“Future” just more of the same
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Without much pomp and circumstance, the Atlanta rap star known as Future has released two full-length albums in the span of one week. The first, announced on Instagram only three days before it was released, is the self- titled “FUTURE.” The 62-minute LP jumps through 17 different tracks while managing to squeeze in a couple skits at the end of two songs.
For the most part, the album crosses back and forth between Future flaunting his wealth and his own personal “rags to riches” story. The few tracks that do shine from this album are those “rags to riches” songs. Tracks like “Mask Off”, “Might as Well” and “When I Was Broke” are breaths of fresh air on an album that feels so much longer than its actual length. Metro Boomin, producer of “Mask Off,” uses a great sample of the Tommy Butler song “Prison Song” from the musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the “Selma” album. The singing flute adds another dimension of emotion combined with the story of Future going from chasing checks to buying his first Maybach. “Might as Well” steals the show for most unique song off this album. The piano melody is sampled from the soundtrack of the 2013 film “Her.” Nothing about this combination should work, but I am happily surprised that it does. “When I Was Broke” ends up being the deepest cut in terms of raw emotion featuring Future at his most real. The growling low notes also elevate this song above the other songs from this LP.
The rest of the album fights for the same spot on the playlist of your next crazy party. A lot of the songs suffer because of their repetitive nature. Like I said, this album just seems to drag on and on. Different songs meld into a big heap. They feature the same modern Atlanta style of production with super sharp drum hits and bass that act more as percussion than definition for the song. The silver lining to these clouds is that these songs are pretty decent bangers. In that regard, Future retains his crown as life of the party. But these songs fall flat in any other context. Songs like “Good Dope”, “Scrape” and “Poppin’ Tags” fall somewhere in between playing safe and mildly boring. This wouldn’t be so noticeable if it weren’t for the three or four songs that truly stand out.
The other notable parts of this album are the two “skits” that act as the outros for “Zoom” and “Flip.” The skit at the end of “Zoom” is a genuinely funny dig at Desiinger, an up-and-coming rapper who seems to have stolen Future’s rapping style.
Future plays into the persona he’s been crafting for the past few years. He did just enough to stay relevant this time, but the genre is being flooded with copy cats trying to surf on the waves he initially created. He needs to step up, or he’ll be lost in that crowd.