When an artist drops a self-titled album, audiences expect a lot. With his latest surprise release, Furure disappoints all except the most dedicated of fans – his style has now become so repetitive and uninteresting that it almost seems like a parody of itself. in 2015, DS2 seemed like a leap forward for Future, but now it’s obvious that was his peak – 2016’s EVOL was still above average for trap, but it was a step down from his previous efforts, and FUTURE continues that downward trend.
Too many of FUTURE’s tracks feel like things we’ve heard before, but missing something. Opening track Rent Money has ideas that are weighed down by cliche trap drums, a similar issue that numerous other tracks like Poppin’ Tags and Draco suffer from. Interestingly, the Drake-featuring single Used to This is omitted from this project – a shame, because it would have shined compared to most of FUTURE’s other seventeen tracks. This album is way too long for what it offers; over an hour of repetitive songs that sound like elevator music for a house party.
At least Future isn’t lacking energy – but something feels wrong. When Future is able to match the energy and momentum of the instrumental beneath him, so much of his charm is lost. On DS2, Future thrived as his lazy but energetic flow contrasted against lethargic and dreamy beats, but on FUTURE he just sounds like any other trap rapper. Tracks like Super Trapper or Flip pack a lot of punch, but they’re tainted by generic production and sloppy vocals. Future feels so far out of his element on this project; he fails to grasp onto most of these beats and deliver a satisfying performance, and those signature catchy hooks are nowhere to be seen.
Perhaps it’s the lack of Metro Boomin that drags this project down. Without his DS2 partner in crime, the spacey cloud rap beat department is severely lacking. Future switches out Young Metro for Southside, among a few others, for the most part, but the Metro-produced Mask Off is a standout track that showcases Future’s talent over a low key mix of flutes and 808s. The remainder of the album’s production is far too samey, with the same rhythms, the same flows, and of course, the same siren sample appearing on Good Dope and Poppin’ Tags.
It’s not all bad – there are definitely a few moments on this project where Future and his production team shine. Zaytoven-produced Feds Did a Sweep is a perfect atmospheric and laid back beat that Future takes full advantage of, delivering a heartfelt performance as he reflects on fame, crime, and the trap lifestyle. Interspersed between a number of tracks are short skits, which while could have benefited from better writing and more effort (they sort of feel like afterthoughts, although in one early skit Future seems to throw shade at Desiigner), they break up the monotony of a lot of this album’s dragging pace.
This latest project, sadly, is the most average release that Future has put out for a long time. It never said it was going to be anything else, but we expected more. For an artist who redefined trap with the cloudy aesthetic of DS2, Future sure has fallen far.