Logic takes an uninspired victory lap
Coming off of “Everybody’s” groundbreaking success, Logic slips back into his mixtape persona like a Harvard law graduate ditching his suit for a pair of pajamas. Indicated by a comically vulgar intro from Adult Swim’s “Rick and Morty,” “Bobby Tarantino II” refuses to take itself seriously, prioritizing clever bars above all else.
Dividing himself between two personas, mixtape Logic never attempts to reach the ambition of album Logic. Putting aside the higher production value of his album career, the mixtape relies on the versatility and cleverness of Logic’s bars to stand out from the competition.
Disappointingly, the first four tracks of the tape do little to differentiate themselves from each other. “Overnight” and “Contra” struggle to find thematic resonance, making general statements about his success and self-proclaimed financial morality repeatedly, yet never providing a focal point for the tracks to identify with.
The trap beats are also drearily boring, blasting syncopated snare rhythms over bland instrumentals. “Boomtrap Patrol” and “Yuck” are equally generic, meshing together into an unmemorable blend of indistinguishable filler.
The first half of the mixtape is not bad by any stretch of the word. It just fails to meet the high standards Logic has set for himself, especially given how much the mixtape glorifies his own work ethic. The mixtape plays as a device for Logic to speak his mind unfiltered, which is a disappointment because he never finds anything interesting to say.
That is until the mixtape reaches “Indica Badu,” the first track that gives “Bobby Tarantino II” a reason to exist. Featuring Wiz Khalifa and a clever run time of 4:20, “Badu” should have been the first track on the mixtape. The rap interrelates the use medicinal marijuana against the anxieties of fame with recreational bliss, passing the torch to Khalifa before the track gets stale. The auto-tuned hook adds a level of atmospheric surrealism, providing a cerebral blend that the opening tracks lack.
Building off of that momentum, the mixtape starts to become something special through a creative subversion of expectations and legendary features. “Midnight” opens with a slow hook that repeats itself into a lull before switching the beat entirely halfway through and delivering what sounds like a completely different track.
“Warm It Up” resurrects Logic’s old rap persona, Young Sinatra, with a vintage track played over a beat indicative of ‘90s gangster rap. “State of Emergency” and “Wassup” features 2 Chainz and Big Sean, giving the track some diversity, while Marshmello composes an electronic beat for “Everyday” that cans the status quo of the mixtape entirely.
Even if a track fails to resonate in the latter half, it at least manages to distinguish itself from the incomprehensible bland of the first half. “Wizard of Oz” feels a little misplaced, given its generic themes and lack of guest stars, but Logic manages to end the mixtape with his best track yet: “44 More.”
Logic brings the mixtape to a literal breathless close, spitting 44 bars at break-neck speed. The flow of the ending track is a testament to his skill as a rapper, a skill that could only be shown through the gritty forum of a mixtape.
“Bobby Tarantino II” is not an album dedicated to contemplating moral efficacy or self-existentialism. It is a mixtape meant to showcase Logic’s talent, surely to be blasted over sound systems in the back of a college student’s car. While the opening half of the tape disappoints, the latter more than make up its shortcomings.
The Flyer gives “Bobby Tarantino II” an 8 out of 10.
By JOHN EICHER
Featured photo: Genius Music image.