Maryland based rapper Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, known by his stage name “Logic,” is making a name for himself with his debut album Under Pressure. The record was released on October 21, 2014. The album, from Def Jam recordings and produced by No. I.D. and 6ix, features songs that highlight Logic’s troubled upbringing, his personal problems, as well as his entry into the hip-hop scene.
The 24-year-old Logic, a Gaithersburg, Maryland native, struggled to take care of himself as a child due to his irresponsible African-American father and white mother’s crack and alcohol addictions. Throughout his early childhood, he never saw his father. He dropped out of school in tenth grade after he began failing most of his classes, and the school did not allow him to continue his education.
Originally, Logic went by the name of Psychological, which he changed in 2010 when he released his first official mixtape, Young, Broke, and Infamous. After releasing his second mixtape, Young Sinatra, in 2011, Logic was recognized by Chris Zarou of Visionary Music Group who signed him to an independent record label. Since 2012, Logic has released two more official mixtapes, Young Sinatra: Undeniable (2012) and Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever (2013), as well as Under Pressure, while he said that he is in the works of a second album.
Under Pressure is an incredible clashing of hip-hop beats, piano riffs and Logic’s heartfelt lyrics. The album begins with “Intro,” which is an introduction to Logic’s objectives and initial reasons for creating the album. On this track, the audience is also introduced to Thalia, a female computer voice that provides listeners with interesting facts about the album’s creation at the end of each song.
Some highlights of Logic’s debut album include tracks “Buried Alive”, “Nikki” and “Under Pressure”. On “Buried Alive”, Logic discusses how his true persona slowly becomes farther from him as his stage personality becomes more well-known. “Look around everything changes / Seem like everybody just strangers / Don’t go outside cause it’s dangerous / Why everybody wanna be famous,” he says, taking an introspective stance on how he currently views society.
“Nikki” describes Logic’s obsession with nicotine, personified as a woman named Nikki. “Nikki baby I love you but now I gotta go / Cause in the end what happens you already know,” Logic bravely admits on “Nikki” as he promises to refrain from using nicotine for the rest of his life. He also describes how they have “been together like ten years” and how “[Nikki] took [him] as a young man.”
“Under Pressure” is perhaps the most revealing song on the album. Logic takes listeners deep into his family’s past, outlining the terrible memories that haunt his history. Logic assumes the role of his family members, each sending a message to “Bobby,” Logic’s family nickname. “You tell me I’m beautiful and yet no man wanna date me / Haunted by vivid memories of that man who raped me,” Logic raps from the perspective of his sister. In another verse, he raps, “Hey, son, this is your father, don’t mean to bother / … And on the real I’m trying so hard not to bug you / But do you think you could stop rapping about my drug use?” portraying his father’s selfishness and carelessness for his family.
Overall, Logic’s debut album, Under Pressure, is a touching masterpiece of the truth and harsh realities of struggling through a drug-related childhood. It reminds listeners of the power of word choice and the ability of someone to send a message to others through rap.