Back to Basics: Future’s Monster

Dan Adu-Gyamfi wants some more.  2014 was supposed to be the year Future reached superstardom. His second album, Honest, dropped in April to critical acclaim but the hits and sales compared to...
By    November 7, 2014
Dan Adu-Gyamfi wants some more. 

2014 was supposed to be the year Future reached superstardom. His second album, Honest, dropped in April to critical acclaim but the hits and sales compared to Pluto were lacking. Meanwhile, as his stock in the mainstream fell and the lane he created four years ago was officially taken over by Young Thug, his engagement to the princess of Crunk&B was called off. The break-up seemed to reinvigorate the Astronaut Kid as he decided to go back to his roots and release his seventh solo mixtape, Monster.

“Future is genius, man. A lot of people don’t understand that even though he’s in the trap world, he’s a genius in that genre. You have to watch him work. He does all of that stuff off the top. He will tell you that he did “Tony Montana,” “Racks,” and “Turn off the Lights” all in one night. It’s amazing to watch. I look up to Future, he’s like a hood Prince. Not the artist Prince, but the lineage of a king. And I know his background. He’s authentic,” said Andre 3000 to Vibe.

The Freebandz captain is a skilled songwriter who has written some of the best love songs of the decade, but as his fellow Dungeon Family comrade noted, Future Hendrix is at his best when he’s in trap mode. The Lil Mexico native sounds like he’s trying to prove himself again and remains in beast mode throughout the project.

The record begins with an intro in which media personalities like Sway, Wendy Williams and Ebro from Hot 97 are used to chronicle the year Future’s been through so far. “Radical” is the first song which begins with the space cadet growling as if he’s letting his sprit animal out and proceeds to go into a lean-induced, rapid-fire flow on a bombastic Metro Boomin beat. Future seems more boisterous than ever he claims outrageous things throughout the record like dying his hair blonde because he’s bougie, how he has no conscious due to selling crack to his own aunt, waiting for his girl to come back from church so that she can give him fellatio immediately, bragging about how his grandmother used to sell drugs for him and having his enemy’s infant son sitting on a brick of cocaine.

“Throw Away,” the centerpiece of the project, is a song half-dedicated to hoes that can be easily replaced. During the second half, the beat slows down and Future, sounding heartbroken, says, “Deep down, I believe you know you’re a monster too.” Future proceeds to bring out his elite sad robot abilities, basically confessing his infidelity to Ciara and the fact that he still thinks about her when he’s with other women. The ATLien doesn’t reveal his emotions much on this project but when he does delve into his heart. There are few who can match the vulnerability displayed on “My Savages”, the ode to his homies behind bars, or “Hardly”, which is dedicated to the late rapper OG Double D.

The only feature on Monster come from Lil Wayne, who mails in another mediocre verse on “After That.” The project has the best producers in trap music like Metro Boomin, who executive produced the project, Southside, TM-88, Nard & B, DJ Spinz, and Will-A-Fool presenting the soundscapes to allow Super Future to continue experimenting with new flows, cadences and ideas.

Compared to Honest, Monster is a more cohesive project without industry forced features or love songs. Plenty of Future’s core fans felt alienated by songs like “I Won”, but he will win them back with this free offering.

Ultimately, this project illustrates that Mr. Cash is at a crossroads. He will have to decide whether he wants to attempt survival in the mainstream or go back to basics. For now, it appears he’s chosen the latter. Good choice.   

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