After coming out of nowhere with his critically acclaimed debut, Unforseen Shadows, and following it up with another critically acclaimed album, Got Lyrics, Illogic disappeared back into the underground abyss from which he came from. While fellow Weightless partner and producer of his first two LP’s, Blueprint, has become an underground household name, Illogic was nowhere to be found. Almost two years of hibernating brings Illogic back to his stomping grounds with the long overdue Celestial Clockwork, which plays like Illogic’s life in audio. While Unforseen Shadows was written while he was 16, much has happened since then, and Illogic wants to
deliver an LP to touch the soul, an album that will educate through his own trial and error, a work of art that will provide the public that much needed introspective look into the mind of an emcee. With that, Celestial Clockwork is set to be Illogic’s defining moment. If, and only if, he can execute will cement his status among hip hop’s elite.
Celestial Clockwork is quite possibly one of the most lyrically sound works heard this year. Illogic attempts to slap listeners from all angles with his half spoken word half rap flow. As soon as the rambunctious “The Only Constant” sets forth, all will know that Illogic means business. While Blueprint’s B-Boy flavored production resonates throughout, Illogic manufactures line after line with brilliant
intricacy. Illogic easily may be referred to as one of the better battle emcees (peep the wild romp with Aesop Rock and Vast Aire on “Time Capsule”) within the budding underground scene, but it’s his knack for putting himself on paper that is his bread and butter.
“Second Trimester” has got to be one of the most compelling written rhymes of the year, as Illogic recounts a tale of an ex-girlfriend who decides to have an abortion without telling him. The way that the feelings of both parties involved are expressed is incredibly vivid. Amongst Blueprint’s haunting keys, Illogic expresses pain and understanding like none other on this critical subject. Slug joins Illogic on the estranged father/son relationship narrative “Stand”. As Slug plays the role of father explaining to his son the reasons why he does what he does, as Illogic channels his inner child and responds as the back and forth reasoning, and finds no common
ground. It is as if the two emcees were actually related with as much emotion that flows throughout the song. The spiritual side of Illogic is also let loose on “I Wish He Would Make Me”, as Illogic battles himself within the walls of some of Blueprint’s most moving production heard yet. As the menacing keys rifle behind Illogic’s already potent lyrics one has to wonder how the duo can top moments like these in the future.
Blueprint, at this point in his career, has established himself as one of the most underrated producers around and his work on Celestial Clockwork further substantiates this claim. From the hypnotizing spaced out sounds of “1000 whispers” to his mellow guitar
strumming of “My World”, Blueprint proves that he is just as diverse as your favorite producer. And while he creates tracks for Illogic to flow over with ease, it’s the experimental sounds that will grab the minds of many. As far as duo’s that need to stay together,
Illogic and Blueprint make their relationship as symbiotic as that of Batman and Robin, bringing out the best in each other.
Regardless of how long Illogic has been out of the scene, Celestial Clockwork is a work that needs to be heard. And while many of his fans have been heard to say that there is just not enough material from this emcee, Celestial Clockwork is the answer to those who may have thought he’s been out of the game to long. He reinforces his position among underground hip-hop’s elite, while we may not hear another album from Illogic for the next couple of years, Celestial Clockwork should provide the proper dose of solid hip.-hop until the time comes for Illogic to put his life on paper again. Until that moment comes again we will have to be satisfied with the trials and tribulations he has chosen to articulate at this time arond.
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