In an age of ADHD-level attention spans, prolific artists are a boon for diehard fans. Atlanta rapper Future used three mixtapes and one album in a 10-month span to reboot his career in brilliant fashion between 2014 and 2015, and hasn’t staunched the flow since. The hallmarks of his ice-cold persona are all over this surprise release: the thousand-yard-stare voice that ratchets up tension by forging relentlessly through dramatic beats, as on Poppin’ Tags and Rent Money; the hypnotic, burrowing details in beats such as Zoom’s eerie rubble and Scrape’s insistent “skrrt-skrrt” backing vocal. But his discography is starting to feel diluted: there are also swathes of rote filler, such as Might As Well and Mask Off, and as a body of work, this album is neither an elevation over nor an advancement of his stream of recent material. At this point, merely shoring up his personal brand with scattered highlights means that Future is stuck in a holding pattern.
Alex Macpherson is a freelance journalist who writes for The Guardian, New Statesman, Metro, Fact and Attitude. He distracts himself by checking tennis results, attending street dance classes and trawling for new music in the name of research