Just in time for Halloween, Atlanta’s hottest hip-hop/R&B act drops a 16-track mixtape packed with ridiculous beats guaranteed to supplement any of one’s raucous weekend festivities. Whether it’s because of his recent break up with the mother of his new child, R&B artist Ciara, or he’s looking to fit the theme of the upcoming weekend, Future’s new project, Monster, certainly comes from a dark place. The heavily auto-tuned artist delivers a record radiating a significantly different tone than his sophomore project, released in April. The successful, Honest offered a balance between emotionally intelligent tracks, and hard-hitting bangers, while Monster is almost entirely focused on the latter. The project is executive produced by Metro Boomin with help from DJ Spinz, TM-88, Nard & B, and Southside. While it is not the most polished project, Monster outdoes his previous mixtapes (2011’s Streetz Calling, 2012’s Astronaut Status, and 2013’s F.B.G.: The Movie and Black Woodstock), offering a number of speaker shattering tracks.
Future kicks off the mixtape with “Intro,” an eerie, minute-long track featuring the voices of various radio personalities. Sway Calloway, best known for his program “Sway’s Universe,” opens up the track praising Future’s ability to have an immediate impact on the music industry, explaining that “a lot of other artists are trying to do exactly what he does and trying to sound just like him.” An unnerving, loud array of synths play in the background as another personality explains his disbelief that MTV placed Future on their list of top-10 rappers in the game. The track finishes with a voice protruding from the background mentioning Future and Ciara’s break up, as the pounding sound of a heartbeat takes over, eventually building into a vicious growl. This track sets the tone, solidifying Future as a monster.
Future starts off the second track, “Radical,” by exclaiming “monster!” in his erratic, yet magnetic voice. The viscous, bass heavy beat drops in after, adding the repetitive chorus, “f—k all your attitudes, f—k all your gratitude, all this s—t radical, all this s—t radical.” With the exception of the chorus, the rest of Future’s lyrics are almost incoherent through his deep slurring speech and auto-tune, yet he is still able to get his point across: he doesn’t really give a s—t about what you think, he knows he’s radical.
The title track “Monster,” follows “Radical,” with a calm, yet menacing beat produced by Metro Boomin and Southside. Future abandons the heavy auto-tune for this track, turning some straight street rhyming about women and riches. While it is the mixtape’s only single and title track, “Monster” is not the most successful song on the project. The lone feature on Monster comes on the seventh track, “After That,” where Lil’ Wayne adds a verse over a classic Future beat. Earlier this week, Lil’ Wayne announced that his highly anticipated Carter V album, expected to be released Tuesday, would be delayed until Dec. 9. While this sparked a great deal of disappointment among all Tunechi fans, Lil Wayne builds even more excitement for his upcoming project with his verse on “After That,” bringing vintage Weezy punch lines and a steady, traditional flow.
With the exception of “After That,” “Hardly,” is an absolute standout and arguably best song. It goes against the overall tone of the album, evoking emotion and pain, as he employs a whiny, yet powerful voice through a captivating chorus. He repeats the word “hardly,” over the best production the mixtape offers. A soft piano melody plays beneath a layer of stiff snares and discreet, ambient synths. Future raps about dealing with his pain through drug use, and the potential of his legacy. On “Hardly,” Future reveals a more reflective side.
While his new project is not as sophisticated as Honest or his other studio albums, Future manages to find success though notable tracks and production. The record is not necessarily a “monstrous” achievement, but it does give his fans something to be excited about for his next project.
Featured Image Courtesy of Freebandz Records