After years of folding under the pressure of major label releases, Logic is back with an unexpected return to the underground scene that helped nurture his early career.
It’s been a very interesting time for Logic recently, especially after announcing his retirement in the summer of last year, but just like any “retired rapper,” he couldn’t resist coming back. Around the same time he supposedly stopped rapping, he announced a side project in the works – an alter ego who embodies the villainous persona similar to what MF DOOM built up. Just under a month after the tragic passing of MF DOOM, Logic released his side project under the moniker “Doc D”, which was a tribute to the deceased rapper.
Just as you’d expect, Logic – or Doc D in this space – found himself falling into the underground aesthetic built up by artists such as the previously mentioned MF DOOM and Del The Funky Homosapien – who lands a feature on this project – and have had tremendous influence on Logic’s career. While many saw this as an unexpected move Logic was making, those who are/were fans foresaw Logic diving into this pocket more, especially coming after his latest release, No Pressure. Similar to that project, Planetory Destruction had Doc D in a similar lane in terms of rapping, but was way less serious and felt like a fun project rather than a triple A label release. Every project he’s released, Logic constantly ranted about how he didn’t care what others thought about his art, but this was the first project where let loose and stopped giving a shit about what anybody said. After all, the album has yet to hit streaming so if you got your hands on this album within the first week of its release, then you’re passion for the genre of hip-hop is beyond any limits.
Many questioned Logic’s artistic ability after his 2019 releases of the Supermarket soundtrack and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, but Planetory Destruction shows that Logic still has a spark in him which most haven’t seen since his early mixtape days.
The album maintains a very satisfying length of 47 minutes, just enough time to create a dynamic storyline that spans from the first track to the last. An interesting plot consisting of a supervillain who is attempting over the universe, this album acts as a soundtrack to the invasion with many wacky skits in between songs that are structured like a radio interview of this villainous character, Doc D (short for Doctor Destruction). Logic singlehandedly created this universe and embodies the character of Doc D to play in the story line.
Even though the grand scheme of the album is a gigantic storyline of an alternate universe, hip-hop isn’t secondhand in this project. From the phenomenal use of sampling all throughout the album to the multiple cyphers recreating the “back to the basement” feel – which is an actual song title on this album – Logic embraces the bizarre nature of the underground and contributes his own pitch to the underground scene. Hearing lines such as (“I grip the mic like Mekhi Phifer / rip up the cypher with lyrics you gotta decipher”) on “Green Juices” or (“Bring it back to the basement / Freddy Kruger shit where your face went / Lyrically I murder you without a trace”) on “Back to the Basement” perfectly display the type of energy Logic was embracing, lyrically.
Even though Logic seriously rapping his ass off again was a great sight to see, the real highlight came from the quirky and humorous one-liners scattered all throughout the album. Most of these played into the alter universe concept that Logic had built on the album, while others were just genuinely funny lines. For example, on the R&B-infused track “Butt-Ass Naked,” he raps (“Went to the planet reptilion, and caught a case of Gatorades”) and (“Biopolar bitch always switch up like Aunt Viv”) on the crowded “Bounty Law.” Sadly however, we will never escape the biracial lines that come with a Logic album, as on the same track he raps (“Born a black man but alter my skin like Mike Jack / It’s a nice shade of blue, but my features still black”). Though, I will give him credit for incorporating a humorous undertone there with the comparison to the legendary Michael Jackson.
With such a creatively specific album like this one, it was surprising to see any features at all as many artists prefer to keep their creations to themselves. Logic rallied the Ratt Pack once again on the posse cut, “Back to the Basement,” where as the title suggests, the crew takes the basement cypher approach with everyone spitting their verses and no hook in between. The infamous Punch from the TDE crew steps out on “200 Million Woolongs” and shows fans he can easily take his fellow crew member’s spots on the label if he wanted to (satire). Finally, Logic pulled off any hip-hop head’s dream collaboration: Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan and Del The Funky Homosapien of The Hieroglyphics. The three spit their individual verses with each emcee killing it, but Ghostface sadly delivered a relatively short verse. However, Ghostface does appear in the interlude towards the end of the track where he says the lines (“Fuck you Doc D, you ain’t nobody / You nothing but a fake ass villain, you and your lil’ villains”), which was an small tribute to his frequent collaborator and close friend, MF DOOM, who, as previously mentioned, was a major influence to the project.
While all the songs were very well rounded and each aspect of the album played a major role in the construction of the album’s concept, there were times were certain parts felt like too much. The skits were funny the first time around, but there are times where you just want to skip to the track rather than heard a minute and some change of dialogue. The problem is, the album is so detailed that every little detail matters and when you begin to skip certain parts of the album for convenience, the album doesn’t feel as special as it would if you were to listen in full.
More specifically though, the skits can be very irksome after some time. Think about a movie that just came out and while you’re watching, you start to notice certain scenes you’d rather skip. You can easily skip the scene but the movie feels different right after, and soon you start to lose interest a bit. That same bit applies to the album, but as far as the musical tracks where Logic is rapping or a sample is looping, they were all very unique and brought out a part of Logic none of us thought we’d ever see again.
In closing, Logic’s, or Doc D’s, album Planetory Destruction was a very successful attempt at trying to step outside the box but fit in this realm where that ambitious approach is the norm. Doc D embraces that underground aesthetic that is the key to the hearts of many hardcore hip-hop fans and applies every single bit of it into this project. The creative storyline with the album acting as a secondary notion to the plot was a great approach on Logic’s end, though certain aspects of the album can feel a bit tiresome when listening. This is a style Logic should hop back into again and expand on the creative template of this album.
8 / 10
Best tracks: “Bounty Law”, “Double Sample”, “Green Juices”, “Outer-Space Gang”, “Back to the Basement”