Since L.A. Reid’s blocked Future from releasing mixtapes, we’ll never get the double disc tape Super Future/Fire Marshall Future. Hence, the only way the ATLien can feed the streets is through hosting mixtapes for DJs. Last month, the Astronaut Kid was featured prominently on Mike Will Made It’s #MikeWiLLBeenTriLL and DJ Esco’s No Sleep. Both projects displayed what makes him unique: his versatility, songwriting ability, wizardry of Auto-Tune, bombastic outbursts, vulnerability, and brutal honesty. Both projects leave you wanting more Freebandz.
The natural chemistry Future has with Mike Will allows them to try off-kilter production and ideas that most rappers wouldn’t be comfortable attempting. On “Faded” the recently engaged rapper uses his natural voice to stunt on his former women over EDM-inspired synths and booming bass. “Wolf” has the 30-year-old flexing with bars like “Hard times inspired me, concrete, that lion turf/ 45, my iron work, I’m a real nigga, that’s after birth/ Astronaut, and that’s after Earth, scientology, Tom and Kate/ And I know I can whip a cake, and I seen niggas infiltrate/ This fly shit they try to confiscate, as I sit back and I meditate.” By the second verse, it sounds like he’s raging in emotion and about to cry as he describes his conversation with God, falling out with friends, and regretting dropping out of high school.
The highlight of Mike Will’s tape is “Good Kush and Alcohol” which became Lil Wayne’s “Love Me.” Hearing Future on the track solo makes you wonder why he gave the track away — especially when he starts the song saying “I suffered like immigrants now my bitches immigrants/ Young niggas ain’t got remorse they shootin’ at the innocent/ You put in your own work, you reap all your benefits/ You grind til you shed a tear like why I get put here for/ I damn near lost it all/ I had no one to call.”
The tape also showcases Future’s sensitive side on the duet with his fiancée Ciara on “Where You Go” and his collaboration with America’s favorite twerker Miley Cyrus The tape ends with the “Shit Megamix” which is over 11 minutes and features Diddy, Drake, Jeezy, Juicy J, Pastor Troy, T.I., and Schoolboy Q.
No Sleep finds Future Havens back making in the trap making street anthems. The first track on the project is “No Sleep Intro” and Future blacks out, annihilating imitators and foes while throwing subtle shots at Rich Homie Quan, who has been dissing Future on the mixtape circuit. He also possibly rips the Migos with lines like “You talkin’ that rich talk I cooked up with a pitchfork/ Lord forgives me for my sins these niggas need chalk/ Your career already dead before you get on/ Studied my mixtapes, write about my fancy wardrobe/ I embrace niggas, I made you a killer.”
Records like “The Matrix (Back to the Basics)”, “Day One” featuring Yo Gotti, “That the Way the Game Goes” featuring Jim Jones and Young Scooter, and “Fuck You Gone Tell” have Future in full attack mode. Other standouts include “Maison Margiela”; the Grand Theft Auto V featured “How It Was”, “Club on Smash”, and “Dem”. The best song on the project is “How Can I Not” featuring Young Scooter which has Future again addressing the many biters of his style by mentioning in the hook “How can I not take my style back from niggas when niggas was taking my style way before” and taunting them through his verse and singing in his ad-libs.
As his prominence has grown in the industry and in the mainstream, Future still sees the importance of supplying his day one fans who may not enjoy his crossover attempts like “Real and True.” Like most rappers signed to major labels, mixtapes are an outlet where you can express your true artistry without having to make a record catered for the radio. Hopefully on Honest, Future will retain that raw mixtape energy.
ZIP: Mike Will – Mikewillbeentrill (Left-Click)