The rapper Future has been putting in work for the past few years but it probably wasn;t until YC’s “Racks” (A song he performed and wrote the hook for) that he started getting some real recognition. After that, he released 5 mixtapes as well as notable songs like “Tony Montana”, “Magic”, & “Same Damn Time”. But Future also has ties to the legendary Atlanta Hip-Hop collective, Dungeon Family (They also gave him his rap name “The Future of Rap”) and was even encouraged to pursue by Organized Noise producer (And cousin) Rico Wade.
So with the street buzzin’, a few underground hits, some well placed cameos, a few good co-signs from rap stars new & old, Future finally drops his debut album Pluto. Is it out of this world? Let’s blast off and find out…
1. The Future Is Now Featuring Big Rube; Produced by Organized Noise
It’s always good to hear Big Rube on an album intro; it makes me think back to the times Dungeon Family was in full force. To add to that feeling, Organized Noise also produces the short track with their soulful trademark sound. Sadly, this will be the last time we hear them on this album.
2. Parachute Featuring R. Kelly; Produced by DJ Pharris & John Blu
I thought Future would go in a more introductory direction with the first real track off Pluto. But I guess this makes since seeing that both Kellz & Future do that whole singing/talking/rapping thing. Actually, after R. Kelly’s opening verse the song kinda goes terrible when it’s Future’s turn with lines like “I got you attitude in Venus/I got you begging to catch me semen.” Huh? The whole thing kinda sounds like “Snake” or something like that. Also, who was that uncredited Trey Songz sounding dude on this song? Moving on…
3. Straight Up Produced by Nard & B
Man. The Auto-Tune use on the one is pretty damn high. And pretty bad. T-Pain wouldn’t even approve this shit. I really don’t mind the use of it; I really don’t. But this is just Future yelling about Panamera & Gucci boots. That’s about it. A positive here is that Furtue is lucky Nard & B help alleviate the pain. This could have been a lot worse without the catchy beat (Yea, worse).
4. Astronaut Chick Produced by Will-A-Fool
Wait, is this the same song? Almost. This time Future takes his infatuation for space and combines that with the woman in his life (“Astronaut Chick”). The first line is kinda funny; “You a astronaut chick and that’s the only thing that matter to me.” The beat is piano heavy but the it’s hard to take it serious with the vocals here.
5. Magic (Remix) Featuring T.I.; Produced by K.E. On the Track
Besides being a club banger, this track was probably credited as the first song T.I. jumped on when he got outta jail (He gave a good verse considering too). And even though Future’s cadence & rhymes leave a lot to be desired, it’s hard to hate on this song as it is already ingrained in my head. I still say “Voila!” when I do something remotely amazing (Example: “Voila! I just ordered a pizza over the Internet”).
6. I’m Trippin’ Featuring & Produced by Juicy J
Not much Auto-Tune is used here and coincidentally it’s my favorite song off the album so far. First off, Juicy J, Mr. Trippy himself, shows that even though he’s let Lex Luger produce a bulk of his recent work, he’s still got some producing left in him. And that hook may be the new mantra for those who can’t hold their drug of choice. Trippy.
7. Truth Gonna Hurt You Produced by Mike Will
And just like that, Future Hendrix gets back to the singing. And while this feels a lot like “Astronaut Chick”, to be honest it’s not as bad as previous songs (Not great though) but the lyrics here leave me scratching my head. “I got a trio, tryna suck me up like Tito.” What the fuck does that mean? Was Tito Jackson known for getting his dick suck? Did I miss that scene in The Jacksons: An American Dream?
8. Neva End Produced by Mike Will
I just realized that a lotta of the songs so far are about or aimed at women. This is more clearer on the hook of this song (“We don’t wanna/We don’t wanna/We don’t wanna neva end”) and lyrics about a “ride or you die”. I’ll admit that the bass sounds good and good sound system, but that’s about it.
10. Permanent Scar Produced by Jon Boi
The basic thought behind this song is all your tribulations make you who you are. This song also has Future’s best rhyming on the album (He has the 2Pac rap formula down pat): “I keep that same mentality when I was facing casualties/Goin’ through my tragedies, I practice like a athlete.” No, Nas won’t lose sleep over how complex Future’s rhymes are, but at this point we gotta say something positive right? Right?
11. Same Damn Time Produced by Sonny Digital
Just like with “Tony Montana” & “Magic”, this one was hit before this album dropped. And just like those songs, the beat here does most of the work. I’m sure my thoughts would be better if I was in a strip club and this song came one. But unfortunately for me, I don’t do album reviews in a strip club. That would be awesome though. Doing reviews & getting lap dances… AT THE SAME DAMN TIME!
12. Long Live The Pimp Featuring Trae Tha Truth; Produced by Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E
I may not be up on my Future history as I should, but I had no idea he was such a huge Pimp C fan. This is a tribute to the late Chad Butler:
Sippin’ on Port Arthur, haggin’ with you robbers
Bad yellow bitch and her pussy taste like water
Candy red Cadillac, deuce and a quarter
Reppin’ Uncle Pimp, and my Uncle Bun
Niggas can’t touch me like I’m Jay Prince son
Yea, Pimp C would be proud. The production on this one is trunk ready too. The addition of Houston’s own Trae only helps (I wonder why they didn’t go with a Bun B verse though). I can’t front on this one. Long live the Pimp.
13. Homicide Featuring Snoop Dogg; Produced by Jon Boi
Is it me or does it feel like Snoop Dogg doesn’t turn down many feature request? Anyway, as you can tell from the title, tough talk commences. I always thought it was funny to use Auto-Tune when tough talking. Snoop doesn’t sound bad but at this point we Hip-Hop heads all just give him passes anyway so it really doesn’t matter. This song is average.
14. Turn On The Lights Produced by Mike Will
With only 2 tracks to go, Future still has time to slip one more song in for the ladies and here it is. And on this chorus here, Future is singing a little too hard; 808’s & Heartbreaks hard singing. But not in a good way. On more listens of this song, I’m think maybe the girl talked about in this song is a metaphor for success or money. At this point, I’m just trying to make to the end though.
15. You Deserve It Produced by Nard, B, & DJ Spinz
On the final song of the the album, Future explains why he deserves the success he achieving right know. Actually, he explains it pretty well in the song: “I’m better than you and I know it” & “I go so fuckin’ hard, till my heart skip a beat” (Hey, don’t be too modest there Future Hendriix). Besides that, he says “You deserve it” a lot, and that’s the end of the album. Voila!
Bottom Line: I remember reading an interview where Future said one of the main reasons to buy this album is because it’s “trendy”. And that in a nutshell may describe this album; Way too much style over substance or talent.
The Auto-Tune style used on most of this album is something T-Pain rebirth, Lil’ Wayne (and other rappers) put a spin on it, and now Future is running with until the wheels falls off. And from the results here on Pluto, hopefully this is were this style dies. An album almost full of Auto-Tune singing (Sometime yelling) doesn’t really show talent. And this is even more clear when you realize that Future doesn’t have any lyrical skill to fall back on.
I wrestled with the score for this album review for a moment. I thought, “Well, I may keep one or two song after I’m done. That’s not too bad”. But I’m not really sure if the songs I actually kinda like are good or just good by comparison to the rest of the album.
And to make matter worse, this whole thing is by a rapper that was cosigned by The Dungeon Family and given the moniker Future. That couldn’t be more ironic if you tried. Be clear, this album is not a giant step for mankind or Hip-Hop.