Bobby Hall, better know for his stage name ‘Logic’, recently debuted his long awaited psychological thriller novel, ‘Supermarket’. And also a 13-track alternative soundtrack of the same title to accompany the book. Fans have waited nearly 3 years since it’s inception and Bobby promised us a comedic yet dark twisted dive into his own mind state.
It was also going to be social commentary, detailing struggles of copping with anxiety and depression whilst hoping to achieve bigger dreams. As a long time fan, it was easy to see that Supermarket serves as a summary of Bobby’s own philosophy and ideology.
After numerous speculations by fans, Bobby announced his debut novel would drop March 26. I eagerly preordered the book and choose same day delivery. Once it arrived it was a fairly easy read; I finished the 288 page novel in two days. Unfortunately, after years of anticipation and buildup, I can wholeheartedly say the book did not meet my expectation. While I can appreciate what was attempted, ‘Supermarket’ would ultimately fall short and mediocre.
A quick summary of the story with no spoilers is enough to intrigue listeners. Flynn is a recently dumped and depressed 24-year old deadbeat from a small town in Oregon. He applies to work at a local supermarket in hopes of turning his life around and gain enough context to finish his own debut novel. But anxiety begins to torment and cripple Flynn until he can no longer identify what is real, trapping his mind in an endless loop of despair.
Its certainly entertaining with it’s quirky light hearted writing and widely diverse characters. It’s cliche at times and can even sound illegible to older audiences with it’s post modern slang and numerous pop culture references. With nearly every page taking a cue from Bobby’s own interest and likes being sprinkled in. From old alternative records being mentioned to all-time film classics like Back to the Future and Jurassic Park. Supermarket indefinitely serves an outlet for all of Bobby’s influences and imagination.
And with a large and loyal fanbase, its was inevitable the book would become a #1 New York Times Bestseller. So maybe I’ll sound too judgmental against the millions of fans and critics praising the book for its narrative and creativity. But as I previously stated, the book had more than a handful of shortcomings. From it’s simplistic linear story to it’s painfully predictable plot twist, the book simply tried to do too much without an experienced author. With more filler than actual character building, much of Supermarket’ story feels pointless by the end. With it’s ending feeling more like forced empiphany than ambiguous.
However, and to my surprise, most of the criticism for Bobby’ Supermarket drops are going towards it’s companion soundtrack. Whereas I happen to really enjoy Supermarket’ music counterpart. At just 50 minutes, Bobby manages to weave all of his alternatives and indie music influences into one unique album widely different from anything in his discography. Artists like Mac DeMarco and Red Hot Chili Peppers had a clear hand in the creative process and making of this soundtrack. A description of it’s sound can be attributed to it’s own title; music you would find playing in the background of a real supermarket.
Simply put, I don’t review music how I do books. When it comes to sound, its simple; if it pleases me, its getting played. So while many critics will poke holes in what they call corny and amateurish lyrics with simplistic and dull production, ‘Supermarket’ definitely caters to a small audience. But its mellow almost sorrowful vibe succeeds in elaborating the tone of book. It’s minimalistic atmosphere forces emphasis in every detail of it’s vocals and lyrics. It’s sound spectrum ranges from accoustic guitar and the simplest of drum patterns, to eccentric and punk rock elements. It even manages to sneak in psychedelic hip hop in the wavy track ‘DeLorean’: one of my personal favorites.
Supermarket definitely tailors to long time fans of Logic: most of whom are convinced he can do no wrong. And while he might have disappointed me with an overhyped and long overdue novel, the surprise of the actually pretty good soundtrack was enough to redeem Bobby and again solidify him as one of Hip Hop’s most diverse talent. And I couldn’t call myself a fan if I still wasn’t anticipating his next album: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Unfortunately, only time will tell if Bobby has any longevity as a bestselling author, with his next novel rumored to revolve around video games. Until then, I’ll continue listening to the Bobby I know and love, ‘Logic’. If you haven’t already, Supermarket is worth a read and definitely worth a listen.