The Future obsession is in full swing, and the question that many have is simply, "Why?" I have the answer because I'm a Future fan.
I remember downloading his discography years ago based off of hearing "Magic" for the first time. I remember listening to Astronaut Status and calling up a buddy to tell him he was the future, pun completely intended. I remember being slightly disappointed by Honest, more disappointed by his Miley Cyrus collab and extremely disappointed by the original Dirty Sprite, and it's still his worst project to date. And yet, I could not be more excited for Dirty Sprite 2.
I'm far from alone, lately it feels like the entire internet is buzzing for Dirty Sprite 2 (pun intended again). I can't go more than five minutes online without seeing Future's name. It's only been a couple weeks since Yoh wrote about him, and yet the conversation surrounding him has grown exponentially in the interim. He's as omnipresent on Twitter feeds and the blogosphere as he is at every party, event and social gathering right now. It's a perfect crossroads of Internet worship and street presence, and whether it's the quality of the music or the irony of the situation that's propelling the hype, no one seems to be sure. I certainly love the music, but I am also a reasonable human being that understands it cannot be the music alone. The only certainty is that people are listening.
His three most recent projects have achieved a near-mythical reverence. They may seem like basic Atlanta trap music, but are more accurately cohesive, cinematic experiences. Monster, Beast Mode and 56 Nights have not only marked his resurgence as an artist, they have propelled him to maybe the hottest rapper in the game right now and have become essential pieces in the present-day spectrum of rap-pop culture. His "Like I Never Left" documentary videos have become required viewing, with fans salivating over every album snippet. As a lifelong hip-hop fan, I can't remember ever witnessing a comparable amount of conversation over 15-second audio clips.
I understand it's difficult for many to comprehend the sudden obsession with Future's music. More traditional minds (*cough* elitists *cough*) are mystified by him. He's not a traditional rapper just as he's not a traditional singer. His music defies logic, the shallowness of his content matched only by the emotion in his delivery. He achieves a signature atmosphere in his music that draws you into his world and his mindset. He's in a boat made of Xanax, floating down a river of lean towards a seemingly hopeless destination, pulling us into the boat alongside him to revel in the depravity. For many, music is an escape through which a happier place can be found, and yet Future leads us headfirst into the darkness.
Sometime after ending his relationship with Ciara and in the wake of disappointing album sales for Honest, Future seems to have reached an artistic epiphany. He's hit a zone where he can't seem to miss, and yet the explanation seems to escape all logical thought. Someone asked me whether his new music was different from his older material, and whether that was the reason why everyone seems to now be taking notice. I wasn't sure how to respond, as on paper it would seem to hit all the same categories. It is different though, of that I'm sure. As a listener and as a fan, it feels different. Maybe it's been enhanced by the sudden and collective interest of the public, the "mob mentality" if you will, but hey, I'm part of the mob, so that's fine with me.
In the time since Monster's release, Future has toured with Drake, found a home on Jay Z's coveted Tidal playlist and become an internet deity. Also, it may seem a strange distinction, but the fact that his fanbase now has a label seems like it's a bigger deal than many are making it. You know you've made it when you've reached such a level, and right now the #FutureHive is fully buzzing. I believe Meek Mill, whose recent collaboration with Future was perhaps the highlight of his album, best described the ATL hitmaker's sudden obsessive popularity best, "He’s just a trill nigga that be talking that trill shit and I like it." That may not help those unfamiliar to understand any better, but it's the best reason there is.
The real test will be in effect later this week, when DS2 becomes available for purchase. Either the commercial support for the album will live up to its preceding hype, and prove that the chatter and buzz was indeed legitimate, or sales will prove disappointing, lending credence to the naysayers who believe the hype is nothing more than the internet's propensity for funny memes and elevating false celebrity status. One thing is for certain, Future is too busy making music and fucking up commas to care, and I'm too busy listening to care much either.
Dirty Sprite 2 is slated to drop Friday, July 17. The tracklist is below, pre-order the album here.
1. Thought It Was A Drought
2. I Serve the Base
3. Where Ya At feat. Drake
5. Lil One
6. Stick Talk
7. Freak Hoe
9. Slave Master
10. Blow A Bag
12. Rich $ex
13. Blood On The Money
14. Trap Niggas
15. The Percocet & Stripper Joint
16. Real Sisters
17. Kno The Meaning
18. Fuck Up Some Commas
[By Brendan Varan. He's got no diamonds from Africa, but still tries to blow that money forever eva. Follow him on Twitter.]