Bobby Tarantino (2016)
Rap / Hip-Hop
Def Jam / Visionary Music Group
“This motherf***er made a number one album! Made a mixtape after…and then he’s making another concept album…like his first s*** didn’t already go Number 1?! This motherf***er’s like butter, he’s on a roll motherf***er!” Perhaps there’s no better way to put it than these lines from Logic’s newest mixtape, Bobby Tarantino. This dude is quite literally on a roll. Fresh off the release of The Incredible True Story, the Maryland-based rapper has put out a new collection of songs, a fun little side project if you will, devoid of any deep or substantive material. There’s some thoughtful material on the mixtape, but in the end Bobby Tarantino is meant to be a diversion in between his flagship releases and it succeeds on this front.
Minus the rather unnecessary intro track “illuminatro,” a song that acts as a special message if played backward, we immediately are thrown some bangers that not only demonstrate Logic’s undeniable flow, but his killer ambition as well. “Flexicution,” a single that was dropped prior to the mixtape’s arrival, is a heavy beat hip-hop track laced with an extra dosage of braggadocio. “The Jam” is…a jam. On a song that goes hard, Logic goes on about how he’s eventually going to be bigger than Kanye West, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. Those are some lofty claims…but hey, there’s potential. Logic’s got a lot more work to do though. Besides this point, this is a pretty great track. It would have been flawless if it weren’t for the overzealous use of auto-tune though.
Continuing the fun, we get a very humorous interlude track called “A Word from Our Sponsor,” which sees the return of the recurring character Marty Randolph. Longer than most interludes, the track takes the form of a phone conversation between Marty and Logic’s record label that puts Marty on hold for a ridiculous amount of time. There’s some perspective to be gained from the track, but it’s relevance and worth are largely questionable. However, it will probably make you laugh a lot more than you thought you would laugh listening to a Logic mixtape.
The mixtape’s sole feature goes to Pusha T, on the collaborative track, “Wrist.” The song tells the fictional story of a Colombian drug lord who decides to take an introspective walk through his inner being. It’s a reflective track that displays some good storytelling work from Logic. Pusha T was alright but it’s not like the track gained anything from his presence. It’s probably safe to say that the track might have been better if Pusha T stayed on the sideline.
I think the best track off the mixtape is “44 Bars,” a well written and heavy introspective. Over the course of the track, Logic delivers a 44-bar verse that dives into the pains and motivations that drive him to be the person that he is. It’s a thoughtful track that cements the fact that Logic has some rapping chops…but I don’t think I have to convince you of his talent. It might not be the most original or innovative track out there, but it’s a substantive track that stands out from most of the lighthearted fare on the project.
There’s some blemishes over the course of the tape that are worth mentioning. The sister tracks “Slave” and “Slave II” didn’t really grab me. Aside from being redundant, they don’t really offer anything new. The notion of “being a slave to the rap game” is an idea that has been battered over and over again over the course of rap’s history. These tracks don’t bring anything new to the table. They sound good, but that’s about it. Then there’s “Studio Ambience at Night,” a chaotic track that should have been relegated to the chopping block. It doesn’t serve that much of a purpose, other than to give a preview of what’s next for Logic. However, good luck trying to parse what that means over the humble and bumble of the track’s noise, which mimics the sounds from a late night studio session.
At the end of the day, Logic has put forth another solid project worthy of a listen. This dude has been hard at work creating music and his hard work and dedication shows. Bobby Tarantino is successful by giving you something to chew and digest on while the rapper grinds out his next full conceptual release. There’s a good bit of gems amid some duller rocks, but hey, this is a solid piece of work that honestly could serve as a full-on release if it wanted to.
On a side note, it’s kind of tough to get the album for yourself. As of right now, I’m pretty sure it’s only available to stream on services like Apple Music, Google Play, Soundcloud, and YouTube. I don’t think you can actually purchase it for yourself, but I’m sure that will change soon. Personally, he should have probably just released the mixtape on the usual services…but this is a mixtape so everything’s different.