Logic's sixth mixtape is lacking in several key areas, but overall he delivers a decently solid project that is well produced from start to finish.
People continue to find all manner of ways to hate on Logic. Whether it’s his overwhelming success, his sometimes goofy appearance, or the perception that the messages he delivers in his music are "corny," it doesn’t seem to matter. With each successive project, Logic has become more and more polarizing. Despite all of this criticism, Logic sounds carefree and at ease on his sixth mixtape Bobby Tarantino II. His willingness to kick back and enjoy the ride without feeling like he has to be too serious is part of what makes this second installment in the series enjoyable in the first place. And if anything, his alter ego, Bobby, seems to be an effective avenue through which he can relieve stress and revel in the bravado of typical rap tropes and styles that are more in line with industry norms.
Yet, perhaps as a result of all of this, there seems to be an overall lack of focus and effort. It culminates in a rather mixed bag when examining Bobby Tarantino II as a cohesive project. It’s difficult to pin down the concept and aesthetic that Logic is trying achieve, and that really hinders him. On the one hand, parts of the project feel effortless, and harken back to the Young Sinatra days when Logic was flexing raw talent on the mic, just trying to get recognized. And on the other hand, there are some songs that simply feel forced and entirely out of place. Nonetheless, it’s a solid project with exceptional production.
Logic has always had a keen ear for instrumentals, and his in-house producer 6ix continues to find just the right sounds that allow him to flourish. The production throughout is intricate and sonically pleasing, and it just goes to show why 6ix remains one of the most criminally underrated producers in the industry. It’s a fantastic testament to 6ix’s loyalty and dedication over the years that he has remained Logic’s go-to guy, but it would be great to see him expand his talents and begin to work with new artists. Still, the chemistry between the two is obvious, and readily apparent on tracks such as “Yuck,” “Indica Badu,” “Warm It Up,” and “44 More.”
The project opens with “Grandpa’s Space Ship,” a short, two-minute skit that finds TV’s favorite sci-fi adventuring duo Rick & Morty caught in the seemingly never-ending debate of mixtape Logic versus album Logic. It’s a good-humored intro that shows Logic doesn’t take himself too seriously, and that he isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself. It closes with Rick declaring “Give me some of that Bobby Tarantino shit,” at which point it launches into “Overnight,” the second single from the project. The track marries 8-bit, arcade game sound effects with heavy percussion, similar to the playful combination found on “Super Mario World” off of Bobby Tarantino. Yet Logic’s verses on “Overnight” are patched together at times with filler lines that leave a bit of a bland taste in one’s mouth. There’s something about “Overnight” that just doesn’t click, and it seems to be missing that key piece that could really elevate it to the next level.
The third song “Contra” was originally teased in the announcement trailer for Bobby Tarantino II, which Logic released on his Twitter. It’s a track that is largely carried by Logic’s delivery and charisma, which is on full display in his use of the exuberant “Bobby!” proclamations. It’s an ominous track that flows right into “Boomtrap Protocol,” a song on which Logic sounds eerily similar to Travis Scott on “4 AM.” The creative influences on Bobby Tarantino II are obvious, and though they’re somewhat distracting, they don’t necessarily detract from or undercut the rest of project in a significant fashion.
That being said, “Boom Trap Protocol” and “Wizard of Oz” sound like blatant, watered down Travis Scott records, and the latter of the two is even complete with the recognizable “yah” ad libs. His utilization of the voice altering software and his singing in particular are jarring. It all feels as if these tracks are nothing more than throwaways, where Logic could have stepped up to the plate and hit a home run but instead chose to phone it in. For example, on “Midnight,” Logic offers a forgettable, more melodic opener before a vicious beat switch kicks in, at which point he goes on to deliver one clever punchline after another. The lingering piano, even after the transition, is captivating, and gives the song some much needed depth, yet as a whole the track still feels incomplete and half-baked.
This is unfortunate because the hard-hitting production throughout this project is stellar, but several of the songs, including “Wassup” and “State of Emergency” featuring entertaining guest appearances from Big Sean and 2 Chainz respectively, seem directionless due to Logic’s lack of creativity and engagement. Everyone knows that Logic is highly skilled and has the talent to make music that is uniquely his own, but he simply doesn’t bother to do anything consequential on much of Bobby Tarantino II.
