On February 6, 2016, Atlanta rapper Future released his fourth studio album EVOL, just 3 weeks after the release of his mixtape Purple Reign, and marks his SIXTH project since the beginning of 2015.
I have a complicated relationship with Future’s music. I’ve never been quite fascinated by his music, which essentially is just autotuned hooks crooned over trap-flavored instrumentals, but I don’t particularly despise his music either. Some of the hooks he’s delivered as a guest on other artists’ records have been enjoyable, like his hooks on the songs “Pain” by Pusha T and “Bugatti” by Ace Hood, and his previous album DS2 had a slightly intriguing musical aesthetic that made it somewhat interesting, but I’ve never really been in love with his music. Other critics seem to see something in his music that I don’t see (DS2 was generally very well received by many other critics).
Strictly lyric-based hip hop fans should know by now to stay far away from Future’s music, because lyrically there isn’t much to any of his previous albums; the same holds true on his new album EVOL, as Future dives into pretty much the same exact lean-influenced, money-driven, braggadocio subject matter and sustains the same subpar lyrical dexterity and diversity he’s rapped with on just about every project of his up to this point. Of course, most people listen to Future’s music for its beats and overall sound, and not really for his lyricism. From a production standpoint, Metro Boomin, Southside, and others of Future’s recurring production team once again follow a very familiar formula, delivering minimal, trap-inspired beats that generally fair pretty well, but overall lack the level of pizzazz and intrigue that highlight some of Future’s most colorfully produced songs (e.g. “March Madness” and “F*ck Up Some Commas”).
To say that this album is mediocre I think would be a little overly disparaging; nevertheless, on EVOL Future is just following the same formula he’s established for several projects now, which has become obnoxiously redundant at this point. Almost everything about the songs on this album seem too familiar. And in that regard, EVOL shows very little ambition by Future from an artistic standpoint; there seems to be little to no versatility, no creative risks, no switched up styles whatsoever. Consistency is often lauded, but in Future’s case, something innovative and refreshing would be nice.
Favorite songs: “Lil Haiti Baby”
Least favorite songs: “Lie to Me”
To support Future, buy his new album EVOL here