Future has been a prominent part in shaping the sounds and styles of hip-hop this decade. Throughout his 6 previously released studio albums, 16 mixtapes and collaborative projects with the likes of Young Thug, Juice WRLD and Drake, Future has penned both groggy, dark cuts that have found his melodies engulfed in melancholy, and fierce, trap bangers that suit both the gloomy alleyways of the nightlife, and the sweaty melting pot of nightclubs and festivals. Songs like “March Madness”, “I Thought It Was A Drought”, and “Mask Off” all showed the boundless possibilities within hip-hop as a cultural movement, while his collaborations with artists like Rihanna and Taylor Swift foreshadowed the genre’s inevitable takeover.
On his new album Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd, we’re experiencing an evolving artist, and a more in-depth look at the man that is Nayvadius WIlburn. In the lead up to the album’s release, Future had been vocal in the media about he quit drinking lean and why didn’t tell people straight away, explaining to Rob Markman in an interview with Genius that “It’s hard because when your fans are used to you a certain way and are used to a certain persona; it can be hard to change”. And in the lead singles “Crushed Up” and “Jumpin’ On A Jet”, you can hear a changed man; there’s more energy, more focus and evidence of an artist heading in to the second decade of their career with more hunger than ever.
Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd features appearances from Travis Scott, Young Thug and Gunna, all of which add to the album’s mood with their unique melodies and southern drawl. Production from the likes of Southside, TM88 and Wheezy set the tone of the album’s dreary, trap soundscapes, but it’s Future’s vocals that ascend like mountain ranges; with gritty, autotuned bars that let you know that he’s at the summit of his skills. The album finds familiarity in the sense that it exists in the realms of the Atlanta sound, but the ambience and experimentation on songs like “Tricks on Me” help it stand out amongst the flock.
To accompany the album, Future dropped a documentary of the same name last Friday, giving some insight on his usually private life and recording process. It also features guests such as Andre 3000, who described Future’s works as the “most negative inspirational music ever”. But as a 35 year old father of five releasing his seventh album, Future is a casting a new chapter of his career that leaves his pain behind, and with The Wizrd as a starting point, you know it’s going to be nothing but magic.
Stream Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd below.