Logic’s Young Sinatra IV timeless, but poignant

Courtesy of Visionary Music Group and Def Jam Recordings
Courtesy of Visionary Music Group and Def Jam Recordings

Claire Neiberg | Staff Writer

10/04/18

Logic dropped his newest album, Young Sinatra IV, on Sept. 20.

This long-awaited project by the American rapper checks several boxes, such as making a powerful political statement, as well as honoring the legacy of one of the most iconic musicians of the 20th century, Frank Sinatra.

While the album was released just a couple of weeks ago, several of the songs featured were released over the span of the few months leading up to September, including “One Day,” featuring Ryan Tedder, “The Return” and “Everybody Dies.” All three songs received myriad attention in both positive and negative aspects.

The fifth track, “One Day,” was the first to be released with its music video on Aug. 17, and grabbed the most attention while sparking the most controversy.

The video made a strong political statement, speaking out about the issue of illegal immigration in the U.S. It tells the story of a family of undocumented immigrants journeying to cross the border, and in their attempt, the family becomes separated. The video focuses on the life of the son who spent his elementary school years in a detention center but later grows up to work hard in school and become a successful surgeon after being placed into the foster care system.

The second story told in the video satirizes white supremacy while shining light on the issue at hand. A father teaches his son about “white pride” which feeds into their group of white supremacist friends gathering together at a bar. A fight breaks out, and one of the white supremacists is stabbed and taken to an emergency room where his surgeon is revealed to be the undocumented immigrant from the other side of the story.

The surgeon operating on him finds he has a tattoo of a swastika, and while he realizes this person is acting against his rights, he still saves him from dying, exemplifying true compassion.

While the topic of undocumented immigrants sparks controversy, it is evident that Logic is grounded in his beliefs. During the 2018 Grammy’s, he shared the stage with immigrant children while wearing a shirt that said “F*CK THE WALL.” His stance on the issue is not one that everyone shares, but I appreciated his bravery and willingness to speak out on a topic that affects many people in the world we live in. “One Day” is inclusive and highlights a demographic of people who do not have a strong voice in American politics.

Besides the powerful political message told through both rap and singing, Young Sinatra IV embodies other genres of music and less controversial topics as well.

As the album title suggests, Logic pays great respect to Sinatra in his songs. The ninth track, “YSIV,” is also primarily rap, but the background music emulates the upbeat jazz vibes that Sinatra is famous for. While one would not usually think to mix ‘50s music with modern-day rap, Logic brilliantly combines the two, making for an original piece.

However, this song is most special in the fact that it was dedicated to the late Pittsburgh rapper, Mac Miller. As noted in the lyrics, he was the one who inspired Logic’s “Young Sinatra shit,” encompassing the idea that Miller played a vital role in building his music career.

Logic’s album also features other artists Lucy Rose, The RattPack, Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, RZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Jackpot Scotty Wotty, U-God, Masta Killa, GZA, Wale, John Lindahl, Hailee Steinfeld, Kajo, Slaydro Big Lenbo, and Jaden Smith. While Logic himself primarily sticks to rapping in his songs, showcasing other artists is a way of featuring a multitude of music genres.

Overall, Logic’s album is not only diverse in the issues it covers, but who it includes in the features as well. It is political, powerful and most importantly, adds to the legacy of great musicians. No matter who is listening, I am confident that anyone can find meaning and enjoyment in Young Sinatra IV.