After releasing sentimental pop-leaning collaborations with Marshmello and One Republic’s Ryan Tedder, Logic pivots back to spare, smacking hip-hop on his new single “The Return.”
The rapper picks a strong beat here courtesy of longtime collaborator 6ix: “The Return” instrumental loops Nina Simone’s “Wild Is the Wind” to great effect, turning Simone’s inimitable voice into an eerie melody and then doubling it with a horn line.
Seemingly inspired by the imperious beat, Logic raps with speed and intensity, picking fight after fight. He takes aim at the Donald Trump and his rap competition in the same couplet: “Motherfuckin’ Trump, said that shit on my last album but you wasn’t tapping in/ Fuck a mumble, let’s make America rap again.” His verses are dense with allusions to hip-hop’s past, shouting out Outkast rapper Andre 3000, the Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.”, 808s & Heartbreak-era Kanye West and the Doug E. Fresh anthem “La Di Da Di.”
Logic ends “The Return” with an aspirational flourish: “I’m callin’ out Jay-Z to jump up on the track with me and smack the whole industry,” he raps. “Show ’em what that real rap do/ The ball’s in your court, Hov/ I hope to hear from [Jay-Z’s engineer] Guru.”
Logic has been busy throughout 2018: In addition to releasing his Bobby Tarantino II mixtape, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard albums chart, he cracked the Hot 100 with “Everyday” (Number 29) and “One Day” (Number 80). He recently performed “One Day” at the MTV VMAs, using the national TV platform to condemn the immigration policies of the Trump administration.