In an age where hip-hop has become synonymous with thoughtless lyrics and violence - the antipode of its origins - Logic, a London-based MC, has set out on a mission to shatter that stereotype with his alliterative first major release True Talk. The album has a clear summer vibe running through it and returns to the raw essence of hip-hop.
Logic is the co-founder, along with fellow MC, Lowkey, of People's Army - a movement of like-minded people who advocate "positive change".
While not completely politically motivated, the nucleus of the record is overwhelmingly conscious: the standout track We'll Never Know, featuring Akala and Maverick Sabre, covers a nexus of socio-political issues. However, the occasional mentions of Freemasons and bloodlines in the album will alert the new wave of conspirators who have emerged within the last few years.
The record, assembled by up-and-coming producer LastResort - who produced Lowkey's Obama Nation part 2 - has successfully suffused a sense of 90s hip- hop into the album. Listeners would be blameless if, momentarily, they forgot which decade they were in when listening to this throw-back record: Dead Prez is an obvious influence but some of the beats are reminiscent of the immortal sounds of Dr Dre's Chronic and Ice Cube's Predator.
While an album should naturally be diverse, Logic has oddly coalesced serious tracks with more facetious ones. He amorously explains his bedroom dealings with his girlfriend in Morphene while, in his most witty track, Animal, says, "I stamp on the beat I'm an Elephant/ I'm an animal/ still I'm a gentleman".
Naturally, there'll be comparisons with Lowkey's album Soundtrack To The Struggle -- released six weeks earlier. Unlike Lowkey's record, Logic's has one too many forgettable tracks. What's not forgettable, though, is his incessant call for change and for people to "wake up" as illustrated in his heartfelt track 4 Revolution. In this track Logic says: "So revolution is the next step/ tell them the people are the soldiers they'll never get." The biggest criticism, perhaps, is the timing of the record's release: True Talk has one too many tracks that would be perfect for summer time.
The album is worth the buy, not just because it's a good record, but because unique artists like Logic deserve the support.