“I’m living my second life, it’s amazing,” Future raps on “Never Stop,” the introductory track to his latest album “Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd.” I have to hand it to Future -- he’s not wrong in the slightest.
In his first studio album in two years, Future is back and ready to remind you that he’s a force to be reckoned with. With “The Wizrd,” he not only lets his confidence ring throughout his lyrics, but his beats drop so hard that you would think they crash-landed in your ears.
Early on, Future was celebrated for revamping the use of autotune in his music, but “The Wizrd” proves he so much more than the beat behind him. His lyrics are unabashed and highlight his personal convictions with finally making it big, a theme that isn’t new but has a fresh and welcome perspective in the album’s 20 tracks. His first album and recent projects that followed have continued to highlight his talent as a rapper, but this album reminds us what a game-changer he really is.
Future’s ability to go from fast-paced mumble rap, as heard in the tracks “Call the Coroner” and “Never Stop,” to unhinged, amped-up enthusiasm like in “Overdose” and “Crushed Up,” is undeniable and outstanding to say the least. I was charged up from beginning to end throughout “Crushed Up,” “F&N” and “Faceshot.” I found that they also make great songs for your trip to the gym and promptly added them to my workout playlist.
Future knows how to ramp a listener up with banging beats and spitfire-laced lyrics, but he also knows when to slow down the song and bring it back to earth. While you can practically feel his wild side in most of “The Wizrd,” tracks like the earnest “Krazy But True” and the hard-hitting “Tricks on Me” showcase how Future isn’t just a rapper -- he’s a poet with his own convictions about how success has changed him.
He doesn’t want to be famous with an image of himself, but with who he actually is as an artist. With this in mind, it felt like I was listening to a new rapper entirely, but the respect was still there. When an artist is both open about their success and torn by it at the same time, it is worth noting and admiring. It was a new side of him that is excellently represented in his music.
A regular collaborator with other rappers, Future welcomes both old and new artists onto the album. Young Thug and Gunna reunite with him to rally pumped-up beats in “Unicorn Purp.” Travis Scott, fresh off his success with his own recent album “Astroworld,” joins in for “First Off.” Future may be the star of the album, but he knows when to share the spotlight and the right person to share it with.
The album is produced by Nineteen85, the beat master behind songs such as Drake’s “One Dance” and albums like Travis Scott’s “Astroworld.” The twists and turns of the music, combined with Future’s consistent ability to immerse them with slick words and a true passion for the song, are not to be ignored.
It goes without saying that Future is not just back in the game-he is here to win. Listening to “The Wizrd,” you know he already has.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.