The popular thing these days is to jump on the hottest rapper, pretend you’re a fan of them for a few minutes and then when all appears to go to shit, jump off while you still can. I’ve seen it happen often, and it still continues to this day. Old fans hate new fans, new fans ruin everything, and the cycle continues, blah blah blah. Right? Right. Future seems to be that rapper that is literally the hottest name out that isn’t Kanye or Drake (the stan in me wanted to say Kendrick, but I have to be real with myself). Future has been on an absolute tear in the Rap world during his post-Ciara form as he seemingly turned Super Saiyan and dropped hit after hit after hit (most people would say his run has been going since Honest, but that’s just not keeping it real). I knew about Future because of Twitter, and really outside of Racks & Magic and Tony Montana, I had never taken him in, and you would think that I would, since growing up, I heard a lot of trap in my day (T.I, Yung Joc, OJ the Juiceman, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, etc.). Trap is not the type of music that I voluntarily just go to on an every day basis, because I like lyrics, I like having a connection to the artists I listen to, to some degree, and overall trap serves as simply hype to me, since I can’t really pit myself in that lifestyle. I grew up around it, but I didn’t live it like most of my childhood friends. I was the odd man out, so trap never seemed to have that impact on me. Another reason why Trap isn’t for me primarily is because I don’t smoke or drink and those are the main substances which enhance the listening experience to trap music (so I’ve been told). I’m a sober soul, but if you know me like most do, I have a lot of energy. It’s just natural and it comes out whenever it wants to. Perhaps I’d be ‘doing it wrong’ if I was sober, but it doesn’t really matter to me where my head’s at. If I like it, I like it, and you’ll know about it.
So now, why am I writing about a Trap rapper that I only really started listening to a week ago? Because, I’ve finally seen what a lot of people have been seeing and hearing when it comes to Future. Does he make the best music? No. Is he the best rapper out? God no, but does he serve a purpose in filling a void when it comes to carrying a consistency with his music over a specific period of time? Yes. Mind you, the period is small, but he has delivered for exact what his intent is – wild lyrics, hard beats, and melodic flows to accompany. My first real taste of getting inside of the ‘Future Hive’ is when I was in the car with Tre Mission heading downtown and was just getting exposed to 56 Nights. That was one the first time that I heard No Compadre & March Madness. The beats were so thunderous in the car that I couldn’t help but want to grab the wheel and swerve through lanes my damned self, but then I’d probably kill us both and this article wouldn’t be written. The autotune & inability to decipher what the fuck he was saying didn’t faze me really because I was too in the beats and hooks alone. The same way that people go nuts over EDM (which I see no purpose), I understand how people go wild over Trap, and people need to understand that music is a feeling that you get when you hear something you really like. When that feeling comes from a certain genre that you feel doesn’t resonate with you specifically, that doesn’t mean that it’s overall trash because you don’t feel it. I’ve seen this argument so much over social media, and it’s tiresome. My boy Pierce wrote an article about having balance in Rap where you need the conscious but also the ratchet. It’s necessary and it’s what makes Hip Hop great, because of the diverse range, no matter how saturated the industry may be right now with Trap influence. We go through stages in Rap with one distinct sound that takes over (Boom Bap, Crunk, Snap, Dance), and Trap just happens to be it right now. Deal with it or just listen to something else, don’t shit on other people because you don’t like it. That makes no sense.
Anyways, I have to thank my Future Mentor, Brendan, for giving me pointers about where to start with regards to my introduction to Nayvadius Wilburn and his teachings of the Trap. Dirty Sprite was my intro, and that’s where I got a sense of what he was about. Certain tracks I couldn’t bear to listen to all out because the sound started to become nauseating, but others held firm and were repeated (Conceited, Old Hundreds, Pajamas, Pop Them Bands). It gave me nostalgia like I was back in Susan Street listening to Gucci Mane through the walls of my apartment because of my next door neighbours. That’s the vibe it gave me. There are projects I didn’t listen to during the process, because I was going on a binge at the time, so I was just going through what was suggested. That means I skipped out on Astronaut Status, 1000, F.B.G: The Movie, True Story, and Free Bricks. I think ‘Astronaut’ is one that I should listen to, but I’ll get to them eventually. I took in Streetz Callin, and Black Woodstock (where the emergence of Future Hendrix came about, I assume). The two didn’t really resonate with me, but I should revisit them. Safe to say that a lot of his older songs didn’t leave a lasting impression on me like a lot of people who are die hard Future fans, but as I continued, I got into the post-Honest Future where I had Monster, Beast Mode, and 56 Nights that eventually lead into the most recent album, Dirty Sprite 2. Between the 3, Monster & 56 Nights are my favourites, but Monster has the most energy between the two. Like it’s ridiculous about how much force is brought within, and it’s motivational street music that comes about, which if you don’t care for the streets, you won’t care for the music. That’s just the honest truth (you see what I did there). Monster wins because between the choices of Fuck Up Some Commas, Throw Away, Gang Land, Wesley Presely, and the ever heartfelt ballad Codeine Crazy, there’s just nothing but authentic greatness happening. I say greatness because 3 of the 5 I mentioned, you can put on at a lot of parties and the whole place will lose its collective minds. Mind you, ‘Commas’ is the older of the bunch listed. Beast Mode has Lay Up, Real Sisters, and Peacoat which are the standouts, but the rest of it was just ‘meh’ to me. He can go with the softer turn up that is more predicated to the ladies, but overall it really does vary for a lot of people either if they’re street affiliated, or they just simple enjoy his music because it sounds great in the car and they want to see girls twerk to the music. There is no wrong with that. It’s summer, turn the hell up. 56 Nights brought out the trifecta of No Compadre, March Madness, and Trap Niggas, which by itself I could listen to on rotation more than the entirety of Beast Mode, and that’s just the honest truth. As a whole, it is dope in its entirety.
