Logic took a classic split-personality story trope, told it from a first-person point of view, and added welcome snippets of millennial blue-collar existence into it — then he slapped a name on the front: Supermarket. In March, the rapper became the first to have a debut novel top the New York Times Best Sellers list and released a soundtrack to accompany the reader’s journey. But while the soundtrack is a collection of pop songs expounding on the oohs and aahs of young love, Logic used another recent release to go even deeper into Supermarket‘s story.
His fifth studio album, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, arrived this past weekend after a Supermarket-like trailer featuring buckets of blood. As Confessions ventures into the mind of Logic, and therefore, his novel’s protagonist, Flynn, it’s more of a companion to the book than the official soundtrack ever was.
Supermarket follows three characters: protagonist Flynn; his mysterious anarchist coworker, Frank; and his love interest, Mia. Ultimately, the novel is the story of Flynn. But the accompanying soundtrack is a maelstrom of love and lust, seemingly dedicated to Mia — which leaves Logic’s new album and its dark title (possibly a reference to the 2002 film of the same name that chronicles game-show host and fabled CIA “agent” Chuck Barris’s life) to be the word of Frank. Because of that, certain connections between the novel and the album are hard to ignore.
Main characters with drastically different personalities
Supermarket has one narrator: Flynn. But Frank often seems to be center of the attention. About halfway through, we find out why: Frank is Flynn. The two are opposites housed into one — Flynn is easygoing, happy, and determined, while Frank is an anarchist, the kind of guy who just wants to watch the world burn.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind treats Logic’s personality as clearly split between Flynn’s two selves. There’s the thoughtful, charismatic, straightforward goof on the title track and “Mama/Show Love,” where he briefly opens up about struggles with emotional health, and then there’s the argumentative instigator who says the controversial statement that doesn’t need to be said on “Clickbait.” These two selves, like Flynn and Frank, exist outside of each other and never come in contact. As Logic’s past work has shown, it’s almost like we’re listening to two different artists on one LP.
“Confessions” that echo the protagonist’s own wants
Flynn works at the supermarket because he’s trying to finish writing a book that he got an advance for. But, of course, we learn this isn’t true: He’s actually in a psychiatric hospital reliving the experiences that got him there, and his book, in fact, has already been published. When hit with the news, he’s astounded, but not necessarily excited to reap the fruits of his labor: fame.
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind‘s “Wannabe” is about this feeling of fleeting fame, that attaining it is all that matters. “I wanna be famous, I wanna be famous / Why can’t I be famous?” is the song’s literal chorus. It takes what we know about fame and grafts it onto Flynn, but not knowingly. It’s as though the song was made with him in mind, sung from the perspective of someone inside his head, removed from the situation, to speak his truth. Does that sound like anyone in particular?
Plot twists and more
Supermarket holds its twist close to the chest. Logic starts the story with a mysterious death from Flynn’s point of view, taking us into the mindset of a man relaxed after a murder. But when the twist is finally revealed, it comes from left field: Flynn struggles with an emotional condition and has an imaginary personality, Frank, who says and carries out his darkest desires.
Confessions pulls a similar turn. While the album’s title suggests an exploration of a complex, misunderstood mind, Confessions is really an LP about the destructive presence of social media. “Clickbait” is the center here, a hyper-focused portrait of faux-perfection online. “I always post that I’m having a good time / So my life looks perfect online,” he raps.
Supermarket and Confessions are such similar creations that they feel as if they’re in conversation with each other. Logic’s recently announced North American tour in support of Confessions will also likely feature material from Supermarket’s soundtrack. If he acknowledges their similarities and shared thematic concepts, it’ll be interesting to see the conversations he continues to generate between the bodies of work.