By Braxton Randolph
Coming off one of his most successful years yet, with three albums that reached the number 1 spot on Billboards 200 albums chart and a number of mix tapes that feature singles you still hear every time you step out for a night on the town, Future is back to bestow upon us not one, but two 17-track albums. Both albums respectively take on completely different moods, reminiscent of Nelly’s double release of albums Sweat and Suit in 2004. In this case, Future gives us his self-titled album, Future, first, which was released a week prior to the second album, titled HNDRXX (an homage to one of Future’s well-documented inspirations, Jimi Hendrix).
The self-titled album is the more brash of the two, with Future declaring on the intro track, titled “Rent Money,” that the quality of your baby’s mother’s sexual favors for him increase greatly when her rent is due. Future adopts the same attitude here that he did in the trio of mixtapes (Monster, Beast Mode and 56 Nights) that really propelled his stardom back in 2014 and 2015. That element of true defiance and impudence was something we saw less of out of Future in 2016 with projects such as Evol and Purple Reign, which had more of a radio-friendly sound. Future even goes as far as to bring some humorous skits back into the mix (called Lil’ Draco and Lil’ Extendo), reminiscent of Monster and 56 Nights.
The leading single so far seems to be “Draco,” which was shouted-out by Drake just after the album’s release via Instagram post and was recently performed by Future on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Any lonely soul out there looking to get an ex back should listen with caution because as Future exclaims over and over, “You’ll never ever get your (significant other) back!” And Hey! Even if you do, at some point, you’ll probably realize it’s not the same. “Mask Off” is also a smash hit that I fully expect to have a deep run into summer playlists. Apart from the beautiful melody (which I’m convinced was played on a flute of some sorts on top of a dune in the Gobi Desert during a sunrise), the catchy hook is sure to have kids yelling out the random names of opioids and MDMAs all summer.
With all the brashness and attitude that Future packs, HNDRXX (which features guest appearances by The Weeknd and Rihanna) offsets that vibe with a smoother, more poignant approach and lyrics that deal with topics such as relationships and all the love and lust that come with them. The first track, titled “My Collection,” features Future explaining how any time his woman is in his presence she’s his possession, and also how even if he only has sexual relations with a woman once, she’s still part of his collection. An interesting take on women in the year 2017. However, with the election of President T****, I suppose anything is possible, so somehow Future makes it work.
Although a clear-cut favorite hasn’t yet emerged from this album, some of mine include “I Thank U,” “Neva Missa Lost” and “Hallucinating.” “I Thank U,” being one of the deeper cuts from the album, features an electric guitar riff that I can only imagine Jimi Hendrix would’ve made 58,307,453x better if he were still here with us today to collaborate with Future. “Hallucinating” is an ode to the way Future seduces his women with newly purchased items such as Aston Martins and Rolls Royce trucks. It’s also an ode to the fact that if you think you’ve ingested more drugs than him, then you’re out of your mind.
With the two albums taking on two completely different moods and pretty much everything in between, there’s a sound here for any type of Future fan. If you’re a fan of his more radio-friendly cuts, you’ll have no problem getting into HNDRXX. If you’re a fan of his more hardcore songs, however, I’d start with Future. If you’re like me and you’re a fan of both, it’s your lucky day. Like me (and a lot of other people), there are always the handful of songs that you take away from each Future project, and others you leave behind. Here’s my track list of the best songs from both Future and HNDRXX:
1. “Rent Money” 2. “Good Dope” 3. “Zoom” 4. “Draco” 5. “Super Trapper”6. “Mask Off” 7. “Scrape”8. “Might As Well”9. “When I Was Broke”10. “Feds Did a Sweep” 11. “My Collection” 12. “Lookin’ Exotic” 13. “Use Me” 14. “Fresh Air”15. “Neva Missa Lost”16. “Keep Quiet” 17. “Hallucinating” 18. “I Thank U”