Future – HNDRXX
In the past two weeks, hip-hop’s hardest working mumble rapper/singer put out the eponymous Future, which seemed like a return to a harder trap house Future. Most of the record was reminiscent of his more well-known intense songs like F*ck Up Some Commas and Karate Chop. Much of the criticism of the album centres around the fact that it doesn’t appear like the artist has evolved musically.
If Future was about being as gritty as possible and returning to his underground roots, then HNDRXX, the rapper’s sixth studio release, is stylistically the opposite. This project is predominantly an RnB album with some trap aesthetics. The luxurious production on many songs is reminiscent of 90s RnB, with some of the beats possibly paying homage to era heavyweights like Jodeci. It’s undoubtedly radio friendly and the first half of the record is strong and has replay value. Damage, Solo and Coming Out Strong (featuring The Weeknd) are the album’s best tracks. If Future decides to release more radio friendly singles from HNDRXX, rather than harsh turn-up tunes from his previous record, then Fresh Air and Incredible could easily dominate the summer charts.
Truthfully, the lyrical content doesn’t highlight a massive progression from the singer. A recent video from Complex claimed Future can get across profound sentiments in relatively simplistic language. His detractors can still point out that his lyrics consist of references to lean, cars, miscellaneous criminal enterprises and sex. Much of HNDRXX is still very much in the same vein although it delves more into his personal life, but in Future’s defence, even he hasn’t described himself as a lyrical artist.
Where the album begins to fall apart, however, is that unfortunately a large portion of it is filler. From tracks nine to 15, the pacing slows and the rapper doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking. Even a Rihanna collaboration on Selfish, usually an indicator of a chart topper, doesn’t redeem the mediocre quality of the song. Whilst not necessarily terrible, this section of HNDRXX sounds like a knockoff of Drake’s Take Care.
One common thread of criticism about both Future and HNDRXX is that there is too much filler on both projects. Arguably, fans of the hip-hop artist who are disappointed with the cohesiveness of both releases might be better suited cutting out the fat from both albums and making one playlist filled with hits from both.
HNDRXX is released on 24th February 2017, for further information or to order the album visit here.
Listen to the audio for Coming Out Strong here: