If you’re looking for complexity in your rap lyricism then turn away now. Future is on record saying that he intentionally dumbs things down, and with ‘Honest’, the focus is on melody and emotion before words.
Luckily, his second studio album offers the most diverse palette we’ve heard thus far from this Atlanta MC.
The aggression of ‘Covered N Money’ and ‘My Momma’ successfully complements the introspective ‘I Be U’ and ‘Blood, Sweat, Tears’. From those, through to the eccentric André 3000-featuring ‘Benz Friendz (Whatchutola)’, the songs on ‘Honest’ are married together by rattling snares and deep 808s.
Although his sometimes-conflicted subject matters are largely commonplace in mainstream rap, it’s the woozy, drunk-on-lean delivery that makes Future’s music compelling and addictive. ‘Honest’ further demonstrates the rapper’s ability to balance rhymes and melody, without the softness that can be a criticised characteristic of his collaborator, Drake – the Canadian makes an appearance here, on the ironically brief ‘Never Satisfied’.
While it gels together fairly well, it sounds as though there are some contenders for huge singles on ‘Honest’. Opener ‘Look Ahead’, complete with its sample of Amadou & Mariam’s ‘Dougou Badia’, sounds set to liven up festivals this summer. Production on ‘I’ll Be Yours’ doesn’t sound far off ‘Drunk In Love’, which Future allegedly ghost-wrote for Beyoncé. And the Kanye West-starring ‘I Won’, a tribute to the pair’s high-profile partners, has already achieved a ton of blog support and is set to explode into the mainstream at any minute. (Oh look, there it goes.)
And that’s not to mention ‘Move That Dope’ (video below), featuring Pharrell and Pusha T, which is one of the best rap earworms out at the moment. An early contender for this year’s big summer rap album, we won’t be surprised if we are still hearing about ‘Honest’ when the winter cold returns.
Words: Grant Brydon
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Listen to ‘Honest’ in full via Deezer, below…