MOS Album Review: Future – “Purple Reign”

Future_Purple_Reign-front Future  is a trap rapper from Atlanta, Georgia signed to Epic Records. Future came to the limelight with his release of the song “Tony Montana” and then shortly after when he partnered with Gucci Mane for multiple releases. His unique style of rapping appeals to and even displeases certain audiences. The hype tracks and his distinct flow really sets him apart from other artists. You can also see him feature on songs with artists like Drake, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and even R. Kelly. Future has released a number of albums and mixtapes, such as ‘Dirty Sprite 1 & 2′, along with ‘Honest’ and many more. He just recently released the free mixtape ‘Purple Reign’ on January 17th, with executive producers DJ Esco and Metro Boomin. You can see Amanda’s review of the project below.

Future certainly didn’t waste anytime coming out with a new tape. ‘Dirty Sprite 2′ was released just 6 months ago, which is very impressive to say the least. That tape really impressed me by conveying the typical Future as well as adding some unique aspects as well. But with ‘Purple Reign’, you see Future really hone into his nature and what brought him up in the first place. Such as repetitive lyrics, similar beats and a full flow of tracks. When I say full flow of tracks, I mean that essentially each song comfortably flows through the mixtape- Future along with Metro and Esco strategically placed each song and you can see that’s prominent when listening. The transitions are well organized and the DJ tags aren’t too annoying, like they are with most mixtape releases. [cough DJ Drama cough]

Let me first off start by saying, I’m not particularly a huge fan of Future and his works. He can turn me up at a party, and get me hyped in the car- but he’s not an artist I would listen to on the regular. Personally, I feel that Future is more of a feature artist rather than someone who can thrive alone. Which is why I thought that if he tried to come out with a mixtape that had no features like J.Cole’s ‘Forest Hills Drive’, I wouldn’t think it would really flourish- other than via Future fans. But this 13 track tape, to my surprise seems to have no features anywhere to be found. Future finally stands alone- something we do not see often.

I’m going to take a second to do what most people don’t with mixtapes and albums- focus on the production content. Each beat on this mixtape brings a certain sense of complexity and vision. Esco and Boomin are both known for their extensively bass prominent producton. Boomin has worked with artists such as Big Sean, Waka, OJ Da Juiceman, Ace Hood, Gucci and many others. So you can see by his previous works he is really focusing and harnessing his brand. Esco has worked with similar artists and you can see them together on many projects. But there were two specific tracks that stood out to me both produced by Southside; “No Charge” and “Perkys Calling”. What I like about Southside’s production in these tracks is his use of piano accompanied by less snares and very limited over-production. Both these tracks give the mixtape a genuinely different feel from the rest. What I like about this tape is that with the production, it kind of outlines the time lapse of a party. It starts out really upbeat and as the tracks continue, they die down and become more chill. There were some tracks that really sounded too similar like; “Wicked”, “Never Forget” and “Drippin (How U Luv That)”. Though these essentially mirror one another because Metro Boomin has a specific style- it seems like they model from one another just with a different tempo. Variation does occur throughout the tape with this production, but with trap music it’s really hard to be diverse in that aspect. However, Metro, Esco, Southside, Zaytoven, Dj Spinz, K Major, and Jon Boii all make this tape what it is with their production contributions.

Each track adheres to Future’s brand of trap with his music. His extensive relationship with drugs and dealing all come to the forefront with this tape. He delves into lyricism about his party-type lifestyle. While listening to this I can just picture Future in the studio just cookin’ (the dance). At least I was while listening. What I really liked here was the track “Drippin (How U Luv That), it’s really catchy and I feel as if it’s definitely a potential radio hit. There’s a part in the song where he repeats “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” and it really reminds me of Dej Loaf. Future incorporates lyrics like;

“I got fine bitches on me like China.”

Which show his ability to convey metaphors in relation to his social stature. It’s really hard to think of metaphors with rap music that haven’t already been done. Wayne pretty much covered 55% of the random, flashy metaphors with his career early on, so any hint of complexity in that area stands out to me. Although that is the case, I didn’t hear many specific lyrics that stood out to me. But Future isn’t an artist you expect to be shocked by in that aspect. As much as my distain for Future lies within his ability to constantly rap about the same things and sound pretty similar in everything he releases- this tape is pretty good.

Sitting here listening to this track by track, I realize that I actually can’t stop moving around and dancing, which is irritating considering I’m trying to write a review. Future is definitely a party-esque rapper. He talks excessively about bottle poppin’, bitches, drug usage and merkin’ motha fuckas who cross him. You really have to admire his ability to stay as consistent as possible. Not many people can constantly keep interest by staying within their range of style and their brand. If you look at Drake, his brand, flow and style has all adapted and changed depending on the style of music that’s popular at the time. You can admire Drake’s ability to treat the rap game as survival of the fittest. But his change is what turns away some fans (like me), who wish he would go back to rapping about life struggles and ex girlfriends rather than constantly talking about how dope he is. But we will save the Drake discussion for his eventual release ‘Views From The Six’. Future stays consistent and regardless of my personal opinion, this is what makes him relevant in today’s industry. Considering it took him only a short six months to release this tape right after his previous one, it’s definitely a nice surprise.

So if you like Future, and even if you don’t and enjoy the energy of trap music, you will really vibe with this mixtape for sure. But if you don’t like high-energy trap rap, and Future’s style then you probably won’t really like this tape too much. I’m still trying to decide if it’s worth my download. You can listen and download the mixtape for FREE here.

Amanda’s Album Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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