Future FUTURE

Future FUTURE
8
Future can be polarizing: You either love or hate him, without much middle ground.
 
But, as evidenced by an impeccable string of releases, he's stumbled onto the winning formula for concocting bangers, like a hip-hop version of the professor from The Powerpuff Girls when he accidentally added Chemical X to his mixture.
 
FUTURE, the surprise (and featureless) fifth studio album from Future Hendrix — and slightly brighter follow-up to last year's EVOL — has a little something for everyone peppered across its 17 songs. It's a delightful mixture of ignorance, opulence, sadness, remorse, pettiness and some open-book truths on the life of a one-time ATL drug dealer-turned-superstar.
 
From the jump, Future stays well within his comfort zone, seemingly clowning Scottie Pippen on the Chef Tate/DJ Khaled-produced "Rent Money" with lines like, "I make the blogs with ya bitch cause I'm ruthless." After ripping Desiigner on the outro to "Zoom," he hits us with the official first single "Draco," whose repetitive hook and insistent, sparkling beat give it easy, no-brainer whip appeal.
 
It's records like "Feds Did a Sweep," though, that open him up and move the music beyond partying and into more contemplative territory. The album's tone seems to that rawness midway through, after the gorgeous flutes of "Mask Off" (which Twitter unanimously — and rightly — declared one of the biggest records on the LP).
 
With exciting production that features his usual cast of ATL tastemakers who are (in some cases) paired with surprising co-producers like Jake One and !llmind, Future has crafted an opus full of bangers. So, while he doesn't break much new creative ground, there's a lot to love about FUTURE. (A1/Freebandz/Epic)