Logic’s “Everybody” sparks discussion on race in America

The hip-hop star’s third album features cameos from Chuck D, Juicy J, Killer Mike and Neil deGrasse Tyson

Moriah Hubbard, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

Sir Robert Bryson Hall II – known as Logic – has never been one to talk about his own race, let alone let it define him through his music. On his third album “Everybody,” the biracial, Maryland-born rapper tries to express what it is like to see life through two separate prisms, but sometimes the message comes across as repetitive.

Logic tackles situations and topics that today’s society have a hard time agreeing upon, like Donald Tump, Black Lives Matter, gender, sexuality and religion. He does a great job of letting everyone know where he is coming from and why he has these opinions – like on his track “Take It Back,” where he refers to his childhood, how his parents were addicted to crack and everything he has is because he never gave up. He related how no one accepted him in the black community due to his light-skinned appearance, and no one in the white community accepted him because he was black. This song puts great perspective on the different lives we live and how they are affected by race, but somewhere along the way Logic failed to properly explain where he stands.

Logic’s central point that “everybody people, everybody bleed, everybody need some, everybody love” is well-taken, but as the album goes on, he just can’t seem to find anything else to talk about other than race. For the sake of comparison, when you hear someone like Kendrick Lamar speak about really anything, you listen. Lamar put his soul on the line for rap and wants people to see why he is where he is and what got him there. He does not bludgeon the listener with meditations on his race on why he’s treated differently because of it.

Logic just seemed to miss that raw connection and passion that a lot of great rappers put in each of their songs. Hip hop is more and more recognized as the genre for calling out the injustices and problems plaguing the United States, and Logic does that – but in a way that makes him seem arrogant. For example, “Everybody” ends with the 12-minute “AfricAryaN,” which features an unnecessary appearance from world-renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Logic does touch on some deeper things like depression and anxiety in his song “Anziety” featuring Lucy Rose. This was honestly the only time he effectively transmitted his emotion. He talks about pain and feeling trapped, putting things in perspective for the listener.

Overall, “Everybody” is a good album – not worthy of saying “DAMN,” but it is a work of passion and something Logic felt like the world needed to hear. While it may be basic musically, the simplicity brought beauty into being proud of race and identity.