Future - HNDRXX


Future - HNDRXX

8/10

Future endures because his music is a dedicated exercise in progressive revelation. After he exposed his core too readily on Honest, and wasn't praised for it, he retreated sharply back into his shell, drowning in reverb-soaked trap beats and Syrup. On each subsequent project he's offered another tiny piece to the puzzle, always coated in either violence or uninhibited, drug-fuelled expression. While plenty of trappers rap about addiction, Future is mysterious enough to keep the entire world interested in his vices. He beds women in the upper echelon of the music world, and his story is now inescapably linked to that of Russell Wilson, making Future relevant in the sporting world as well. Yet he reveals so little... Even in his more open interviews, notably with The Breakfast Club and recently the interminably awful Zane Lowe, he retreats behind his shades and offers only the smallest glimpse into his personal life, focusing instead on the music and his recording process. He talks endlessly about being connected to his fans, but who can honestly say they know Future?

HNDRXX is likely his best project since Honest (which I felt was incredible, I know the press disagreed). His second album in 2 weeks, it's less catchy than Future but a lot deeper. While he rapped heavily on his previous record, here he drops back into his comfort zone, crooning in a voice that may not even require auto-tune anymore, and coaxing melody from the unlikeliest of places. The only time he doesn't sound unique is "Fresh Air", which may (or may not) take some inspiration from the flow Dej Loaf has been pioneering lately. He also drops the line of 2017 so far on opener "My Collection", rapping "Even if I hit you once, you part of my collection". It's a callous statement that takes attention away from some incredibly personal and insecure musings:

I don't know how you would feel about if I ain't have millions, yeah
I'm conversin' with you, I hope you hear me, yeah
 And these codeine habits ain't got nothin' to do with my lil' child
Technically I never packed up and leave
Left 80 racks in the dresser, you can keep
There are similar gems dotted all over the record. Unfortunately, the generic collaboration with Rihanna, "Selfish", is the low point of the entire record. It also sounds like a carbon copy of another pop song, I just can't put my finger on it.  Future gathers it all back on the disquieting closer "Sorry", a Metro Boomin and CuBeatz collaboration that may be the most accurate and Future-esque beat of all time. An off-tune sample that sounds like something The Caretaker would craft, a piano riff worthy of Zaytoven, and Future digging deep and finding pain, suffering, and rampant escapism. This is exactly why we keep getting dragged into his world; he's rich, famous, and draped in all designer, but at the core he suffers like you and I. The more he reveals, the more intriguing the story gets.

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