Future’s 2016 campaign sure reminded the music world of his star-power and position as the top trapper in hip-hop with projects such as Purple Reign, EVOL and DJ Esco’s Project E.T. tape, going on tour, and appearing as a feature on Grammy-nominated albums from Drake to DJ Khaled to Chance the Rapper. However, on Future’s first of two releases in a week, the Freebandz founder is determined and braggadocios, but fails to distinguish FUTURE from his other work, totally embodying a “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude.
On the opening track, “Rent Money,” Future barks over this choir-interpolated beat; the Atlanta rapper paints colorful portraits of savage extravagance, rapping, “Red bottoms with the fur like Frank Luc/ I bought some VVS and she caught the chain flu,” and even makes a Boyz ‘n The Hood reference. On “Zoom,” Future calls on to sonic geniuses Fuse 100 and Southside to craft exciting portamento synths and crisp hats that slap the listener right in the face. The song finishes with a skit, in which two men take shots at persona-biting rapper Desiigner. “Draco” features Future’s slithering, raspy flow, as Future spits some of the album’s best bars: “Pink molly, let me dance with her / Freestylin’ let me dance with her / Sky Dweller, it was sentimental / Rose gold, it was cinnamon.”
On Metro Boomin-produced “Mask Off,” Future takes the audience on a spiritual journey. This deep cut track details Future’s rags-to-riches life, as Future hints at being more open to expressing his emotions. In the outro, Future says “Mask on, f*** it, mask off / Gas gone, never nod off,” as a choir in the background can be heard singing “Cold chills, prison cells / Oh my Lord, praise him be.”
FUTURE is stirring, yet repetitive. The superfluidity of Future’s intemperance that he raps about might mean more than what we think. In a sense, FUTURE is a solidification of the automatism of Future, always acting with a knee-jerk reaction.