Under Pressure (Deluxe Edition)

Under Pressure (Deluxe Edition)

After a half-decade or so as an underground sensation and mixtape phenom, Logic felt the hype surrounding the arrival of his debut album, Under Pressure (Deluxe Edition). The expectations from fans, record-label execs, and those who doubted the merits of the rap sensation loomed large. This informs the basis of his major-label kickoff, which arrived in 2014. The deluxe edition, which features three additional tracks—“Driving Ms Daisy (feat. Childish Gambino),” “Now,” and “Alright” (feat. Big Sean)—showcases the only guest features on the album, with Logic going bar for bar with two giants in the game. It’s this competitive streak that animates Under Pressure (Deluxe Edition) and propels the narrative thrust of the album. From the opening moments of “Intro,” Logic spells out the stakes. Over meditative piano chords, the MC (born Sir Robert Bryson Hall II[) raps, “I'ma get up today/I don’t know how but I'ma find a way/Looking for the sun in a world of gray/Feeling like my dream is a world away.” By the track’s end, Logic is more confident, chanting repeatedly, “You can really do anything.” Hip-hop influences abound from the first track through its finale, and the outro to “Intro” features a tour guide named Thalia who appears between songs to share information about the album. She is an homage to a similar voice on A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders. The album was developed over many years but recorded quickly—in about two weeks—between Logic’s home studio, Executive Producer No ID’s studio, and in hotel rooms during tour stops. The cohesion was achieved, in part, by 6ix and No ID, who helped Logic dial in the sounds and thematic arcs of the album—concepts like insecurity and authenticity. On “Gang Related,” which features a sample of KRS-One’s “Mad Crew,” Logic raps, “Livin' life like this/Gotta paint a picture when I write like this/Tales from my hood, not a sight like this/Where they up to no good on a night like this.” With a major-label deal inked and the world at his feet, Logic demonstrated a desire to achieve even more.

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