Logic is a technical typhoon of a rapper; his ability to slice up words and stick them together into rapidly spit collages is almost second to none. But his ability is often wasted on unimaginative songs that are well arranged yet often lack spirit. Logic plays the game and plays it good. And it was old, but now it’s getting exhausting. His new album, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind could have been memorable if it stuck to its darkly alluring title, but these “confessions” are almost non-existent, and what does exist are wagging lessons about your life, not his. It’s a tightly put together piece of work that is, ultimately, a head scratcher.
Or maybe I’m just reading too much into the title, a possible reference to the 2002 film of the same name that follows the fictional life of real life game show host Chuck Barris. He once claimed that he was a spy who served as an assassin, and although the film’s a heavy watch, it’s elevated by its comedic nature. The project is dark and felt like it was digging new ground into a character that existed on TV, henceforth the name, but we don’t even get close to that on Logic’s latest. What’s covered here is essentially the same message that Logic’s been covering time after time; Logic is underrated, rich, successful, yet criminally overlooked, and because of that, the LP’s name feels like a cheat.
But at least it sounds good. Logic reaches to the four corners of rap’s globe, bringing out sounds to appease even the most reluctant of fans. “Pardon My Ego” is glitzy and the kind of frenetic dance banger that brings EDM fans into the fold, “Icy” is the kind of sleazy cool man’s bass romp that is tailor-made for the cockiest of fans, desperate to live out their wildest rich person’s fantasy through Logic’s eye-rolling boasts. “Lost in Translation” percolates with a soft but clubby energy, while “Clickbait” moans and whines like a Juice WRLD single but has none of the heart. The rest of Confessions’ 16 tracks fall into one of these four categories. Each pop with an obvious fetish for unique drum patterns, heavy bass, and eclectic melodies. “Cocaine” moves like a train flying down an old track with broken brakes, barreling forward at a breakneck pace, and “Icy” sounds absolutely menacing long before Gucci Mane comes on thanks to Logic’s baby voice contrasting with a more smoothed out delivery than the rapper has ever delivered.
The ideas that the LP entails aren’t bold new understandings or discussions. They’re tailored towards making sense of the world around you. For some reason, Logic chose the devastating impact of social media is one of its main thematic through-lines. He spends “Wannabe” wagging a finger at someone who wants to be famous by any means, even willing to slit their wrists because they don’t get any likes. On “Clickbait,” it’s a similar, chastising feat. “I always post that I’m having a good time/ So my life looks perfect online,” he raps annoyingly. We all utilize it in similar manners, so are we all the problem here? Regardless, the way that he jibes leaves a sour taste. He spends the length of “Homicide” with Eminem, while viciously battling like hurricanes for rap atmosphere supremacy, spitting empty brags that sound fresh off the tongue, even if they don’t amount to much more than telling us new ways to honor him and respect his come-up. Things do get personal on “Bobby,” which features vocals from his father (who he’s rapped about in the past), but until then, it’s a jaunt and jeer fest that is easy on the ears but light on digestible substance.
Featured guests include YBN Cordae, Wiz Khalifa, G-Eazy, Gucci Mane, and Will Smith who bring fascinating bright blips into Confessions’ radar while exacerbating the notion that Logic’s too narrow-minded. Cordae’s humble brilliance; Khalifa’s straight-edged slamming delivery; G-Eazy’s acute sly dog routine; these are three of the brightest spots of the entire album. The rest of it shrinks underneath the powerful features as well as its aimlessness, made even more prevalent by its very title. Confessions captures the essence of Logic that wants to evolve into something else but is tethered to the past. It’s an entirely unnecessary album that makes technically polished music, almost second to none. But its substance and merit are where it continuously falls short over its hour-long runtime. When the introspection and true confessions do start coming, it’s much too late. By that time, you may well have checked out. Here’s a confession Logic: lean into your concepts more and deliver a body of work that centers around it, not casually references it.