When Future first burst onto the hip hop scene several years ago, he was widely dismissed as the mumbling, bumbling, auto-tune abusing jester cashing in his 15 seconds of fame on a fad that was soon to diminish. But then the unexpected happened — the rapper started to drop project after project, making a marvelous run to hip-hop’s A-list and striking gold on bangers such as “F—k Up Some Commas,” “Low Life” and “Wicked.”
Future makes his low life well known by repeatedly emphasizing the same motifs — living a lifestyle of excessive lavishness, pushing and consuming all sorts of drugs, remorselessly stealing girls and apologizing for absolutely nothing. He is an artist who built his legend rapping about various vices with a cold, unemotional voice courtesy of auto-tune, and trap is the new norm for him.
In his self-titled album “FUTURE,” he stays the course and solidifies his musical identity, continuing to allude to bleak and murky vices with an ironic sense of braggadocious bravado. The tracks stay cohesive to this central theme.
The opener, “Rent Money,” discusses the profitability of drug dealing and the opportunities it opens to him. One of the more ridiculous phrases in the song perfectly encapsulates Future’s unapologetically degenerate nature — “Ya baby mama f—k me better when the rent’s due / She sucked my d—k, she came home, I bet she kissed you.”
Future also uses this project as medium to articulate his own introspective sentiments. In “When I Was Broke,” he reminisces about his rags to riches story, even admitting past vulnerability — “Don’t ruin my confidence, don’t you do it.” Listeners get a view of both the outside and inside of Future, appropriately making his self-titled album his most personal.
Across the 17-song tracklist, Future mercilessly beats trap into listener’s ears with endless beats. The songs’ production quality gives a sinister and bleak — yet somehow energetic — vibe, and the bass-heavy riff throughout adds to the notion of “FUTURE” as an undeniable trap album.
However, trap anthems as they may be, most of the tracks end up sounding more or less the same. Although many fans may explain this as cohesiveness, detractors could cry lack of innovation. In truth, there is no right or wrong answer — perhaps Future even intended the album’s excessive length to symbolize his lifestyle of excess.
Add the fact that there are no features, and “FUTURE” becomes an exploration of classic Future themes using classic Future sonical techniques — a summation of his overall artistry. Listeners should buckle their seat belts before listening, as this album goes back to the “FUTURE.”