Josh Grissom | Rawr
Music fans awoke Jan. 17 to find an unexpected release by rising hip hop artist Future, which seemingly appeared overnight with little initial promotion by the artist.
The timing of the release was ironic, based on Future’s vocal criticisms of Russell Wilson for his relationship with Future’s ex-fiancé, and the fact that the Seattle quarterback had been eliminated from the playoffs that very day.
No matter the reason, many listeners could not pass up the opportunity for free music, and neither could I.
The mixtape, produced by Metro Boomin and entitled “Purple Reign,” consists of 13 experimental tracks that possess little guest features. Overall, the production serves as a solo journey as Future surveys his position on top of the rap game.
However, “Purple Reign” is not a compilation of narcissistic tracks about shiny, material things. Instead, the mixtape serves as a self-reflection, as the 32-year-old artist takes an honest look at his life.
The compilation begins with the pulsating, twangy beat of “All Right,” as Future excessively belts out an extended chorus. This song presents itself as the stereotypical hip hop mixtape track, composed of a subpar beat and littered with DJ promotions.
Future follows with an up-tempo pace for “Wicked,” which serves as the hidden gem of the mixtape. The track has tremendous beat and utilizes several strong verses from the rapper, which makes it feel as though it had just missed the cut on his last album.
Despite the strength of “Wicked,” it feels as though Future could not come up with a proper chorus. Instead, the rapper constantly mumbles the word “Wicked,” which detracts from the overall appeal of the song.
The self-reflection for Future begins with the track “Drippin (How U Luv That).” On the outside, the track appears to be another track boasting of cars and jewelry. But a deeper look at the lyrics shows that Future only raps about the foreign sports cars and designer clothing as a way to impress the women in his life.
The general consensus on Twitter is that the highlight track of “Purple Reign” is “Inside the Mattress,” and it’s easy to see why. Future discusses the gritty aspects of the street over a strong and consistent beat.
Although I find the track an enjoyable experience and a solid production, I feel as though it lacks the extra kick that would take it to the next level.
“Salute” is a unique track in which Future raps confidently over a lullaby-like beat that seems to twinkle rhythmically in the background. Although the lyrics are brash and overly-confident, Future talks about his rise from the streets to the lucrative career he now has.
Perhaps Future’s most underrated track of the mixtape is “Perkys Calling.” The rapper mournfully wails on the track about substance abuse, and how he can consistently feel the addiction to prescription drugs.
The track is complimented nicely by powerful piano keystrokes and a slow beat, which helps to portray the almost-regretful mood of the rapper.
As a whole, the mixtape is a solid effort by the star rapper, but it falls short when compared to Future’s official album releases.
Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars.