future_LEAD

Future’s sophomore album Honest is exactly what the title implies, a forthcoming and open look at one of raps most celebrated stars. Within its lavishly decorated walls are portraits that depict his soul down to the very core. It’s just a shame that once there, all that exists is an empty, shallow, imitation of a man who is at best mildly talented. There’s no question that he’s being himself, but when that version of self is mired in dead weight and weather beaten tropes then, well, what remains is a product that is as over hyped and preemptively celebrated as Ishtar.

Future comes from a rich pedigree, the Dungeon Family, responsible for making names like Andre Benjamin and Cee-Lo Green household to even the most sheltered rap fan. But apparently talent skips a generation. It’s not a matter of substance, a guy like Future is content riding the rails of superstardom, which means being as mundane and boring as humanly possible. The question is whether or not the product measures up against his contemporaries, and the answer – for those with a discerning ear – is clear. If this is the Future, then the future is unbearably bleak.

Look Ahead

Bold and ambitious with a distinct Black Hollywood style embedded in its heart, yet amidst all that orchestrated hype are a set of lyrics that are about as interesting as a giant slab of concrete. The beat is a Diplo knockoff and following suite is your predictable outcry of familiar rap humdrumming:

"Look Ahead"

T-Shirt

With a deluge of annoyingly chippy hi-hats and a thooming bassline that goes nowhere, Future opens his arms and embraces mediocrity in all its glory. Instead of rapping – which involves inflection and cadence – he douses his verse in auto-tune, masking his inability to string together a coherent thought:

"T-Shirt"

Move That Dope

In this Matrix inspired beat, Neo opts for the blue pill instead of the red – the synthesized world being more suitable for his tastes. His boasting and bragging about selling drugs is so embarrassingly primitive in detail that an inquisitive mind can’t help but question the authenticity: [LISTEN]

"Move That Dope"

My Momma

Cheap orchestrations and a slathering of auto tune does not make a hit, nor does it allow a halfwit credence to compare himself to a cultural icon – one who dismissed the type of self-jubilation going on here. Lyrically, it’s another flaying limb, relying on style over substance to do the talking:

"My Momma"

Honest

Now that Future is being honest, the hope is that he’ll finally admit he worked this song like an 8th grade science project. In other words he put it off until the last minute, and just threw something together to avoid an “F.” The less is more concept is not working, which is bad news for his album.

"Honest"

I Won

Two glacial egos collide in an attempt to honor the esteemed women in their lives. It’s a hard sell as it’s one of the most objectifying songs to come out in some time. But still, the message is fairly clear. We now just have to wait until the honeymoon phase is over to laugh and say I told you so:

"I Won"

Never Satisfied

What is it about lame duck rappers stating the obvious in their hooks. They take the most flimsy beat – in this case one that sounds exactly the same as the previous ones – and slap on one pleonastic line after another expecting it to fly up the charts. Any drunk with a computer can do the same:

"Never Satisfied"

I Be U

The hollowed out Life Aquatic beat allows a little time for some self-reflection. It’s just a shame that the person staring back is a complete and total homer. He’s trying to spit game, but without the jewels and diamonds his words are about as enticing as a colonoscopy: [LISTEN]

"I Be U"

Covered N Money

Constructed of spare parts and table scraps, the beat is a dish pulled right out of Old Country Buffet. There’s an air of familiarity in that it’s the blueprint for nearly every mainstream rap song. Don’t bother looking to the lyrics for salvation, all you’ll find is dry land and plague: [LISTEN]

"Covered N Money"

Special

Blee, blorps, and blops are the perfect intro for a song that makes about as much sense as the “poke” button on Facebook. Here he is calling out someone for not being special when it’s him who’s suffering from creative poverty. It’s unreal how he’s trying to pass this off as rap, an absolute nightmare:

"Special"

Benz Friendz

Amnesia settles in as he condemns the things he spent a whole album praising. Even with the Midas touch of Andre Benjamin, this one falters in ways that make this entire enterprise seem like a two-bit operation. The gag is that he was able convince Epic to sign over a big fat check in his name:

"Benz Friendz"

Blood, Sweat, Tears

The one opportunity he has to be candid he wastes it by regurgitating the same catch phrase over and over again. Without any variety, it falls dead center of mediocrity. It’s an appropriate sendoff that’ll etch it into the history books as of one of the most over hyped albums in the past decade:

"Blood, Sweat, Tears"