Last week in Los Angeles, Logic invited Complex to hear his debut album, Under Pressure. Sitting in a plush leather seat in a studio in Hollywood, rocking a black hoodie, tight black jeans, and a black Ratt Pack hat, the Maryland rapper played us 11 of the 12 songs from his debut. (He skipped one song because he wants it to be a surprise but said the song was inspired by Kanye West's "Addiction.") He admits he's nervous, which is understandable. But he says he's not nervous about the quality of the music, he's nervous about whether or not people will "get" his album and the inevitable criticism he'll receive—especially about comparisons to obvious influences like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Drake. Still, he ought to be feeling confident considering his rabid fanbase is ready to support him at all costs.
Although one listen certainly isn't enough to get a clear consensus on the quality of an album, there were a handful of things that were very obvious. For one, it's much darker than his previous work and features some very harrowing details about Logic's troubled upbringing on songs like "Gang Related" and lead single "Under Pressure." (The second half of the latter song has yet to be released.) The album features no guest verses—save for the ones on the bonus tracks, which we didn't hear—and is mostly produced by Logic's in-house producer 6ix and Logic himself, but also features beats from producers like DJ Dahi and S1. It's also narrated by a voice named Thalia who pops up between songs to reveal tidbits about the album—an homage to A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders. He then compared making a single before making an album to making a trailer for a movie that isn't finished shooting.
After playing us the album and downing his first ever plate of chicken and waffles from Roscoe's, Logic broke down many of the creative decisions that went into making the album what it is. Here's what he had to say.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)