Mixtape Review: Future, The Movie

The rapper and crooner takes his skills to new heights on his latest release. 

3star
Posted: 01/17/2013 01:30 PM EST
Future, The Movie

(Photo: Epic Records)

Like it or not, Future is a shining reflection of hip hop’s present sound. After 2012, his initial 15 minutes, we know what he is: A melodically gifted artist with his finger placed firmly on the pulse of now. And we feel the potential of what his wide-reaching talent could be if focused. He already used it to snatch the guilty side of our hearts. The Atlanta-raised Dungeon Family descendant has since upgraded his status for his second quarter in the game. Now, the universe is anxious to see what this star will do with his time.

Seeing a tall robot with locks singing about shallow love and quick money is a weird experience for most earthlings. The Movie’s intro track mirrors his idiosyncrasies, preparing listeners for an experience that film critics would dub “commercially experimental.” Things revolve from there as expected, as Future and Drake take turns spinning rhyme bending melodies around bars of sensitive braggadocio. The frequency may sound off to the out of tune among us, but enough drinks and flashing lights will make it click for most by the summer.

The added strength of DJ Drama's wave provides the alliance of some of hip hop’s strongest elements. Collaborations with fellow flow busters Busta Rhymes and Wale stretch Future’s sound to new heights. Multiple mash-ups with Atlanta Dope Boy doppelganger Young Scooter (“Muphucka,” “Everything  Ours,” “Missing”) take him just far enough from his comfort zone to grow. But its next-level production (see “Mark McGwire”) that serves as the steroids to make Future's outlandish sound possible. The beats definitely lift him to heights that would otherwise be impossible, there’s no denying that; but at this point in the game, Future has the juice to justify as much power hip hop gives him. The only requirement is that he keeps creating until he finds his true musical purpose.

The Young Money yacht is clearly interested in blessing Future's journey with more of that power in 2013. If the “Billionaire Minds” interlude that Baby provided to The Movie is any indication, YMCMB may be testing waters to see if Future can carry their flame. If “B----- Love Me” is any proof, the torch would be in capable hands. (Is delivering a sure-shot summer smash in January the effect of his Atlanta upbringing or the cause of his refusal to wait for any future but his own?) If he develops a clearer vision and more finely tuned sound over what will surely be a busy 2013, he could be spinning off playboy masterpieces for light years to come.

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