It swims like a Future album, quacks like a Future album, and slaps like a Future album. FUTURE is a Future album. So it goes.
The Atlanta trap lord has nothing to prove to his masses, and has no desire to sway those outside of his dominion: this is a theorem based on scientific process, not a critique. Every addition to his collection of consistently successful mixtapes/albums further substantiates Future’s apparent resolve, given how little variation exists between 2014’s Monster and last year’s Project E.T. Again, this sentiment is not a comment on Future’s talent or quality, it’s an observation of his process. Future releases music as one moves in the trap – mixtape after album after collab, he fulfills the demand with a relentless supply of what the people ask for.
To contest the idea that Future is not, in fact, an incorrigible behemoth hell-bent on destroying every subwoofer in America seems futile in the face of overwhelming evidence (i.e. his entire discography), so there should be little to no commentary on how Future has evolved or has taken risks on FUTURE. Perhaps the reason for his invariance is grounded in the fact that Future doesn’t really need to do much more than yell “sippin’ on Tussin, fuckin’ and hustlin’” in his signature warbling modulation over an agitated Southside-produced banger in order to fulfill his role in this world.
Repetition frustrates me, and hearing artists branch out excites me, but as was the case with DS2, Beast Mode, What a Time to Be Alive, and all the other records Future has cultivated in his codeine-infested garden, I am in no way disappointed to hear him mutter distorted hooks over massive, flawless beats produced by the likes of Metro Boomin and Zaytoven. His persistence should be infuriating, but is instead understandable, and borders on commendable.
Every song on FUTURE is very much like every song on EVOL et al, with Future flowing either frantically or lazily on top of a trap instrumental made by someone who is likely one of the most sought-after producers in the game. He elaborates on topics he has spoken on before, such as drugs, women, and firearms, and makes time to inform the listener that “ya baby momma fuck me better when the rent due.” There is nothing new on FUTURE, aside from some largely unnecessary filler skits (though one may be interested in hearing how Future perceives sonic imitator Desiigner [~3:30]), only 17 tracks worth of the same.
For whatever reason, however, it doesn’t feel like too much, because as it is, Future never feels like ‘too much.’ The problem – if you want to call it one – is that Future’s formula cannot fail, because it delivers all that it should, and therefore leaves little room to move about in. It’s been nearly three years since Future began his streak of chart-topping, underground-sweeping and crowd-pleasing bangers, so what needs to be changed? Should new sounds be introduced into the mix, should he switch his flows or producers up? Should he change at all? Then again, I’m the one asking these questions here. Future Hendrix has no one above him to answer, and as I type these words, I’m not even sure if I need an answer. FUTURE is a Future album, it does not waver, it does not drastically rise, and does not particularly fail – it just is.
Written by Adil Siddiqee