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It’s been quite some time since we’ve heard from Columbus, Ohio emcee Illogic. His last project was in 2009, the little heard Diabolical Fun LP. While he has always rolled with the right crew, collaborating with artists such as Blueprint and Aesop Rock over the years, he was never quick to make the leap to their respective major-underground imprints, Rhymesayers or Definitive Jux. It’s clearly by choice, as Illogic has long proven himself worthy of signing with either, but has instead opted to remain a true-blue indie. As he prepares for his upcoming full-length album with producer Blockhead, Capture The Sun, the duo releases the two-part Preparing For Capture double EP.

In most cases, the mixtape that precedes the album, or the leftovers LP that follows it, is usually made up of scraps that weren’t good enough for the full-length. This is only half-true for Preparing For Capture, which finds both Illogic’s emceeing and Blockhead’s rap-production in top form. The album kicks off with “Matter Of Minutes”, which has an almost Dan The Automator feel to it, leading directly into “Poster Boy”, where Illogic’s rhyme style is defined. Here is a man who is fed up with today’s hip-hop scene, but channels his frustration into intricately penned, elegantly recited rhymes:

“I’m finding it a challenge just to listen / To the blistering cold spittin of the talentless division / Inflicted with inflated narcissism promoting a heartless / Vision that will eventually lead to selling souls for an imploding mission / The greed and self aggrandizing of these broken pistons /Exposing the loathing of one’s self is a desensitizing advertisement /And while smiling you keep buying all of the lying that they’ve written / While I’m here trying to be an upright citizen with the gift I’ve been given.”

Well said.

The first volume is remarkably consistent, with strong tracks like “Teach Me To Learn” and “Nails” leaving the listener wondering what kind of gems they’ve saved for the album. The same can be said for the up-tempo “Weigh You Down” or “HERStory”, the bittersweet tale of an abused woman. The first half of this series proves Block and Illogic are natural collaborators, both with an arsenal of talent at their disposal.

Volume two builds off of the first, but in truth, is not quite as strong as it’s predecessor. It starts off on a high note with “Heartless”, capturing perfect chemistry between Blockhead’s backdrop and Illogic’s rhyme-style and cadence. This is by far it’s strongest moment, save the outro “Past/Future”, which could have done without the sung hook. With much more lo-fi production, such as on “From Scratch” or “Precauthonary Measures”, the rest of the EP is definitely still cut from a cloth of quality, but it’s clear that Block and Illogic picked the best cutting room floor tracks for part one.

That being said, again it does peak the curiosity for what the actual Capture The Sun album holds. Either way, it’s been too long since we’ve heard Illogic on the mic, and too long since Blockhead has produced a lyric-based LP in full. While Preparing For Capture is merely an appetizer to the main course, it definitely satisfies without spoiling whats to come.

  Mixtape D.L.
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