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Future’s ‘EVOL’: First Thoughts

Ralph Bristout

 // Feb 11, 2016

REVOLT

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Last Friday (February 5), Future exhibited that mantra on the release of EVOL, an 11-track set that’s not only projected to snatch the No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart next week (HDD predicts 145-150k in first-week sales), but also a testimony to his current tour de stade.

Within the last 16 months, Future’s shifted from Future Hendrix to Super Future, a dominant force in rap with arguably the most in-demand voice. For a quick refresher, this remarkable run started off on 2014’s Honest, an unsung (and much-debated) gem within his catalog that has since gone to spawn one of the most storied runs in rap since the '06-08 Mixtape Weezy era. But we're not here to divulge or over-intellectualize the ATLien's stretching rap dominance. After all, we've already explained why Super Future is in rare form. Instead, we'll place a highlight on a project that wholly embodies the generator to Future's monster glow.

On EVOL, Future pulls out the same tricks and, quite frankly, doesn't offer much of the special moments that applied some sheen to projects like DS2 and Purple Reign. But what it lacks in moments, it makes up for in wholeness. And throughout this proper DS2 follow-up, Future rides his wave with no fear of decline. "I tried to tell you when I came in it was god," he swears on "Seven Rings" — a track that indicates his wave has yet to be broken.

EVOL is the unofficial sequel to Monster, the mixtape that ignited his epic lap around the rap game. Coming into his character as a top heel, the rap game's Razor Ramon invites listeners into his own personal "savage-time," as he raps on "Photo Copied," vocally dancing over callous soundscapes and blunt-force hooks, while wrapping it all under one big IDGAF ribbon.

When he's not boasting about how he'll be, um, spending his time with the District Attorney lady on "In Her Mouth," he's bragging about how Tiarra, Britney and Keisha will always take his side on the standout song "Lie to Me." On "Low Life," which features The Weeknd, he's got 10 snipers and turning his hotel room into a trap spot. Not to mention, on the same song he's got his "baby mama and his side b—ch kissing." All in all, this is the kind of stuff that snatches the supervillian title from you're favorite lowlife. Where his last album found him soaking his pain in a river of purple Actavis, EVOL features Future coming out of that emotional slump to express outbursts of no regrets.

There's no love here, and it sounds damn good.

A few standouts from Future's anti-love album are below, and since it duly calls for one, we ranked each of the selected cuts with the kind of roses that really smell like boo hoo-hoo... (word to 3 Stacks)

"Maybach"

Beginning with guitar-like strokes and Future revving up like an engine, once Metro Boomin and Southside's pulsating bass kicks in, we're taken down a rocky, speed-race through champagne baths and Percocet-popping celebrations. Soaking in the spotlight, Future finds time to send a telling reminder, “They told you I was a real nigga/ They wasn’t lying on me/ I get better and better with time, don’t I?”

Rating: 🌹🌹🌹

"Lie To Me"

A true standout, this DJ Spinz-produced cut takes Future's signature trap sonics into newer heights, while the rapper combusts with exuberance and confidence. One of the signature moments takes place when he sends a veiled dart at certain rapper. “Tell that lil’ nigga to stay in his place before I expose you/ You take one shot at me, you know that’ll cause an explosion/ Never fight the hand that feeds you, ni——a." Hmm.

Rating:🌹🌹🌹🌹

"Xanny Family"

Contagious, contagious, contagious. That's just what this song is. From its hypnotic, trippy backdrop to the elastic flow that Future lets off, you forget he's detailing plans for a drug junkie orgy.

Rating: 🌹🌹🌹

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