Still, there are more than a few standouts. On “Yuck,” Logic lets his success speak for itself, as he addresses beef with other artists, namely Joyner Lucas. The ongoing feud has been covered in greater depth elsewhere, but it’s worth noting that Logic makes it clear that he doesn’t have a problem with Lucas as he addresses the conflict on his own terms. In an effort to take the high road, he wishes Lucas success in his future endeavors, but also points out how Lucas continues to use his name to generate publicity: “But you push the issue ‘cause I give you more press than your publicist could ever get you.”
He even seems to pity Lucas, who he feels is caught up in suppressed feelings of self-hatred. It’s a subliminal diss in that Logic doesn’t name drop, but he does seem to be goading Lucas to respond, which he no doubt will if things continue to play out as they have given the history between the two. Whether or not you buy into what Logic has to offer on “Yuck,” there’s no denying the energy that he brings to the track. And who knows? We may well be gearing up for a bout between two of rap’s most talented lyrical heavyweights.
“Yuck” is followed by the vibrant, jazz-flavored “Indica Badu,” a J-Dilla inspired weed anthem featuring Wiz Khalifa that comes together in a truly gorgeous fashion. Everything about the laidback track feels organic, and somehow, Logic manages to get Wiz to deliver one of the best verses we’ve heard from the Kush & Orange Juice rapper in years.
Nostalgic and enthralling, “Warm It Up” is Logic at his best, as he gathers together some of his most memorable lyrics from the Young Sinatra mixtape series to create an absolute masterpiece. The song offers the classic boom bap sound that serves as a wakeup call to those who continue to doubt Logic’s prowess on the mic, and it’s the kind of display of rapping proficiency and technical skill that put him on the map. He even manages to sneak in a line from his 2011 “Live On The Air” freestyle: “Goddamn, I’m a miraculous man/And if I wasn’t Logic I’d be his number one fan.” The song offers a taste for the difference between Young Sinatra and Bobby, but the lyrical cockiness that is Logic’s specialty is palpable throughout.
The project ends with two records that could not be more different from one another. “Everyday,” Logic’s collaboration with EDM DJ and producer Marshmello, is characterized by the kind of bubblegum pop sound that doesn’t fit Logic particularly well. The hook feels grating and uninspired, although the track will probably get a great deal of radio play given its crossover appeal. Then there’s “44 More,” the fiery closing song and first single to emerge leading up to the project. Logic showcases his versatility and ability to switch flows on a whim, and offers a few witty tidbits here and there about the materialistic impulses of his rap peers and how he outsold Harry Styles and Katy Perry during his first week. The repetitive “ring, ring, ring” line comes off as a bit lazy, but Logic immediately hops right back into the action after shouting out Kevin Durant to illustrate that he’s at the top of his game just like the NBA superstar.
The bottom line, as with really any recent Logic project, is this: if you’re a fan of Logic, then you will likely enjoy Bobby Tarantino II, and if not you probably won’t. It’s that simple. Logic isn’t trying to do too much with Bobby Tarantino II. It’s not a miraculous or ground-breaking project, and he doesn’t offer the kind of grand, overarching message that he delivered on Everybody. Instead, he’s content to reflect on his accomplishments and experiences and have a little bit of fun while he’s at it. If Logic doesn’t sound as ambitious or as hungry as he once did during the inception of the RattPack and BobbySoxer days, it’s because he’s at a different stage in his life.
And that’s okay; he’s much more comfortable in himself and what he produces from a musical standpoint, and that’s something to be respected. In an interview with Genius, Logic mentioned that Ultra 85 would be his last album as he looks ahead to his career as a writer, actor, and director. “I just want to end everything with a really big bang and get the fuck out of here,” he said. “Better to go out while on top like Jerry Seinfeld: nine seasons, number one fucking show in the world, over a billion dollars. I’d rather do that.” It’s hard to argue with the man on that one.