Music Mondays (5-15-17): The Issue with Logic’s “Everybody”

This is Music Mondays, a weekly music column.

The Issue with Logic’s “Everybody”

I enjoyed Logic’s “Everybody”. Based on the quality of its singles and the general hype around the release, I was disappointed in the album, but it’s certainly not bad. “Everybody”, the American rapper’s third studio album, is even great at some points, especially on its singles (“Everybody”, “Black SpiderMan”, and “1-800-273-8255”) and other songs like “America”. I admire the heart and effort put into the album by Logic. His personal stories make the album special. Nonetheless, the execution of this concept album doesn’t completely stick the landing. Here’s why.

As a biracial child with a white mother and black father, Logic lived on “both sides”. After a passionate monologue chronicling this upbringing on “Take It Back”, Logic comes to a resolution. After his powerful testimony, it seems like Logic is about to deliver an epiphany that only someone with his kind of background could realize. Then, he says: “And you should just do your best to live life, and let other people believe whatever they wanna believe, as long as they’re not hurtin’ anybody… Just stop killing each other.”

This point is hammered in further at the end of the album with Neil deGrasse Tyson’s final monologue as God. “Live your life to the fullest, according to your happiness and the betterment of all,” he says.

What’s the issue with these statements?

They aren’t saying anything new, but yet, they are delivered as revolutionary ideas. Both statements are something I have known and believed for years. Not only are these resolutions unoriginal, but they also come across as lazy.

Sure, not “killing each other” will help solve some issues, especially those causing people to unfairly live in fear every day. Still, it does not solve the racism, sexism, and general inequality that Logic is so troubled by on “Everybody”. It only solves a symptom of it. Logic himself even says on the song, “You can believe you’re superior, fine” which is then followed by “Just stop killing each other”.

I don’t think Logic is asserting that ending violence is the best that we as human beings can do. I’m sure that in his perfect world, the superiority he talks about would end as well. But the fact that he settles for “Just stop killing each other” makes the solution fall flat.

Maybe he’s simply defeated by all the hardship and horrors he has seen, and his solution is the only thing he can realistically support. This simply doesn’t seem to be the case though because Logic doesn’t sound downtrodden. He remains generally optimistic throughout the record.

All this being said, Logic does not need to find a solution to violence, racism, or sexism. I respect that he is trying, but his solution is so weak that it may be best that he didn’t try in the first place.

This, in part, is what made Joey Bada$$’ “All-Amerikkkan Badassso good. Joey is just as bothered by today’s issues as Logic, but Joey doesn’t try to fix them because he knows he can’t. In some ways, Joey remains optimistic about the future, but he is also realistic about changing things in the present.

To reiterate, I respect Logic for tackling such weighty issues in “Everybody”. His positivity and storytelling helps make the album special in a year of darker rap music. I like many of the songs, and the record serves as another showcase of Logic’s fantastic rapping skills.

But when it comes to his message, as much as he tries, Logic isn’t being nearly as profound as he thinks on “Everybody”.

 

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