Has preconceived expectation already influenced your opinion on a Logic and Eminem collaboration in 2019?
Between comment sections, social media platforms, YouTube reviews, op-eds, and simple word of mouth, opinions have become more ubiquitous than ever before. Particularly where hip-hop is concerned. The act of taste-making has come to influence the zeitgeist like never before, to the point where some curate their tastes to align with their preferred social climate. Words like “corny” have been thrown around like never before, clinging to specific artists like flies to dung. It’s not uncommon to see Logic branded with the dreaded “C-Word 2.0,” so much so that preconceived notions have come to cloud any objective analysis his music may in fact merit. When he announced that he’d be dropping a collaboration with Eminem, himself no friend of the modern critic, it didn’t take long for a narrative to form. And a dubious one at that.
Having observed no shortage of comments, it’s hard to miss certain patterns that tend to arise, particularly where “lyrical rap” is concerned. The line in the sand has never been more evident, as “Old Head Energy” feels locked in a perpetual battle with the “Youth Movement.” Mere hours ago, Bugatti Biebs himself weighed in on Eminem’s perception of today’s hip-hop, essentially branding him out of touch with current musical trends. It was a dismissal that read like a son telling their father to stop using lingo. Citing a lack of understanding on Em’s part, Bieber claims that the “new generation of rap” requires a deeper dive to fully grasp, and to simply brush it off is, at the very least, willful ignorance. Yet that raises another question altogether. Is nursing a dislike for Lil Pump and Lil Xan the product of a limited scope of understanding? Or can only Lyrical rappers be branded with the career sinking “Corny” brand?
Such questions are surprisingly large in scope, and it would be interesting to put “Corny” under a microscope to further examine what its usage represents in a hip-hop context. Yet it cannot be denied, the word has plagued Logic for a minute, with Bobby even openly acknowledging the criticism back in December. A surface skim of our own comment section’s response to “Homicide” appears to reveal a dichotomy of sorts, a dividing line between team Cringe and team Bars. Curiously, the former tends to appear whenever the latter rears its head. As of now, raps of this nature tend to prove divisive, especially for those who have immersed themselves in what current-day hip-hop tends to offer. Those seeking authentic streetwise reflections and hazy energy harnassed over hard-hitting instrumentals have little to gain from punchlines and metaphors. Sometimes, people simply want to mosh, a phenomenon witnessed first-hand at a Travis Scott concert; the sound was a mass of unintelligible autotune and distortion, yet the people raged with diligence.
On “Homicide,” both parties perform ably, providing fodder for both their champions and detractors alike. At this point, Em and Logic are so successful they likely care little about converting a hater, though it’s clear frustration has seeped into their music on occasion. It’s evident within the subject matter itself. When Eminem inserts a near-minute long outro of Chris D’Elia’s infamous impression, is it self-deprecation or a subliminal challenge to his haters? And if it’s the latter, what does it say about the quest for endless validation? After a listen or two, “Homicide” doesn’t exactly feel like a relic of the past, but rather a contemporary reimagining of a lyrically-driven approach. Throughout, the pair assert mastery of their craftsmanship, pitting themselves against inferior rappers and ghost-whisperers; while some flex materialism, Logic and Em opt to flex their own technical proficiency, inadvertently fuelling the narrative that has come to frustrate them in the first place.
Maybe one day, fans will feel comfortable drawing from all tenets of the hip-hop spectrum without tearing down another. One can enjoy the work of Young Nudy and Sadababy while still enjoying that of Logic and Eminem. That's the beauty of the modern hip-hop landscape; its eclectic nature has never been more sonically diverse, leaving no shortage of material to sift through. Yet until that day comes, the neverending debate will rage on. What did you think of "Homicide?" And would your opinion remain the same were comment sections to be stripped from the equation?