Columbus, Ohio-dwelling emcee Illogic may have stepped away from the spotlight for quite a few years, but he is back with a vengeance and ready to make a statement with his latest release, Diabolical Fun. With Ill Poetic holding down the production side of things, Illogic presents the listener with 12 tracks that blend together so seamlessly that one sometimes doesn’t even realize that a new song has begun.
Diabolical Fun starts out strong with “What’s My Name,” a track boasting a Billy Paul sample and an energetic Illogic showing off his lyrical flow. Providing just enough material to catch the audience’s attention, the track leads right into the title track, where Ill Poetic laces the instrumental with heavy-hitting drums and menacing synths. As Illogic explains, “Losing ourselves as artists happens ’cause fame is tempting,/just stay cautious about how you approach things, at times I feel nauseous ’cause this industry is disgusting,” the listener can begin to understand his possible motives behind his hiatus from the music scene in order to spend time with his family and improve his personal life. Also embedded in the lyrics are harsh criticisms of the state of the music industry, which prove to be a constant throughout the whole project. The same theme of criticizing the current state of Hip Hop and the music industry also makes its presence known in tracks like “Feel the Beat”, and “What Happened?” While the latter boasts rhymes such as “this world needs a voice, not an echo, so if you’re not grabbing hold of purpose, you gotta let it go/tomorrow’s a dream, today is tangible, and as hard as it seems to plant seeds, believe I got a handful,” that cause it to be uplifting rather than just one long complaint, at times the point that Illogic is making becomes rather redundant.
Although no single track seems to stand out as being particularly poor in quality, some do suffer from a lack of that certain something that makes one remember that it even exists a week after they listened to it. “Crash,” featuring a lyrical guest spot from Ill Poetic, “Right Here,” the token love song of the bunch, and “I Know You” all seem to fall into the shadows of the more powerful tracks such as “Walk Into the Sunset.” Serving as the end to Diabolical Fun, “Walk Into the Sunset” is a showcase of Illogic‘s lyricism at its finest. His abstract rhyme patterns, creative concepts, and not-so-straightforward metaphors are enhanced by an Ill Poetic beat that one can’t help but be drawn to. The result is one of the most impressive tracks on the album, and ensures that the project ended as intensely as it started out.
Illogic has had over 10 years of experience making music, and it shows through every track on Diabolical Fun. With tracks such as “Get Up Get Down” and “Now’s the Time” adorned with instrumentals that seem tailored toward a live band, Illogic fans that felt a void while he was taking a break from the spotlight may have something to look forward to the next time he does a show in their cities. And although the album maintains the ability to keep its audience hype, Illogic makes sure that by the end of it all, listeners have understood his point – he’s not satisfied with Hip Hop’s current state, and his quest to make the change he wants to see happen is only just beginning with Diabolical Fun.