Logic delivers a big sound "Everybody," but ultimately, is this album really for "Everybody"?
Everybody loosely follows the journey of a recently deceased man named Atom who, after dying in a car accident on his way home, meets God (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) and has a conversation with him spanning a multitude of topics and millenia. Having been transported somewhere in the midst of the great divide, Atom learns not only about his most recent life but also of all the different incarnations of himself that have ever existed. God explains that Atom is entirety of human existence and that the human race was only created as a means to learn, mature, and eventually ascend to Godhood. This transformation can only occur once Atom has experienced the perspectives of every person.
The first song on the album sounds like the intro to a rock opera set inside of an arcade on acid. "Hallelujah" sounds less like a song, and more like a musical outpouring for Logic’s desire to connect, not only with his spirituality, but specifically, with his black spirituality. The exclamation that "this is for every race, color, and creed" very much sets the tone for the album to come. Thankfully it doesn’t come off as excessive but there is definitely a sense that Logic is trying to reinforce his blackness in a space where he appears “white.” Whereas artists Kendrick Lamar or even J Cole (who realistically is just as white as Logic) can more easily trumpet pro-blackness because of the simple fact that they look black, Logic has to stretch a little farther because of his skin tone.
The album transitions into "Everybody," in which Logic addresses his temporary absence from the music scene, his rough upbringing in Maryland, and the similarities found between all people. The most poignant moment of the song were the lyrics, "If it was 1717 black daddy white momma it wouldn’t change a thing light skin mothafucka certified as a house nigga well I'll be God-damned. Go figure." Instead of being accepted by both sides of his lineage, Logic’s bi-racial status has caused him to be isolated and shunned by both black and whites from a young age. Even his use of "nigga" in the this bar feels rather calculated. The album wavers back and forth between the ideas of self-acceptance and equality and Logic’s coming to terms with, not only his own self-hatred, but also the hatred that is perpetuated in the world on a daily basis.
"Confess" is a frantic self-deprecating confession of Logic’s selfishness and misdeeds with the repeated refrain, “I’m a dirty mothafucka, a waste of life, a waste of skin, Wanna repent, don’t know where to begin, Next of kin don’t give a damn ‘bout me, I know God don’t give a damn bout’ me." The song sounds like a gospel church that was converted into a dance club. The synths and the vocalist are really powerful and borderline hypnotizing. It was a little disappointing that there wasn’t actually a Killer Mike verse but nonetheless fans should thoroughly enjoy Killer Mike’s pleading with God, asking about mass incarceration and the ways in which it seems that evil is rewarded in this world, despite the Bible claiming otherwise.
"Killing Spree" is easily the song that bumps the hardest (perhaps alongside "America"). Logic addresses the type of internet slacktivism that the majority of the generation seems to have settled into as well as the way that cellphones have come to completely dictate the pace of our lives. “Real shit going on in Lebanon. But I don’t give a fuck, my favorite show is coming on.” This song does well to capture the apathy that afflicts so many Americans as well as the way that we latch on to buzzwords and phrases out of shock value.
This album is certainly black, but it would have been more satisfying if Logic touched on these issues more deeply and less at a surface level-- this also ties into a frequent critcisim of Logic that could be reiterated again with this body of work -- and that is repetitiveness. We've heard him touch on his personal story and struggle countless times in his lyrics, and he does that again, albeit seemingly at face value, again. Although he does try (more on that later) to offer a new perspective by expanding the story to include America as a whole (hence songs like "America"), in addition to his own story, it still seems to generally glide across topics.
"Ink Blot" starts a bit unexpectedly with a melodic intro and mellowed singing, and Juicy J brings it full circle with the needed gruffness to create a knocking track. Logic and Juicy's back and forth is really refreshing, and perhaps it was intended as such-- "Ink Blot" sits almost squarely in the middle of the album, and feels like a palette cleanser of sorts. It is the least actively political and pro-black song on the album, thus a change of pace-- quite literally too. That change of pace ushers in the second half of the album, which itself is softer, matching a move from more political and social topics to that of the mental, with songs like "18002738255," "Anxiety" and "Black Spiderman." This collection of records offers awareness and relateability for anyone struggling on the mental health side -- whether that has to do with race or not, but of course, for Logic race is always tied into it.
On "Black Spiderman" Damian Lemar Hudson fully spazzes, delivering a spellbinding vocal performance. The drums and the choir are majestic and the song as a whole truly encapsulates "the love everybody no matter who they are" ideology that Logic’s music is filled with, which is also one of the more broad messages of the album.
Interestingly enough, in this album about acceptance and diversity, it would have been nice to see a bit more diversity. Everybody is honestly a bit too self-centered considering the propertied scope of the project. There's excessive self-loathing about his whiteness, and pride about his blackness, but not enough characters were played with, to actually embody the struggles of everyone. Neil Degrasse Tyson (or God) definitely has some powerful overarching advice for happiness and humanity, but Everybody was too large of a concept for this body of work as it is mostly about Logic’s journey rather than "everyone"'s journey.