Highlights: Future, ‘HNDRXX’


★★★½

Future, HNDRXX © EpicFuture returns with a second surprise project, ‘HNDRXX.’  ‘HNDRXX’ features two guest artists: The Weeknd and Rihanna. 

Future has quickly elevated himself as one of the hottest rappers in the game. In 2015, he achieved his breakout moment with his best album DS2.  Since then, he’s dropped project after project, and collaborated with numerous artists.  In 2017, he’s dropped two albums of yet – Future (February 17) and most recently, HNDRXX (February 24). Like Future, HNDRXX is chocked-full of future, running just shy of 70 minutes in length.  Super Future indeed!

“My Collection”

“My Collection” initiates HNDRXX moodily. Compared to the banger “Rent Money” from Future, “My Collection” is more cool, calm, and collected.  This is a stark contrast. Even with lighter, cooler production backing him, not to mention mellower rhymes, Future remains shallow.  The hook says it all:

“Any time I Got you, girl you my possession / Even if I hit you once, you part of my collection.”

“Comin Out Strong”

The Weeknd joins Future on the flex-fest “Comin Out Strong.”  This is notable because Future lacked any collaborations – a lot of Future with little variety.  From the jump, his secret weapon is unveiled, finding The Weeknd delivering a beautiful verse and chorus. For The Weeknd, this is like “Reminder” 2.0. Future saves the last two verses for himself, drenched in autotune.  To his credit, he doesn’t employ his usual brand of mumble rap – he’s decipherable. Like his partner-in-crime, he flexes his muscles.

“Damage”

“I ain’t had sex in a whole week / Just so you can get to know me.”

Oh Future. Aside from his selflessly shallow lyric, “Damage” sounds like nothing else that’s graced a Future album lately.  The record features more urban contemporary cues, featuring vocals from Detail on the simple, yet catchy hookWhile the production has some of the expected, southern rap cues, there is enough variance to make the song sound distinct, or somewhat distinct.

“Use Me”

“Use Me” is one of the more experimental tracks the rapper has bestowed upon listeners.  It opens mysteriously – quite spacey before establishing some rhythm and stability.  Once he begins rapping on the verses, it’s more pop-rap as opposed to straight rhymes.  What’s interesting about the track is how melodic it is.  Future drops a killer line on the second verse that’s sure to resonate:

“I feel like Pink Floyd with the lean out.”

“Turn on Me”

“Turn on Me” gives HNDRXX a lift, thanks to its oxymoronic production work.  “Turn on Me” packs a punch, but at times the percussion is lighter, giving it an airy – wait for it – VIBE.  No worries, as dope and sex remain front and center on the rapper’s radar.  Don’t call “Turn on Me” poetic, but it’s one of the better moments on HNDRXX. 

“Selfish”

Speaking of elite moments, “Selfish” brings the second big-name guest to HNDRXXRihanna.  Expectedly, Rihanna provides a lift, with her distinct vocal timbre perfectly suited for this hip-hop/pop/urban contemporary combination.  “Selfish” is odd AF, but it’s also intriguing AF.  Go figure.  This is a potential hit for Future…potentially.

“Solo” 

Penultimate joint “Solo” has a hypnotic quality – it sucks you in.  Somewhat laid back, the charm is undeniable.  Compared to the hard-hitting FUTURE, a track like “Solo” shows how potent the rapper can be without being incredible forceful. 

Final Thoughts 

Like FUTURE arriving a week ahead of it, HNDRXX is a big, lengthy album.  Even so, arguably, HNDRXX is more well-rounded.  It still possesses its fair share of flaws, but Future shows more versatility.  He still needs to expand his concepts – there’s more to rhyme about than sex, drugs, and money – but there’s more variation.  Likely, some will enjoy the gentler sentiments of this album, while others will prefer the edgier FUTURE.

Gems: “My Collection,” “Comin Out Strong,” “Damage,” “Use Me,” “Turn on Me,” “Selfish” & “Solo”  

Future • HNDRXX • Epic • Release: 2.24.17
Photo Credit: Epic
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