Logic is a rapper, producer and songwriter from Maryland, US. He started his music career in his 20s when he released a series of mixtapes, which got him a deal with Def Jam Recordings, and then released his first two albums in the space of just over a year. Both of these were huge hits; they both got top five on the US Billboards on their release. The first album, ‘Under Pressure’, sold 70,000 copies within the first week. The second album, ‘The Incredible True Story’ is considered a concept album and follows a fictional story set 100 years into the future, where the main characters play the album whilst travelling away from Earth after the planet became inhabitable. On its release, the album sold almost double the number of copies of his first album. After this, he released the ‘Bobby Tarantino’ mixtape in 2016, to fan’s surprise as they knew nothing prior to the drop.

Hiphop.de on Twitter: "US-Rapper Logic ersteigert Pokémon-Karte für  Rekordpreis https://t.co/0xhAEOUKT7… "
Credit: (Def Jam, 2017)

In less than a year after the mixtape, Logic released his third studio album ‘Everybody’, which has a large focus on social issues of inequality in the world and mental health. His most famous song, ‘1-800-273-8255’ has this strong theme of mental health, and the song’s title is the phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which saw the calls to them rise by 27% in the three weeks of its release. The album sold 196,000 copies and debuted number one on the US Billboard charts. He then went on to release a fourth album in September 2018. In 2019, he expanded his career by making a novel, ‘Supermarket’, and a soundtrack to this. He announced his fifth album and also was cast in a role for the video game ‘The Last Of Us Part II.’ The album was released on May 10th and again, reached number one in the US. His final album came after he announced his retirement from music after having a child. The album was called ‘No Pressure’ and hit number two on the billboards. Logic’s work can be described as self-aware and conscious rap, and he makes songs in many different genres like hip-hop, rap, trap and even alternative rock. He stated that his biggest influence is Frank Sinatra and even often refers to himself as ‘Young Sinatra’.

Deeper Than Money

Visionary Music Group (2016)

Overall, this is song is a great representation of how hip-hop, rap and more complicated rhythms can come together to create a great song, but still manage to keep the music not overly complicated. As a drummer, I love the rhythms in the song and I plan to base some of my own rhythms around the idea of syncopation for my songs. I also am a fan of the chords used; again, they aren’t too complicated but when combined with the melodies and bassline, it creates this dissonant tone that is quite standard for hip-hop because of its similarity with jazz. I really like the idea of this song in general, and I feel like taking inspiration from its musical elements will be a great idea.

The lyrics in the song are about money and happiness, and what money can bring or do to people. Logic stated in an interview, “Basically it’s about this dude, who feels that his life would be better if he had money… but just because you have money doesn’t mean you’re gonna be happy.” (Logic talks Deeper Than Money, Freestyle, 2016). The first half of the song is about this, and Logic is speaking on behalf of someone else about their relationship with money and what makes them happy. In the second half, the perspective moves to Logic himself and he talks about how he ‘Needs to focus more on my health’ and what he does that brings him happiness. The song is quite personal to him as he has previously questioned his life and if he is actually doing it for money or happiness. He also mentioned that a lot of the song is freestyled, especially the second verses and hooks: “The second verse is a freestyle… even the hook! I did it all in one take… but it was so freeing. When it was flowing I was like damn, this is so dope!” (Logic talks Deeper Than Money, Freestyle, 2016).

There are not too many things going on in the song, and I feel like this helps to make way for the lyrics and drums to come through. The instrumentation is fairly generic: piano, bass, drums, vocals, guitar and synthesiser. There is also some percussive elements that fill out this rhythm section and makes it syncopated. A lot of these instruments are fairly low in the mix for example the synthesiser, and the instruments like piano and guitar are only used sparsely; this leaves only the bass, drums and vocals that are used throughout the whole song. Therefore, I would class the texture of the song on the thin side, because there are only three main instruments, and everything else is not really heard much.

The harmonies are quite sparse in the song, but when they are used, they are unique and work extremely well together given the circumstances. The harmonies would come from the notes in the chords being played, and also the occasional part where the piano and guitar play a B over the A flat from the chords and G on the bass, creating this dissonant feel that surprisingly works really well. Because the notes are so close to each other, having them being played on four different instruments ensures they don’t sound overly clashy. Also, this means that the harmony in the song is chromatic as they don’t stick to the key of the song. The vocals don’t have any harmonies because its rap, and there a no melodies here to be harmonised with.

The rhythms are quite interesting in this song; when I first heard it I thought it was changing time signatures! The most confusing part for the drums here is when the first snare hit is missed out at the start of the four-bar loop which is what was throwing me off. The hi-hat pattern is fairly complex as well as there are open hi-hats on the ‘two and’ of every other bar, making this offbeat and a quite syncopated rhythm. There is also a click sounding percussion that plays semi-quavers on the offbeats of every bar, but the position of when they play this changes slightly every four bars, which keeps the song rhythmically interesting and unique. The bass is playing quite statically, playing semi-quavers on the ‘a’ and the two and four beats of the bar. The vocals do not have a consistent rhythm as rapping often depends on the syllables in the phrase, and phrases are not often repeated.

The structure of this song is: intro, verse one, verse two, hook, break, verse three, hook, outro. Because a lot of the song is freestyled, the hook only comes in later in the song as Logic only thought of it after the second verse. This means the first verses are not separate and can be quite hard to differentiate between. However, I think this flow works very well especially here as there are fewer breaks from the rap, showing Logic’s skills as a rapper and songwriter. Also, the break is necessary as the lyrics here become quite repetitive and this makes this part of the song stand out and it is one of the most memorable parts; it is a good idea to still have easily memorable parts in rap.

The tempo is 90BPM; this can be described as andantino and would be considered a faster walking pace. 90BPM is a very popular tempo for modern music as I think it is a good middle ground in terms of the songs speed, especially for rap as the vocals will not be too overly fast or slow. The song’s time signature is 4/4, which is also very common for hip-hop and rap. I think, in terms of rap, if the time signature was odder for example 3/4 or even 5/4, the song would become too confusing when combined with the rap lyrics and drum rhythms going on.

The key of the song is B major. One of the most prominent melodies is coming from the bass, which is simply playing E, F and G on a two-bar loop, and it does this through the whole song, giving it a solid foundation and feel. The guitar and piano also occasionally play a B note which is either held (on the piano) or delayed (on the guitar). There is also a synthesiser that can be heard in certain parts of the song, which simply plays an E flat and C sharp. The chord structure is E for a bar, then F and A-flat which is looped for the whole song. The melody notes in conjunction with the chords mean that the song is chromatic as the notes don’t always stick to the B major scale.