Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 11/15/13 – Logic & Raze

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I’ve been waiting to feature Logic & Raze as our Milwaukee Artist of the Week for quite some time now. The main reason for this delay was the release of their new album “LandR”, which many people had been waiting on for quite some time as well. With that said, though, this album is well worth the wait. This is a genre-bending, original album unlike many other local releases, and it deserves to be highlighted for it’s uniqueness. While their previous release “…Still Untitled” was a very solid release, this album is high quality, progressive, and boundary-pushing to say the least.

Full disclosure: Raze was one of my first introductions to Milwaukee music, the better part of a decade ago as younger, but just as cocky emcee. I’ve watched him grow as an artist, improving both his flow and production with age. After logging time with Mayhem Music Entertainment, the House of M, and other various groups which he raps about if you listen closely, Raze has taken himself musically to a level that he just simply hadn’t reached in the past. The addition of Logic of the Hollowz as an emcee/singer/musician to complement Raze’s production makes for a highly creative duo, and this record is proof of that.

From the jump, “LandR” makes it clear that it isn’t your run of the mill hip-hop album. One of the first sounds you hear on post-intro album opener “Remedy (Wake Up)” is, dare I say it, a guitar. Not a super-heavy, might-be-a-sample guitar solo, but rather an acoustic guitar as the backbone of the production. Did I mention that the song is seven minutes long and ventures into the territories of pop and electonica, too? You won’t see that on the average hip hop release. “LandR” features not one, but two songs over the seven minute mark. It was clear that Logic & Raze didn’t want to merely dabble into new genres, but rather create something genre-less in the process of the album. The other longer track, “B4 The Sun (Creep-Creep)” is a smooth hip-hop cut, and then takes a left turn into a laid back jam session. The transition is virtually seamless though. Rather than a song followed by a song, this album feels like a journey. Listening to the whole record all the way through at least once is a must.

There’s an element of surprise to the first listen of this record. You find yourself asking “where is this all going?” as each track progresses. At some points, it almost feels like hearing a mixtape from a DJ, because there’s a natural flow going on from track to track. Anytime a record comes out as a set-and-forget product, that’s always a good thing. Raze has his trademark outspoken, honest flow on all of his verses. Logic carries the ultra-smooth vocals, riding with the beat where necessary. Lead single “Hostage” is an inherently Raze’s sound, but even that is something beyond what he had created on solo projects “Dreaming In Greyscale” and “Living in Technocolor”. I merely scratched the surface on this record, which means that there is plenty to check out on your own. Watch the Jack Packard directed “Hostage” video, and stream the album below.

For more Logic & Raze, check them out on Facebook, Bandcamp, and their website.

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