up to the same vision or scope that he always commits himself to – despite the conscious angle and conceptual nature of his work, each one of his albums somehow manages to collapse under its own weight, and Everybody is no different.
Logic definitely has some talent – that’s what got him this far in the first place, and he definitely can rap too – but something about each of his projects causes them to fall apart at the seams. His political sentiments are important and refreshing at first, especially in today’s climate, but every time he brings up the same social issues with little to no substance, things go from innovative conscious angles to overbearing righteousness very quickly. Songs like Take it Back or Killing Spree start satisfying, yet end bored as they fall victim to Logic’s tangents that say nothing. Logic has every right to be proud of his mixed race heritage, but when he brings up the same statements over and over with so little to say, it feels overindulgent and uninteresting.
It’s a shame, because honestly, Logic really can rap – even when he borrows flows and stylings from his conscious contemporaries like Kendrick and J. Cole, it’s still clear he’s a versatile and gifted rapper and record producer. Somehow though, Logic manages to be neither as interesting nor have as much to say as either of his jazz rap tutors. He might have great production and the rapping ability, but with no substance and mediocre songwriting, it means nothing. Logic’s strongest tracks are the ones where he wears both his influences and his pop appeal on his sleeve – title track Everybody is a conscious banger, even at its preachiest, while Take it Back (before Logic goes on a self-absorbed monologue) sees the rapper deliver some of his best bars and catchiest flows over a watery and warped instrumental.
Although Logic might falter, the production rarely does. With Logic and frequent collaborator 6ix on production duty, there’s plenty of great instrumentals on here – even the poppiest, most radio yielding cuts like Confess or 1-800-273-8255 are lush and well put together. Intro track Hallelujah is rich, choral, and soulful, while the Juicy J featuring Ink Blot is lowkey and seductively jazzy. The production really is stellar, but it’s tainted by the nonsense skits and loose narrative that fills in the blanks. It’s meant to be a continuation of the plot started on The Incredible True Story, but Logic really has no idea where the story is going, even with big names like Neil deGrasse Tyson on board.
It’s not all bad though; Everybody might be a mess, but there’s some salvageable material amongst the driftwood. Posse cut America with Black Thought, Chuck D, Big Lenbo, and No I.D sees conscious superstars come together, while Mos Definitely pays homage to Black on Both Sides with complex and catchy flows. Black SpiderMan is maybe Logic’s greatest single choice of all time; it’s empowering, inspiring, and ultimately powerful, with Logic finally managing to deliver an important message while not coming off as preachy and overbearing. Closing track AfricAryaN leaves the best for last too – if you throw the whole album narrative out the window, it’s a really satisfying and well done conclusion to the album, drawing on both lush jazz rap instrumentation and some of Logic’s most fleshed out self-reflections and introspective insights.
Everybody is not an album for everybody, but it’s really an album for Logic. There’s some great tracks on here, for sure, but most of this project resolves to be Logic’s most mediocre and self indulgent material yet. Everybody is a half baked vision, and if his next album is his last as he so claims, Logic needs to step up if he wants to have a triumphant conclusion.