The real appreciation for Future’s music came the day before I went away to Chicago when I put his projects on my iPod and I rode my bike all the way down to Lake Ontario along the Waterfront Trail. That was possibly one the most effortless but energetic rides I’ve ever done, because the instrumentals pump you up and you just get so energized. I was passing people left and right and enjoying damn near every moment as each pedal rotated. I understand now why people listen to EDM & Trap at the gym, because it gives them that energetic boost to get through their reps and sets. I makes the most amount of sense, and I don’t understand why I didn’t listen to trap earlier, but that’s not the focus here. March Madness is probably my favourite song because it’s pretty much perfect. I could really have it on repeat for an hour or 2 straight with no problem, because I enjoy it that much (apply the pressure with the VVS). I wouldn’t say that I became a full-blown fan out of the fact that I just listened to a bulk of his catalog, but it did get me hyped to listen to Dirty Sprite 2 when it released. The opening hook of the album is “I just fucked your bitch in some Gucci flip-flops, I just had two bitches and I made them lip lock. I just took a piss and I seen codeine coming out, we got Purple Activis I thought it was a drought.” For the fact that to Future knows that his fans want the wild lyrics, that’s as wild as you could imagine to start it off, so that’s partly what made it enjoyable to start. Production plays a major role as to why Future is enjoyable to listen to, and that would be the case for DS2. Now, it wasn’t as hard-hitting as Monster or 56, but it does have its potential hits that you could certainly hear often (Thought It Was A Drought, I Serve The Base, Groupies, Stick Talk, Freak Hoe, Blow A Bag, Colossal, Rich $ex). It has a lone feature from Drake, which many would think would make it an automatic hit, but it really is that track that’s ‘eh, okay what else you got?’ Drake took control of Future’s flow and delivered, that’s not up for debate, but it didn’t feel as impactful as I would have imagined. It was underwhelming, but because I live in Toronto, I’m sure I’ll be hearing it a lot like Meek Mill’s R.I.C.O simply because Drake is on it, that’s just a fact. Rich $ex is one of the best on the album because it’s like an R&B song that just slaps you in the face with the fire production that you would expect PartyNextDoor to bring to the table (he’s the first person to come to mind when I heard this song). The piano in Colossal gives it a classy feel to it, but it switches up the style that I didn’t expect but I thoroughly enjoyed. The Percocet & Stripper Joint was completely not what I expected it to be, because you could give that beat to Ty Dolla Sign, Big Sean or even Drake and it would fit right in their lane, but this is really a good song because of the beat. Let me tell you right now, for all of the ‘what about the lyrics’ contingent that might be reading this. When you were getting crazy to Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz, Lil Scrappy, Ying Yang Twins, and Dem Franchize Boys, I severely doubt that you were listening to them for the content in their lyrics, because they were wild and ratchet. Future is no different from that, so just end your argument right now. No one is looking for him to be a great MC, because that’s not what he’s after. He makes music based on providing a feeling, not to wow you with bars. I’ve accepted that, and that’s why it just makes it easier to get over when you look at the ‘no lyrics’ debate. He has lyrics that connect to those knee-deep in the streets, so tell them he has to lyrical content and you might get slapped. Different strokes for different folks.
DS2 is right behind 56 & Monster as I said before, but it does provide its own necessity of tracks because I found it more on the chill side of the spectrum based on the bulk of projects I became exposed to. This doesn’t make me a spokesperson for all trap music, because that’s definitely not the case. It started with a feeling, lead to dismissal, ventured into curiosity, and now here we are. It’s okay to be fans of the real rap lyrical raw and also be a fan of mindless music that can surely just serve as filler noise. No one will look at you lesser of a person, trust me, it’s not that deep. But this is just my opinion, you have yours. Future is for the people, so bask in the presence. That’s all from me.
“SIPPIN ON LEAN I CAN’T HELP IT IF I TAKE A DRUG TEST NOW I’M GON”
– Future Hendrix/Super Future/Future The Wizard
That’s My Word & It STiXX