I’ve never liked listening to rap music, and if someone asked me a few years ago if I listened to Logic, I probably would have stared blankly at them in confusion. But after dating my boyfriend for over a year and acquiring some of his music tastes, I can officially say I am a fan of Logic, aka Bobby Hall.
On Feb. 24, Hall released “College Park,” his first album after separating from Def Jam Recordings. The album is a shoutout to his starting point: his friend Lenny’s basement in College Park, Maryland. While Hall is now quite successful, he didn’t have an easy start.
Hall was homeless before Lenny took him in and presented an ultimatum stating that Hall had a year to pursue music before he had to find a “real job.” A few days before the year was up, Hall signed a contract with Def Jam.
In homage to his beginnings in the music industry, Hall released “College Park,” composed of 17 songs and skits about his past and future career goals. This project brought tears to my eyes knowing that everything has worked out for him.
The opening song “Cruisin’ Through the Universe” featuring RZA from the Wu-Tang Clan, takes listeners on a ride through space to get away from Earth, similar to Hall’s 2015 album “The Incredible True Story.”
The part that made me the most emotional and excited about the album was the skit at the end of the song during which Logic is woken up from a dream in 2011 by his friend Lenny, nicknamed Big Lenbo. When he wakes up, he jokes with Lenny about one day doing a song with the whole Clan, which he achieved for his album “Young Sinatra IV” in 2018.
Callbacks to his other works and accomplishments populate the entire album. For example, “Wake Up,” “Gaithersburg Freestyle,” “Shimmy” and “Paradise II” all revolve around the hard work that he put into his raps.
A notable feature of Hall’s music is the way he mentions common topics in rap to call them out in our society. Normally, he also includes his motto: Peace, Love and Positivity (PLP), as well as references to his family, mental health or hobbies.
This exclusion of typical rap themes has caused many people to criticize his style. Hall reflects on critics’ distaste on “Lightsabers,” “Clone Wars III” and “Insipio” and shares that he doesn’t care about the negative opinions. He just wants to love the art of rap and share his music with the world. The music behind these three tracks is intense, especially “Lightsabers” as it features a violin orchestra in the background when Hall goes into detail about his home life.
In multiple songs on “College Park” and throughout his career, Hall has opened up about how music saved his life. Hall has shared several times that he now goes to therapy to keep himself healthy. While therapy is beneficial, rap has also been an outlet for him.
When listening to the songs on the album about mental health (“Redpill VII,” “Self Medication,” “Village Slum” and “Highlife”), I found myself relating to his words and the messages he conveyed. Life is incredibly challenging at times but your passions are there to help you out and it’s also okay to ask for help from those around you.
Hall also dedicated several tracks to people close to him on this new project, which were the most heartwarming songs on the album. “Playwright” tells the story of his family and how important they are to him. “38.9897 °N, 76.9378 °W” and “Ayo” are dedicated to his long-time friends. The coordinates lead to a parking lot at the University of Maryland, the school Hall’s producer 6ix attended before dropping out to help him with his music.
The last song on the album, “Lightyear,” left a lasting impression on me after listening. Hall reflects on his career and everything that he’s worked for his entire life. It ends with a memorable line about celebrating the people in your life.
“Through all the mayhem and adversity. Through all the negativity and hardship, they did it. And here they stand after the show, radiating a message of peace, love and positivity, the original RattPack members rejoice.”