For music enthusiasts, 2016 is boundless in expectation and anticipated projects, especially for the growing community of trap and hip-hop artists. Once an afterthought for his style, Future released his second project of 2016, EVOL, a couple of weeks after the release of his mixtape Purple Reign. The work is relatively average, with nothing to be excited about, but far from underwhelming. It sounds like it’s a chapter of Future’s whole project, being that it’s the seventh one he’s released in the last year.
The rhythm and lyrics in EVOL are similar to Future’s other works: he ruthlessly mumbles about loyalty to his homies, distrust in women, and the overload of vices and pleasures he enjoys with money. Future has been able to consistently sustain this image, though it becomes repetitive in his music, especially later into the album EVOL. The album opens with “Ain’t No Time”: consistent in melodies, flagrant and flashy lyrics, and an episode of Future’s grunts and soft-voice statements. Southside is able to replicate this production style with “In Her Mouth”.
Future levels up in savagery with the second track “In Her Mouth.” It’s an exciting track,unexpectedly flagrant and reckless. Listeners can’t help but think about Future making catchy phrases about receiving aggressive fellatios from his probation officer. It’s the kind of outlandish content that makes his flow so exquisite. The lyrics match a routine offensiveness in all of Future’s works, shaping his story of self-proclaimed money and experiences when tripping on promethazine. He possesses the talent of entertaining his fans while being extremely flagrant and catchy. Like Migos, he uses offensive catch phrases to explain how foreign sobriety is to his lifestyle and the routines of a savage trapper’s lifestyle. It’s acceptable because the production is well done, leaving margin for the artist to rampage on scenarios that would otherwise be looked down upon, such as salty expressions of stripping women to their physical appearance.
“I get loaded to the ceiling, gotta roll me some bud. I’mma dab inside that backwood, I don’t play with my nose, got some oxycont, some roxy, ‘bout to play with these hoes.” Metroboomin’ makes lyrics like the one from “Xanny Family” acceptable in Future’s music because the production is overwhelmingly good whenever he contributes. With a heavy gothic-rap input on the overall track, Metro Boomin’ has a way to energize tracks with sudden smashes that disrupt the rhythm in a gracious and ‘dabful’ manner.
Tracks four through six are the club bangers of the album. “Xanny Family” and “Photo Copied” are a lot more up-tempo, but the consistency in flagrancy is why Future makes the songs enticing, and not just Metro Boomin’s production.
Many consider Future to be a heavyweight force in the hip-hop industry right now. While in the spotlight, Future should consider other ways to market his art. It’s okay to be caught up in the fortress of women and spree of drugs available due to the success of this artistry, but too much can also take the spotlight away from Future. By continuing to release albums at the convenience of listeners, he’s wasting time to put together a better overall album. Instead, listeners get the same product until something new poises the trap industry.
Future’s last studio album, DS2, is his best album to date. 18-tracks of trap-hood politics and vile content about everything you could imagine, Future tells his story of a fortress of drugs and strippers by being brutally honest and extra derogatory. The album got Future a lot of attention from the general listener because the palettes of instrumentals and lyrics were bump-worthy throughout. Listening to the album, listeners can picture Future donning some Gucci flip-flops, in a room full foreign models and thugs with Percocet on the table and blunts in rotation.
EVOL sounds like the leftover drugs from the DS2 trip. The album starts of really good with up-tempo Metroboomin’ and Southside collaborations making for dark-goth rap infused with grunting and explicit content from Future. By track 8, the hype surrounding the early tracks eventually runs out. “Lie to Me” is weak, both in production and what Future brings to the table. The thought behind his lyrics are out of the ordinary. Future calls out a bunch of women who look out for him, almost as if he wants to get acknowledgement from a lover not named in his song. “Program” is another track, meaningless to the album. Listeners heckle the fact that Future points out evol is love backwards.
Whether EVOL garners more hype because of Future’s growing brand, the album was average. The flows were effortless, much like the cover art, which is bland and a rip-off from the What a Time to Be Alive concept, which had a small bundle of tightly-produced hits. Future needs to take his time for his next studio work, and put out a banger to follow up WATTBA and DS2. His image does not hinge on a platinum record, given that EVOL was solid, but Future should invest more thought into his messages in his verses, and have his DJ, Esco, and Metroboomin to handle all production. Perhaps more collaboration tracks will allow Future to keep his verses shorter and flagrant as ever.