“Look like I stepped on the runway / they try to tell me to calm down / peep how I came in the game and I started rocking that Tom Ford.” Sigh, there’s nothing more intriguing than an unlikely star, and that’s exactly what Future has become. 2015 was a breakout year for the rapper who looks to keep the momentum rolling in 2016. Does he get the job done with surprise album EVOL? For the most part, he picks up where DS2 and What A Time Be Alive left off.
The aforementioned quote hails from opener “Ain’t No Time,” which sets the tone for EVOL much like “Thought It Was Drought” would for DS2. Much like Future’s songs as of late, he raps over repetitive, minimalist production oozing with maliciousness and slinky in sound. Is he spitting anything truly profound? – No. Despite this, it’s hard not to get sucked into the hypnotizing quality of this joint.
“In Her Mouth” leaves little to the imagination given its title, but once again Future manages to charm the listener stylistically as opposed to touting depth (“I’m tryna f*** the DA lady in her mouth though / Hit some RB s**t on the jet though…”). It’s all flex-fest, and it continues once more on the hypnotic, slickly produced “Maybach.”
“Xanny Family” finds Future continuing on the carefree pathway of hip-hop culture excess aka drugs and sex. What’s the best way to characterize “Xanax Family”? It’s an orgy capture via song. Many will point the judgmental finger at the MC, but at this juncture in his career, this is Future at his more “Futuristic,” for lack of a better characterization.
He doesn’t slow down on standout “Lil Haiti Baby,” where a $30,000 watch is essential and he takes so many pills he admits “I feel my head explodin’.” It’s irresponsible yet nearly as addictive as the demons which Future so freely spits about. “Photo Copied” isn’t quite as great, but the shot he makes towards ex Ciara is blatant, in reference to being a “Born-Again virgin” (“I know you ain’t saving that… / you know somebody play in that…”). OUCH!
Future likens himself to God on “Seven Rings,” once more embracing god status. Whether Future’s confidence should be considered respectable or should be admonished, as arrogant and cocky, one has to ask, would God partake of dirty sprite (“Sippin’ out my cup, hell no, don’t you taste that / Hundred percent chance I done doped up and laced that…”)?
Four more to go! On “Lie To Me,” Future proclaims himself to be a “boss” – with a colorful expletive for emphasis. Over its course, Future raps about his status, sex, and most interesting takes a shot at another rapper: “Tell that lil n***a to stay in his place before I expose you / you take one shot at me, you know that’ll cause an explosion / never fight the hand that feeds you, n***a.” Well now… On “Program” Future is um, confident to say the least: “Obama on my line / what’s the program?” Swag?
Future indeed is a “low life” on “Low Life” (featuring The Weeknd), where he seems to speak about the irresponsible excesses of the hip-hop life in celebratory fashion. Give him credit for one brief moment on closer “Fly S**t Only” when he spits, “Maybe one day I’mma get out the drank…” Yeah, that’s probably a good idea Future …just saying!
Ultimately, EVOL should appeal to Future fans, particularly those who consider DS2 to be his best work. Is EVOL as great as DS2? Not quite considering DS2 had more hits, but the EVOL isn’t far off either. Again, if depth is the hip-hop listener’s lane, EVOL won’t cut it. But if you accept Future for who he is and his repetitive, drug-infested brand of rap, then EVOL should please you.
Favorites: “In Her Mouth,” “Xanny Family,” “Lil Haiti Baby” and “Low Life”
Future • EVOL • Epic • Release Date: 2.5.16