J. Cole Gives Logic Blunt Life Advice In A Hard Hitting Hidden Verse (Audio)
While Kendrick Lamar has dominated the Hip-Hop discourse for the last four weeks, there has been some amazing Hip-Hop to drop before, during and after that time. Joey Bada$$, Talib Kweli & Styles P, Brother Ali, Big Sean and Oddisee all have released stellar projects in 2017, just to name a few. Logic is the latest to add his name to that list, with his new album, Everybody.
While the album contains a diverse array of sounds and is primarily upbeat, it tackles a host of very heavy topics. The overarching theme of Everybody is Logic trying to make sense of the world, and his place in it. He repeatedly touches on race relations, the tug of war presented by his bi-racial identity, the after life, and even the meaning of life, itself.
Logic softens the seriousness of the subject matter by wrapping it in his nimble flow and surrounding it with beats that thump. While this makes for an entertaining way to ponder some of life’s most philosophical questions, the most memorable moments from the album often come when the music stops, at least temporarily.
On several songs, after Logic has wreaked his havoc, he tacks on colorful interludes. The tail end of opening song, “Hallelujah,” finds a man dying and having a face to face encounter with God, or at least a god. On “Confess,” Logic holds his Killer Mike feature for the song’s close. Rather than having Mike rap, he lets the fire and brimstone orator have his own word with God. An impassioned Mike says “I’m starting to hate the man in the mirror, and it’s getting clearer that society was designed to keep me on the bottom. So, if you real, if you’re out there for real, please explain to me why. Why do we suffer? Why do we die? And, why do the people who go against everything you ever said always get ahead? I’ve done so much wrong, I don’t know if I can ever be right. But tonight, I am in this church asking you to show yourself, to reveal yourself to me, because I’m tired and I don’t know what else to do.” Not standard fare for a Rap album.
In the middle of Everybody, Logic devotes an entire non-musical track to an explanation of the meaning of life, on “Waiting Room.” Again, he cloaks the weight of the discussion in humor. Logic saves the heaviest exchange for the album’s end, and it also features the biggest surprise. After a nearly 10 second pause near the 9-minute mark of the 12-minute “AfricAryan,” a familiar voice can suddenly be heard. It belongs to J. Cole, and Cole’s performance is not just a guest verse. It is more akin to two and a half minutes of therapeutic bars. Cole takes many of the questions Logic has raised on the song, and throughout the album, and addresses them, point by point.
First, Cole recaps some of Logic’s most deep-seated issues, rapping them back, from Logic’s perspective. “All I wanted was acceptance/My latest lesson/I’ll never feel your approval till I accept my own/Come from a messed up home/Destitute and less informed/About the ways to raise a child up/To not become a product/Of his environment/I need to cry and vent/But I done built this wall up/Actin’ like everything’s all good/But in reality I’m lookin’ for somethin’/Through bumpin’/My favorite rappers/I came up after/Nas, Cole, and Hov.”
After recapping Logic’s issues, Cole flips modes and doles out some blunt but real AF advice. “Ni**a, my advice/F*ck the Black and White sh*t/Be who you are/Identify as a star/No one tells you you’re that/It’s something that you just know/The world be stealing your glow/Your mama did what she could/Her life was miles from good/Your father fell in the trap/They set for you when you Black/They met when they was low/And therefore you a product of that/And so your trauma is deep/Don’t bury it you should weep/And clean it out of your system/Then truly forgive ’em/Just my opinion/Only then can you find peace/Just start to notice happiness don’t come from album release.”
Beyond Cole being Logic’s idol, the Fayetteville, North Carolina MC’s words likely hold even greater weight, due to the similarity of their backgrounds. Like Logic, Cole is the son of a Black father and White mother. And, while Cole did not have to witness his father struggle with drug addiction, he did have process his father abandoning the family when he was a boy.
The extraordinary exchange is the perfect way to close an album that is anything but ordinary.