By Brian Conway
The Incredible True Story is the second studio album from Maryland rapper Logic, and it marks a shift in his creative focus. After the grounded personal story of his rise to fame on his debut album Under Pressure, Logic takes things in an unexpected and compelling direction with the sci-fi concept behind his latest release.
As mentioned previously, this is a concept album and, to Logic, this means putting skits between tracks. These skits tell the story of two starship pilots as they navigate space in an effort to find a habitable planet after the destruction of Earth in the distant future. The two pilots are listening to some “old-school stuff” and have this new album playing in the background. The story isn’t anything groundbreaking, and while it may be predictable, it keeps the record at a nice pace while adding bits of humor throughout.
In terms of sound, The Incredible True Story comes across more like a dedication to other rappers than anything Logic previously created with his last album. The musical influences are very obvious. From the cool braggadocious Drake flow on “I Am The Greatest,” the Kendrick-inspired hook on “Like Woah” or even the 808’s and Heartbreak-influenced “City of Stars,” Logic never really takes the time to find his own voice sonically. However, it is worth nothing that the latter of the three, “City of Stars,” is easily the best song on the LP, as Logic writes a distraught love letter to hip-hop, expressing his disappointment at how the game is today. Despite the tributes to other sounds, Logic’s flow always stands out as fresh and exciting on each track, proving he can stand with the best rappers as a technical wordsmith. Tracks that give Logic the freedom to just spit without worrying about a particular motif always impress, with “Upgrade” and “Stainless” standing out in particular.
Though Logic’s attempt at a concept album is admirable in a hip-hop landscape that seems to lack creativity at times, the overall execution is still flawed. Logic has yet to find his distinct voice and stand out from the pack, relying instead on imitations of popular trends. Although the tracks that work do so extremely well, there just aren’t enough memorable moments on The Incredible True Story to warrant multiple listens.