Maryland-based multi-platinum rapper Logic, AKA Bobby Hall, was not lying when he rapped “Egon’s finest, Peanuts after like I was Linus / Followed by that College Park next, that’s the lineup” on the final track of his previous album Vinyl Days. Sprinkled with various skits, College Park tells the story of the original Rattpack’s (Logic’s close squad and later, the name for his fans) trip to Washington D.C. as Logic prepares to perform a show. With features from the entire Rattpack (and more), College Park brings Logic back to his roots.
The album begins with guitar strumming and psychedelic vocals from Logic on the track “Cruisin’ Through the Universe” featuring RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. Logic’s vocals get both pitched up and down to indicate that this is a dream of Logic’s as he sleeps on longtime friend Big Lenbo’s couch. Logic wakes up and recalls his dream of being on a song with RZA. Lenny states “You know what would be really crazy? / If you got the whole Clan on a song one day” alluding to Logic’s “Wu Tang Forever” off his album YSIV. This track features every member of the Wu-Tang Clan except the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Logic’s producer 6ix is, of course, present throughout the entire album, and he does not let us down.
Next is “Wake Up” featuring Lucy Rose, the first single off College Park. While Rose does not have a chorus on the track as she did on the track “Innermission” off Logic’s sophomore album The Incredible True Story, she helps with the social commentary the track was made to create. Repeating lines “every day I wake up” displays Logic’s previous cyclical life of drugs and violence. Logic raps over punchy drums and a pulsing horn-like lead, stating “Dropped out of school then he picked up a spatula / ‘Cause he never had a good role model just a hood role model” displaying the importance of a proper education and environment to lead you through your adolescence.
The next single “Lightsabers” featuring C Dot Castro has the most grandiose production on the entire project. Elevated by the fun Star Wars-referenced title, Logic and Castro come out with a feel-good anthem. I particularly enjoy the several beat switches on the track. We are greeted with iconic “Logic” ad-lib and brassy trumpets as Logic raps simply “Today’s a good day”. After the first verse, the track introduces some light keys over which Logic lyrically highlights his love for producing. The message of this track is to not be creative not for fame or money, but for the love of the game. The third verse introduces more pulsing horns and vibrating synth leads. Recently released from prison, C Dot Castro, previously known as Shy Grey, finishes off the track rapping about his aspirations to make it in the industry one day. Since then, Castro and Logic have created a rap duo known as halfBREED and recently released their first EP, entitled 3P.
Still sprinkled with skits throughout, Logic does what we know him for best on the next three tracks. “Clone Wars III” exemplifies itself as a classic boom-bap beat produced by PoST and Logic himself. Logic reminds us that he is just one of us, a music and pop-culture nerd. The track “Redpill VII” is one of Logic’s most introspective in a while and is one of my personal favorite beats on the record. Beginning with an enchanting yet mysterious soundscape, Logic raps “the drugs all in they system got ‘em adamant they fine / but in they mind they know they not”. Logic is no stranger to struggling with or advocating for mental health, such as on his platinum-certified suicide prevention track “1-800-273-8255”. The track “Playwright” featuring Andy Hull can be summarized by one line “Logic known for tellin’ stories like a playwright”. The track is fun and light-hearted, nothing serious. Yet, the catchy chorus from Hull keeps me coming back. The track ends with a skit of Rattpack in the car, ready to head to Bobby’s show. Castro brings beat CDs, and then we go into “Gaithersburg Freestyle” feat. C Dot Castro, Big Lenbo, Fat Trel, and ADÉ.
Logic’s energy and delivery on the track keep me coming back to this freestyle. Plus, the seamless transition into the next track, “Insipio”, satisfies me every time. Logic released part of this track on his YouTube channel, featuring fun spinning visuals and agile spitting. Next, we get to the TikTok phenomenon “Self Medication” featuring Seth Macfarlane, Redman, and Statik Selektah. MacFarlane’s Sinatra-esque vocals are stellar. Logic and Redman put you in their shoes with their lyrics. I see why this track became a TikTok favorite.
“Shimmy”, featuring Joey Bada$$, is a tribute to Wu Tang’s late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The track flies by, clocking in at just over two minutes. We get verses from Logic and Joey about overcoming their need for welfare benefits. 6ix and Soundtrakk lay down repetitive keys over simple hats. The production is straightforward, yet catchy, which is what 6ix does best.
“Paradise II” was the third and final single from College Park. Featuring Norah Jones, we get melodic and swelling vocals in between Logic’s raps. Bobby drops some nerd and music references before Norah closes out the track, singing “Take me into paradise / Gotta keep our heads tonight / Even if it makes a fight / Take me into paradise”. This track is of course a sequel to the original “Paradise” off of Logic’s second studio album. Paradise II is a fun track, but I enjoy the first far more. This one ultimately feels like a filler.
Despite being a Logic fanboy, I must admit that things get a bit rough at this point in the album for me. Out of the next three tracks, the only one I really come back to is “Village Slum”, mostly due to the instrumental similar to Madlib’s “Road of the Lonely Ones”. “Come on Down” featuring Jordan Harris sounds a bit like a gym banger without any lyrical depth. We all know what the track “Highlife” is about, so I won’t waste anyone’s time explaining it here.
Here we are, in the concluding few tracks of the album. Said to be the title track by fans, “38.9897 °N, 76.9378 °W” featuring C Dot Castro and Big Lenbo feels like another filler track. Nothing interesting is lyrically presented, but 6ix kills it with the simple yet catchy production once again. In the album’s story, Logic has now arrived at his show in D.C., accompanied by DJ Boss Player. Logic is nervous, but hype for the show. Then, we are introduced to the track “Ayo” featuring Bun B and Lil Keke. This is probably the most absurd turn in the project for me. I believe Logic could have placed another boom-bap-heavy freestyle-type track here, yet he just raps the word “ayo” over and over. I enjoyed the features, but again, nothing innovative here.
Last but not least, “Lightyear” is the track I had been waiting for on this entire record. Produced by 6ix, PoST, Kal Banx, and Logic himself, the track contains several iconic beat switches and insanely enjoyable lyricism. Some of my favorite lyrics on the track are “Why you think I went pop? So my family could eat / But now that the fridge is full, it’s just a pen and this beat” and “I’m God-level, here to locust I’m so pissed like a P.O. / Rollie gold like C3PO, and I’m busting off like R2 / That’s COD-level”. We get introspective bars, alongside Call of Duty and Star Wars references—it’s purely awesome. Logic rapping over Kendrick Lamar’s “Rigamortus” came as a surprise to the entire Rattpack, and I could not wipe the smile off my face when I heard it.
“Lightyear” is interrupted by a skit, where the squad goes their separate ways and the only ones left are Logic and Big Lenbo. Lenbo tells Logic he’s going to make it big in the game someday, but Logic is hesitant. He states he wants to sing and play guitar, not putting himself into one box. Here, Logic shows us who he really is, singing “Now I’m here, Lightyears from where I was before”. Die-hard Rattpack members like me were shedding tears at this moment, proud of who Logic has become and what he will do in the future. While known for his snappy raps and witty punchlines, it only took a “Lightyear” for fans and the industry alike to respect and love Sir Robert Bryson Hall II.
Ethan Barrilleaux is a student at the University of Georgia studying Marketing and Music Business. He listens to primarily Hip-hop, specifically alternative and experimental rap. But, you can also find him listening to other genres such as Indie Rock and Bedroom Pop.