Album: Slam Factor
Rating: 5.5 / 10
Reviewer: DJ MF
It ain’t often that an artist will pass below my radar notoriety-wise.
So maybe that’s a lie.
Still, the fact remains that I’d never heard of Logic before Mr. A to the Izzell hooked me up with “Slam Factor” to review. As any good reviewer is wont to do, I researched.
Coming out of northern California, Logic has been slowly but surely gaining some head nods in the west coast underground, first, a couple of years ago with his self-produced and distributed release, “Internal”, and now with “Slam Factor”.
Having dropped the production duties from his repertoire, Logic turns the production reins over to DJ Swindle for this shortish LP, and from the sounds of it, he gets a mixed bag.
Starting with the pseudo-intro track ‘I Anthem’ you’ll notice immediately that this isn’t your normal run of the mill crappily produced indie release. Swindle laces the track with some dramatic violin jabs, and a dark and menacing bassline, in addition to some punishing percussion work that switches up in speed and pace for the duration of the track. Meanwhile, Logic spits some rapid fire lyrics over the track that sound suspiciously like something you’d hear out of the Anticon camp of MCs, but with a touch more personality (as if that’s tough to do).
The LP peaks with the second track, ‘Confrontation’ which uses a brilliant rubbery electrotinged bassline that sounds like it’s crawling all over the jittery drum pattern. Very dope beat here. A little past midpoint, a pleasant surprise appears in the form of a sample female voice which is chopped up, sped up, and generally just shredded, leading to the introduction of a nice little electronic loop being added to the basic beat, with assorted scratches being thrown in. It works mostly because the original beat would have definitely been far too monotonous without the change ups. On the lyrics side of things, Logic slows down his delivery a bunch, however, neglects to do much else other than spit the usual battle lyrics describing a confrontation where he destroys the person opposing him. Not bad, but not outstanding either.
The third cut, ‘Fanatic’ darkens the mood considerably, but also sounds fairly cheap and chintzy sounding with some out of place synths. However, this con is cancelled out by the inclusion of a beautiful and mournful sounding string and vocal sample, that unfortunately doesn’t last long enough. Logic uses the beat to tell the story of a fanatic who plans a stalk. At least that’s what it sounds like to me, since it’s a little hard to follow the jerky flow of Logic on this one.
The next three tracks, ‘Obstacle Course’, ‘Thought Movement’, and ‘Michelle’, all fail for different reasons. ‘Obstacle Course’ possesses an above average beat with some interesting sound effects, but it’s the lyrics that are the issue, and Logic gives some info on government conspiracies until he’s finally done away with. In theory, it SOUNDS good, but it’s been done before, and better. Meanwhile, ‘Thought Movement’ suffers everywhere- a sub par cheap beat that I just wasn’t feeling, and battle lyrics that lacks any punch – not a good combination. The final track of the trinity, ‘Michelle’, reverts back to a storytelling vibe, with Logic telling the story of a girl he liked in grade school, who turns bad. Hey wait, hasn’t this been done a TRILLION times before? Oh right, it has. Regardless, Logic flips it nicely anyways, although the beat is SEVERELY lacking any life whatsoever, and detracts from the song in a major way.
The track ‘Vs.’ follows, and uses a pretty cool concept. Logic is battling the BEAT. A cool idea, with the beat slowing down, and Logic chastising it for being “tired”. Some funny stuff, but in the end, a little irritating, as the beat keeps stopping and Logic keeps yelling at the BEAT, until he finally decides to go acapella, which is also distorted by the beat. The problem is, while fun as a gimmick, it ultimately fails as a SONG.
Unfortunately, the album ends on a somewhat boring note, with the uninspired, and horrorcore-beat sounding ‘It’s Alright’ finishing things off, as Logic runs down everything that’s wrong with the world, and how everything is fine regardless.
When looking at the sum of the parts of “Slam Factor”, it’d be easy to dismiss it as a subpar album. However, it’s readily apparent that the talent is THERE, both on the production and the MC side of things. Perhaps Logic and Swindle need to work apart for a bit to get a little more experience before reuniting, because although the ideas and topics are present on this LP, the execution is lacking.