Logic’s “YSIV” packed with talented guest features, messages from fans

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(Nick Maher/ Wikimedia commons)

Tiffany Chasse, Writer

Logic is back at it, and not only did he just drop a new album “YSIV” Sept. 28, but in it, he mentions yet another album in the works. “YSIV” is the fourth installment of the “Young Sinatra” series, which dates back to the release of “Young Sinatra” in September 2011. Following “Young Sinatra,” Logic released “Young Sinatra: Undeniable” in 2012. One year later, he released “Young Sinatra: Welcome to Forever.”  “YSIV,” however, is the only project of the series released as a studio album rather than a mixtape.

Young Sinatra is one of Logic’s various alter egos alongside Bobby Tarantino. The persona was birthed from the love and respect rapper Logic has for the legendary Frank Sinatra. He yearned to bring the “honor and debonair” of Sinatra’s jazz to the rap world. From this basic idea, the concept bloomed and later acquired a following dubbed the Rattpack — “Ratt” standing for “real all the time.”

This unique following was given a feature role in the opening song of the album, “Thank You.” Fans from across the world were given the opportunity to leave Logic a thank-you along with their name and location. The moral of the song isn’t simply “bow down to Logic,” however. The rapper precedes the fan feature with multiple minutes of thanks to his friends, family and fans that supported him through it all.

Along with the assist from fans, Logic has 20 guest features. From Hailee Steinfeld to the entirety of the Wu-Tang Clan, to Jaden Smith and more, this album is loaded with talent.

A common pattern throughout this album as well as many, if not all of Logic’s past albums, is the continuous flow and storytelling vibe of his transitions. Often times, the switch from one song to another is seamless and unidentifiable. Another style Logic often uses is continuing an idea not necessarily musically but rather storywise. The moral or message of one song will often directly connect to the song that follows.

The third song of the album, “The Return,” is included in the continuous flow and is currently the third most popular song on Logic’s entire Spotify. This is followed closely by “One Day” which lands at number four and uses the alternative continuous storytelling technique.

“One Day” is one of my personal favorite tunes from the album along with “The Glorious Five,” “Street Dreams II” and “Legacy.”

In “The Glorious Five,” Logic conveys the message of learning from others mistakes and avoiding the repetition of toxic behavior. Growing up with an uninvolved, drug-addicted father was a struggle for the Maryland rapper. Rather than following in his father’s gloomy path, he not only chooses to do what’s best for himself but also vows to be a better father for his son “one day.”

“Street Dreams II,” on the other hand, is a sequel of sorts to the song “Street Dreams,” which was featured on the first album of the series, “Young Sinatra.” Similar to its predecessor, “Street Dreams II” follows a scary, yet very realistic storyline — in this case, it’s a kidnapping. While it all ends up being a dream, the lessons that can be learned from the lyrics are far from fictional. Without even knowing it, you could be hurting someone who is not only important to you, but whom you deeply love. The only way to fix your mistakes is to change that part of you, or in Logic’s case, to shoot his evil counterpart. While it is often far from easy, the outcome is almost always worth the pain.

The last of my favorites, “Legacy,” deals with the power of money and the effects of fame on family life. Logic speaks to how artists, and people with money in general, often become greedy and although they are well off, continue to work to increase their profit. This too often becomes obsessive and directly intertwines with the idea of legacy and leaving something behind that you can be proud of. Logic emphasizes the importance of spending time rather than spending money — a lesson we could all learn.

We can’t talk about an album without talking about the song that inspired the name: “YSIV.” While most of the song shows appreciation for fellow rappers and sprinkles in bits of Logic’s successes, there is a sharp shift toward the end. Accompanied by a change in beat, Logic shifts to the perspective of money and the power and problems associated with it. The lyricism used to express this perspective, while not necessarily complex, is undeniably well done. At the conclusion of the tune, Logic speaks to the recent death of Mac Miller. As one of his longtime idols, Miller’s death hit Logic hard, and paying his respects was not merely an option, but a necessity.

Lastly but certainly not least, the longest song on the album coming in at 10 minutes and 46 seconds is “Last Call.” Inspired by a similar song done by Kanye West years ago, Logic tells, in detail, his life story. From the struggle to the success and everything in between, Logic lets you in on his upbringing while shouting out those who helped him get here.

Is there a better way to end a series than with the story that was behind the scenes throughout it all? I certainly think not.

Listen for yourself here.

Email Tiffany at [email protected] 

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