Emerging Canadian rapper/producer Logan Wood shares with us his debut project Nottingham & Devon. This comes after 2 self-released EPs, the Alberta based artist goes the extra mile in crafting a 13 track body of work that helps capture his life in totality. From the lyrics to producing, mixing, Wood handles everything while still attending a Combined Program in Music and Computer Science at the University of Victoria where he is just starting his fourth year.
The project opens up with the dreamy sounds of “Intro” where Wood takes time to explain what the project is about. The beat here is quite lush and dreamy as I mentioned before and while I expected Wood to kick a few bars, he opted to just speak to the listener. Not a bad idea to be honest as it is a showing of Wood’s honesty and personal touch to the topics covered on the LP. The first record we hear is the solemn jazzy keys of “Lights & Signs” which is draped by Wood’s laidback flow. He shares his dreams and hopes despite all the negativity floating in his perimeter and uses his pen to take his mind away from all the drama. The third track “Options // Memory Lane” has a nice reflective horn-driven backdrop that sounds like something from a vintage romance flick. Here, Wood goes forth and brings us close to his present state of mind with lines like “…Fuck the nicotine and narcotics, I know I’m better without it/Accept the green so exotic, light up and write up this project, deposit rhymes all the time when I’m faded…” The track is a 2part song and it switches at the midsection into a moody texture. The chorus is serviceable and he gets points for the Nas reference.
He offers more insight on tracks like “Then Ya Die” where he explores the struggles of the everyday man and woman trying to stay afloat and the title track where he takes us on a journey to his stomping grounds. “Dream Sooner” comes in with its nostalgic textures and smooth drums which fits Wood’s bravado laced flow that he employs to the fullest. “Dedication” is Wood’s exploration into his craft which he is still perfecting. He sounds confident and at home over the beats but. sometimes it sounds like he is playing it safe and doesn’t quite try to go outside the box. This is not a bad thing either as long as it works well.
“Street Dreams III” is Wood’s own personal continuation of Logic’s “Street Dreams” series, this is cool and the storytelling is engaging as well. The vivid imagery and sound fx sure add to the intensity and emotions displayed on the track. “Someone You’ll Miss” is the 9th track and serve as a coming of age track where Wood goes off and explores the world beyond his purview, it’s quite relatable and offers an honest take on being an adolescent in these crazy times.
“Rebounds” has a cinematic moody texture reminiscent of the type of beat you would hear Curren$y on. Wood sounds at home here too and delivers a fiery verse over the engulfing backdrop. It’s not particularly mind-blowing but gets the job done. The horns on “God Knows” reminds me of Big Pun‘s “You Came Up” with a more bouncy drum arrangement while the last track “Only A Few/World Keeps Spinnin'” feels like the perfect closer. It has a reflective jazzy tone and the lush keys really shine over the drum breaks. The track is close to 6 minutes in length and sees Wood really spitting his heart out.
In summary, ‘Nottingham & Devon’ is a nice introduction to Logan Wood and offers the listener a quick glimpse into his artistry. The samples used are dope but using the same/similar drum breaks really takes the edge of it a bit. His choice of topics is well thought of and relatable but not particularly profound and that is not a slight to him at all. As a rapper, Wood can surely kick bars but I feel there could be more in the store than what he is letting on.