Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Future

  • Pluto [Epic, 2012] **
  • Honest [Epic, 2014] **
  • Monster [mixtape download, 2014] B+
  • 56 Nights [mixtape download, 2015] *
  • DS2 (Deluxe Edition) [Epic, 2015] A-

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Pluto [Epic, 2012]
The truth is, his Auto-Tuned flow has more future in it than his intermittently interplanetary rhymes ("Turn on the Light," "Permanent Scar") **

Honest [Epic, 2014]
Born pop-rap journeyman benefits mightily from genius help ("Benz Friends [Whatchutola]," "I Won") **

Monster [mixtape download, 2014]
Released shortly after Honest failed to catapult Atlanta's solidest trap-pop hope into a Jingle Baller and longer after babymama Ciara started saving it for a Christian quarterback, this mixtape doesn't bother with radio-friendly. Far from it. Before it sinks slowly into the generic, it justifies openers claiming "Radical" and "Monster" with a five-track sequence that begins with the club hit "Fuck Up Some Commas," ends with the outrageously catchy "2 Pac," scoops up a fine Lil Wayne 16 along the way, and never tops "Throw Away," a truer love song for Ciara than any hook machine he'd hoped would cross over: "I came home last night to a menage/Got my dick sucked I was thinking about you/I was fucking on a slut and I was thinking about you/When you're fucking another nigga I hope you're thinking about me." Actually painful. Strong like pop so seldom is. Vulnerable like pop so seldom is too. B+

56 Nights [mixtape download, 2015]
Sprung from his Dubai lockup, DJ Esco enlists 808 Mafia to arouse Fewtch from one of his many insensate stupors ("Trap Niggas," "March Madness") *

DS2 (Deluxe Edition) [Epic, 2015]
A hypnotic, slow-motion trap-life tone poem that turns on two tells: "I just fucked your bitch in some Gucci flip-flops" to set the mood and "Best thing I ever did was fall out of love" to rationalize it. Not that the departed Ciara is first cause of Future's beat-steeped lassitude. First cause is he's a junkie, addicted to the liquid scag crack magnates and FruityLoops prodigies mix with carbonated beverages so as to forget their demons--and believe that Future mentions "hell" and "the devil" more than your average syrup sipper. Does his life ever not sound like fun. I'm sure he fucks a lot, as in the echoing Metro Boomin' showpiece "Groupies" or the semiconscious "The Stripper and Percocet Joint." But does he come? Opiates, after all, are notoriously anorgasmic, and while he does once resort to the term "make love," the porn tracks are long on domination and athletic ability and the exception is "Rich Sex," about the special frisson of coitus with your chains on. In another inconsistency--he is large, he fucks up commas--one song does insist, "I'm just enjoying my life." And no doubt many of his poor fans believe him. But I don't. If only our deluded nation took hip-hop seriously, this miserable minor masterpiece would be all the proof we needed that money can't buy happiness. A-