By MICHAEL COSTANZA
It’s impossible to dislike Logic. The rapper’s heart- on-sleeve earnestness and consistent, uplifting messages have made him an unlikely star. He’s the only rapper who could conceivably score an omnipresent megahit based around the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and tweet a picture of himself enthusiastically gearing up to play Dungeons & Dragons in the same year.
If the conversation between Rick and Morty (of “Rick & Morty”) on the opening track of Logic’s new mixtape “Bobby Tarantino II” is any indication of his future in the industry, this isn’t something he worries about, and neither should his listeners .
Rick draws a clear line between “album Logic” and “mixtape Logic” from the word go, and it is the major distinction for anyone who hadn’t heard of the Maryland-based MC before last summer. Fun is just about all “Bobby Tarantino II” is, a sigh of relief after the clenched- fist seriousness of its predecessor.
The songs are short on what sanctimonious detractors would call “messages,” but the freedom and airy feel of the whole album gives Logic the room to imbue the beats with his personality.
There is hardly anything new here, but when he can’t help but sing, “I treated everybody with respect and now I’m rich/I treated everybody with respect,” over the soaring, chiptunes beat of “Overnight,” he sounds vindicated. And who doesn’t aspire to be exactly that?
Stylistically, “Bobby Tarantino II” is full of exercises in bragging, and Logic doing things to prove to people he can – because he’s good at it.
If anyone thought that Logic was too focused on pandering to pop-listeners and millennials and wouldn’t do a song with a beat pulled straight from the 90s where the chorus doesn’t come in for over two minutes, there’s “Warm It Up.” He’ll often stop mid-bar to sing on the more energized songs and double-time his ow on the sleepier tracks.
Big Sean shows up on “Wassup” to do that thing he does where it doesn’t sound like he’s rapping as much as it does like he’s reading from an endless iPhone note where he writes whatever idea comes into his head.
2 Chainz delivers what is one of the mixtape’s best and most energized verses on “State of Emergency,” rattling o acronyms with enough air to make the audience want him to stick around just a bit longer. It’s not likely to change the world, but it feels much more natural that having the star of “The Fault In Our Stars” sing a weepy, auto-tuned verse about cell phone addiction, which actually took place on “Everybody.”
The feature that most clearly cements Logic’s braggadocio comes at the end of “Yuck” and is a real life voicemail from Sir Elton John, calling to congratulate the rapper on his multiple Grammy wins and to ask him for a favor. But there are a few clunkers, or at least a few things that are a bit too on the nose.
“Midnight” feels like a Drake song that Drake didn’t bother to write. “Indica Badu” is an inoffensive but forgettable ode to marijuana that features, you guessed it, Wiz Khalifa. But there is nothing on “Bobby Tarantino II” that is, without a doubt, a terrible song.
Still, though, even after the millions of listens and realizing that the lyrics are not all that specific after all, it’s hard to not get chills listening to “1-800-273- 8255.” The sheer notion that someone wrote that song
and it became that popular is heartwarming. It’s that directness and willingness to be himself before being “cool” that serves Logic, whether he’s talking about human equality or double parking his new BMW sideways.
Not many people mean what they say quite like this guy.