This is the 9th full-length album from Maryland rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, author & Twitch streamer Logic. Emerging just over a decade ago off the strength of the first 3 installments of the Young Sinatra mixtape series. He potential would continually be shown on his first 2 albums Under Pressure & The Incredible True Story. However, it’s no secret that the quality of his music took a nosedive from Bobby Tarantino to Supermarket or the unlikeable bitterness of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. No Pressure however was a mature sequel to his full-length debut & I also thought the Doc D concept mixtape Planetory Destruction was decent too, but Bobby Tarantino III was pretty underwhelming. His final offering for Def Jam Recordings that dropped last summer Vinyl Days happened to be his most artistically definitive yet, already cementing my excitement for College Park.
“Cruisin’ Thru the Universe” starts off the album with some acoustics & a futuristic boom bap instrumental as Logic & RZA speak on riding through in their spaceships whereas “Wake Up” takes a more vibrant route with some kicks & snares detailing his journey. C Dot Castro tags along for the 2-part “Lightsabers” with a jazzy opener & a delicate switch-up calling out those who did this music shit for the money leading into the dusty “Clone Wars III” letting y’all know what this culture really about.
Moving on to “Redpill VI”, we have Bobby over some spacious boom bap production calling his flow non-binary & boasting that he never misses just before “Playwright” has a more drumless approach talking about balancing the life as a recording artist & a father. C Dot Castro returns alongside ADÉ, Big Lenbo & Fat Trel for the trap posse cut “Gaithersburg Freestyle” repping the titular city, but then “Insipio” has a more moodier tone to it talking about true wealth being measured in experience as opposed to gold.
Redman joins Logic on the Statik Selektah-produced “Self Medication” working in some kicks, snares & strings as the pair informing those who don’t know that now they do while “Shimmy” with Joey Bada$$ pays homage to the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard over an atmospheric beat with some piano chords resembling the ones used during “Shimmy Shimmy Ya”, which the song is of course named after & is interpolated during the hook. “Paradise II” is a jazzy/neo-soul crossover picking up where the original “Paradise” left off while “Come Down” is a triumphant trap hit expressing his desire to have it all.
Meanwhile on “Village Slum”, things returns to the boom bap with a melodic vocal loop discussing alcoholism while “Highlife” goes into more pop rap territory talking about how he feels whenever getting blowed on a daily basis. The song “38.9897 °N, 76.9378 °W” with Big Lenbo & C Dot Castro finds the trio paying homage to the place where it all began over a piano instrumental while the jazzy penultimate track “Ayo” with Bun B & Lil Keke samples “Knockin’ Down Doorz” by the late Pimp C as they talk about laying low. “Lightyear” though is an 8 & a half minute closer flipping one of my favorite Kendrick joints “Rigamortis” promising to never change.
Although I still think Vinyl Days stands as Logic’s finest body of work to date, I still think College Park is still worth the listen for anyone who wants to hear him take it back to his roots. Some lackluster feature performances here & there, but the production is on par with that of his Def Jam coda & the whole concept of taking us through a day of his life with his friends back in 2011 actually comes from a heartfelt place.
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