Published Apr 22, 2014When Future released his debut album, Pluto, in 2012, rap music was picking up the remnants of T-Pain's auto-tuned legacy, celebrating the big city strip club scenes and still telling the tales of the dopeboy. Fast-forward two years and Future's sonic blueprint has been employed from coast to coast, making now the time for the ATL artist to reveal a new chapter in his life with Honest.
Sampling Santigold's hook from Amadou and Mariam's "Dougou Badia," Honest opens with "Look Ahead," an unexpectedly guitar-driven single that channels Future's hunger. The title track "Honest" celebrates the fruits of his labour, and even in the face of heavyweight features from the likes of Pusha T, Pharrell and Lil Wayne, Future sounds secure enough not only to run with the best, but also to remain the star of the song; He even comes on par with Andre 3000 on "Benz Friends (Whatchutola)," a track that breaks his signature digital sound and revels in Mr. DJ production.
Despite their success in the clubs, the Mike WiLL Made It-produced "Move That Dope" and "Never Satisfied" fall flat between the echoing rippling of the Wiz Khalifa-featuring "My Momma" and Sonny Digital's "Covered N Money." Future's soaring producer-relationship with Metro Boomin, which pushed "Karate Chop (Remix)" into fame, also appears on the romanticized "How Can I Not" and the Kanye West-featuring "I Won."
Future Hendrix also reveals a newfound sense of spirituality on "I Be U," while the Boi-1da produced "Blood, Sweat, Tears" brings the album to a close with an honest reflection on Future's musical triumphs.
Honest demonstrates Future's keen ear for production, as well as a sense of realism hidden between braggadocio lyrics, club hooks and reverberating production. By all accounts, Honest reveals that Future's music was never a "right place, right time" story, but one that's unique and has staying power. (Epic/Freebandz)