Future – “I Never Liked You” review

Future is a 38 year old rapper, singer & songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia who came up as a member of the Dungeon Family thanks to his cousin Rico Wade of Organized Noize. He officially made his debut in 2012 with Pluto & would later follow it up with a hot streak of modern day trap essentials like Honest, Monster, Beast Mode & my personal favorite of his: D.S. 2 (Dirty Sprite 2). However since 2017, Future has mostly been painting himself in a corner & prioritizing quantity over quality. I mean sure HNDRXX took a more sensual approach & SUPER SLIMEY showed a pretty great chemistry with fellow trap trailblazer Young Thug, but Beast Mode 2 was a step down from the predecessor & he got with the late Juice WRLD that same fall to put out a collab tape that literally should’ve never happened: WRLD on Drugs. Finally at the very beginning of that next year, The WIZRD was just passable even though it showed NO artistic evolution whatsoever & Save Me was a decent attempt at being more vulnerable yet versatile. However, his last album High Off Life admirably found him staying true to himself & trying new things. But after spending 2021 doing features, he’s returning in the form of his 9th full-length album.

“7:12pm” opens up the album with some dramatic trap production from Wheezy talking about his ice whereas “I’m Dat N****a” works in some suspenseful piano chords thanks to Southside & DY talking about being the shit even though the “Fucked in her ass, made her peepee” line is hilariously bad. Kanye West tags along for “Keep It Burnin’” encouraging to keep the city on fire over an atmospheric instrumental, but then Gunna & Young Thug tag along for “For a Nut” to talk about bossing bitches up for such over some hi-hats & heavy bass.

Meanwhile on “Puffin’ on Zootiez”, we have Future coming through with a cloudy smoker’s ode produced by TM88 leading into the vibrant “Gold Stacks” talking about being a rich junkie. Drake comes into the picture for the guitar-driven “Wait for U” getting romantic just before “Love You Better” melodically confronts an ex over a spacious beat.

“Massaging Me” has a more energetic vibe to it talking about getting these millions persistent while “Chickens” with EST G. goes into more nocturnal territory saying that’s all they want. “We Jus Wanna Get High” shoots for a more eerie sound talking about being in love with the money while “Voodoo” incorporates some pitched-up vocals & pianos as well as a stellar hook from Kodak Black to tackle the idea of dancing with the devil.

Following that, “Holy Ghost” confesses that nobody speaks the language he does over a bone-chilling instrumental down to the choir vocals while the song “The Way Things Going” is a piano ballad talking about how only family matters. Drake returns for the penultimate track “I’m on One” to brag that they’re built different over a cinematic beat even though Drizzy decided to pretend to be Blueface at the end of the hook for whatever reason. “Back to the Basics” finishes off the album by saying he doesn’t want to go back to such over a violin.

It’s been almost 2 years since the trap pioneer has made an artistic statement on his own, but I think this is a solid follow-up to High Off Life. Although I personally think the production on the latter album was better, I do admire that Future wanted to put himself out there more so he can learn how to become a better person & succeeded in doing so.

Score: 3.5/5

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