Supermarket, Logic‘s new album, opens with a song called “Bohemian Trapsody.” It has the canned-sounding, slick-but-still-shitty mix of a GarageBand recording. It rides the same three chords for nearly its entire six minutes and forty-five seconds, but tries to trick you into thinking it’s as complex and ambitious as its namesake: a fake drum-n-bass rhythm here, a quasi-gospel breakdown there, and finally, something resembling a trap beat. It closes with a rippin’ solo that sounds like it was field-recorded from the sales floor at Guitar Center. You might get to the end of “Bohemian Trapsody” and tell yourself there’s no way you’ll hear a piece of music so bizarre again for the rest of your life, much less on this very same album. You’d be wrong.
Logic pitched Supermarket as the soundtrack to his bestselling novel of the same name, which is a real thing that exists, if you’re inclined to read it. But the Maryland-based rapper also uses the album as opportunity to cosplay as a breezy indie rock balladeer, with multiple Mac DeMarco collaborations and more gently strummed open chords than you can count. But the most egregious of these songs, by a wide margin, is “Lemon Drop,” which trades the chill-dude schtick for something even more alarmingly specific: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, circa the late ’90s. The bass is funky, the vocal delivery is pure Anthony Kiedis flowin’-with-the-mojo, the drums… well, the drums still sound like GarageBand. Imagine a Californication-obsessed high school band from that era scrounging together enough paper-route money to record their first song in a proper studio, and you’ll be pretty close to the vibe of this one.
The lyrics of “Lemon Drop,” also, are very bad. As Bandcamp editor (and sometime Spin contributor) Zoe Camp pointed out on Twitter, the opening lines to are almost exactly the same as the opening lines to the Californication album track “Get on Top.” Almost exactly: Logic being Logic, he also throws in a reference to Rick & Morty and says “I smoke weed, so I’m trippy,” which is the sort of thing a 14-year-old might say to impress his friends after smoking weed for the first time in his life. From there, he calls himself a “bad mama jama,” says “If it’s illegal to kill the pussy, book me with the crime,” asks “How many licks to lick your lemon drop?” and rhymes “Here’s a glass of shut the fuck up, it’s venti,” with “Why is everybody so uptight this century?”
RHCP have two basic modes—the wiggy-ziggy-ding-dong funk-rap stuff, and the California-here-I-come croony melodic stuff—and the most jarring part of “Lemon Drop” is that it attempts both of them. On the chorus, the guitars go from staccato and rhythmic to clean and arpeggiated, and Logic flips the switch on his Kiedis impression machine, going from rapping about fucking your mom to singing earnestly about setting you free. (Free from what is anyone’s guess.) At their best, the real RHCP managed to pull off this balancing act between transcendent goofiness and goofy transcendence, but even they missed the mark more often than not. It’s clear that Logic intended the song as a tribute to the Chili Peppers, who he’s apparently a fan of. But this sort of stuff is best left to the professionals.