Review [Highlights]: Future, ‘Honest’


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Future’s second album proves to be much better than expected 

Future • Honest • Epic • US Release Date: April 22, 2014

Future2-20131113-55I’ll give credit where credit is due – Atlanta MC Future has stepped up his game on his second major label LP, Honest. That doesn’t mean that the content is the deepest ever (it’s not), but arguably better than Pluto, Future establishes his artistic niche. Still a divisive MC at best (or contemporary R&B artist or however you wish to classify him), at least on Honest you know where Ciara’s fiancé stands. After recently finishing penning a review of Honest elsewhere, I’ll briefly rundown three highlights.

Move That Dope” was definitely a favorite, even though its theme of selling drugs definitely lacks substance – well emotionally connecting substance that is. Still, it’s hard to deny that Future and a posse including Pusha T, Pharrell Williams (rapping mind you), and Casino are on autopilot. Future initiates the high-flying cut on verse one spitting “…Movin’ them squares and them bales, servin’ the rawest of the yayo / beating that china like Kunta Kinte / whippin’ it, whippin’ that fish and Parkay / drinkin’ on syrup, I’m rolling up good”. Pusha T, known for his rhymes referencing dope is right at home (“Woo! Fishscale in the two-door that I fish-tails…”) while Pharrell manages to drop a references to ‘doubling up’ (“If you got two hos, you need to let one go / two Lambos, you need to let one go). Casino isn’t outdone either, glorifying the drug-game. Add Mike Will Made It’s sick production, and “Move That Dope” golden.

Previously, I reviewed single “I Won”, featuring Kanye West (sub-titled “Future Continues Relying on Autotune on Latest Single “I Won). I summed up the single as follows:

Ultimately, it isn’t all/that bad considering who Future is artistically, but it certainly doesn’t supplant edgier rap that eschews the effect, nor does it supplant a good ole contemporary R&B joint. Still, to each his own is the best way to deliver the verdict about “I Won”. Some will like it, while others will proclaim “That’s that sh*t I don’t like” (“I Don’t Like”, Chief Keef). Personally, my opinion is somewhere in the middle. 

Future-20131113-56Essentially, I rated “I Won” as good, though not necessarily great. Contextually within Honest, the single has grown on me. While it is still quite abrupt for Future to go from calling his boo “a trophy” to “Get to f*ckin’ on the dresser just to make that p*ssy wetter”, the song is enjoyable. Kanye Wests references to “Bound 2” (“My trophy on that Bound bike, I gave you only pipe”), one of the best tracks from Yeezus, adds an extra cleverness. Maybe one wishes to barf a bit given his dedication to Kim Kardashian on his guest verse, but that’s his prerogative and his woman/baby mama when it’s all said and done. “I Won” may have won me over, or at least earned another full or half-star, LOL.

The final top-echelon highlight from Honest features an MC even crazier than Future – André 3000. “Benz Friendz (Whatchutola)” is nothing short of a trip. The hook is self-explanatory ultimately: “I told that b*tch I don’t give a f*ck about Benz, b*tch…and I don’t want no b*tch who need to have that kind of friendship / I told that b*tch I don’t give a f*ck about a Lamb, ho… and I don’t want no b*tch who need that kind of n***a, scram ho.” If for some reason André 3000 didn’t break it down enough for you on the explicit but compelling hook, him and his buddy Future don’t want a gold digger. And to use Kanye West’s former number one hit “Gold Digger” (even though he “ain’t saying she a gold digger…”), “…She ain’t messing with no broke n***as…” Well produced and electrifying to listen to ultimately, “Benz Friendz” is definitely at the top of Future’s work to this point.

Other tracks appeal as well including “T-Shirt” (“Strippers, money, weed, young Future I promote it…”), “Never Satisfied” featuring Drake (“Time after time after time / money’s all I get and there’s still money on my mind / but I ain’t never satisfied…”), and on the deluxe version, “Karate Chop (Remix)”, featuring Lil Wayne’s controversial Emmett Till reference. There are no gargantuan deal breakers, even though “Special” (featuring Young Scooter) runs long. Don’t call it a masterpiece, but Honest is definitely stronger than expected.

Favorites:

“T-Shirt”; “Move That Dope” ft. Pusha T, Pharrell Williams & Casino; “I Won” ft. Kanye West; “Benz Friendz (Whatchutola)” ft. André 3000; “Karate Chop (Remix)” ft. Lil Wayne

Verdict: ★★★½

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