Local music: Illogic

  • Photo by Alysia Burton
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From the June 7, 2012 edition

“Illogic here to spread a heart’s work of artwork/ Along with Blockhead, who lays the undertow where the sharks lurk.”

Those are among the many (many!) head-turning lyrics on “Preparing for Capture,” the EP Columbus hip-hop veteran Illogic is releasing with New York producer Blockhead at Friday’s Buggin’ Out party. They reveal Illogic getting serious again after leaning against his brooding, self-reflective tendencies on 2009’s freewheeling “Diabolical Fun.”

“I was back into writing personal songs and pieces, not necessarily as much about myself but about the state of the world, the state of my race of people, black people,” Illogic said. “‘Diabolical Fun’ was about hip-hop and the state of hip-hop, and just rapping, being a dope rapper … Where my strength is, I think, is writing more stories.”

True that. He spins yarns with insight and ingenuity, spouting rhymes that merit close study from a legion of lesser local MCs. He drills thrills out of weighty subject matter.

“As people that are supposed to have rights and are supposed to know our rights and be able to fight for our rights like our predecessors did before us, it seems like as a whole and as a people either we don’t care enough to fight or we don’t know how to fight,” Illogic said. “And even as a Christian man, it’s been the last days for a long time, but Revelation is really starting to come to life around me.”

Blockhead, known for his work with Aesop Rock, offers a fine foil with production that’s warm, weird and funky. This is vital music from men who clearly aren’t content to settle in as relics on a rap timeline.

“Preparing for Capture” is the first in a series of EPs leading up to a full-length album called “Capture the Sun.” Note to moneyed music lovers looking to release great rap music: They’re still seeking label support.