Articles Speculation

Did Future peak in 2016?

     I caught flack when I said Future was arguably Rapper of the Year in 2015. Although Kendrick Lamar released the magnificent To Pimp A Butterfly in March 2015, Future was enjoying a streak of his own.

Future performs
Future performs “Wicked (Purple Reign)” at the 2016 BET Awards in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 26, 2016

     The Future-Hive’s beloved Beast Mode 1 collaboration mixtape with trap-pianist producer Zaytoven dropped in January 2015 and was quickly followed-up by the 56 Nights mixtape with DJ Esco in March. Between these two mixtapes alone, covering a short 3 months span, listeners were gifted the street hits “Real Sisters“, “March Madness”, and “56 Nights (title track)”.

Just four months later in July 2015, Future would drop his long-awaited album, DS2 (Dirty Sprite 2), which I believe to be his best work. DS2 featured the Metro Boomin bangers: “Blow A Bag”, “Rich Sex”, “Sitck Talk” and many, many more. Just 7 months into 2015, Future gave us 3 outstanding projects: Beast Mode 1, 56 Nights, and DS2. Future would top off his 2015 by collaborating with Drake on What A Time To Be Alive in September 2015, just 2 months after the release of DS2, and Future’s 4th project of 2015.

“Just 7 months into 2015, Future gave us 3 outstanding projects: Beast Mode 1, 56 Nights, and DS2.”

The sheer output from Future in 2015 was staggering. Early-on, critics spoke of fears that he could oversaturate his sound. This fear was compounded by the fact that Future’s signature drawl-flow and favorite production styles were now being imitated by numerous rappers seeking to deliver a “Future-sounding” hit song for their label.

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     Talks of oversaturation didn’t appear to phase Future, though. In January 2016, just 4 months following the release of  his WATTBAcollaboration with Drake, Future released Purple Reigna 13 track mixtape, and his 5th project-release in that 12-month period. And then EVOLa 12 track studio album, the very next month in February 2016. Now breathe.

     Purple Reign was an “OK” release, but felt sudden coming so soon after the WATTBA collab with mega-star Drake. EVOL was a rapid fire release that came right after Purple Reign; I haven’t seen it get as much love as his other post-Honest work. It came so soon after Purple Reign that I felt bombarded with Future music at that point. Actually, I felt that way with Purple Reignthe release of EVOL not even a full month following Purple Reign solidified my feelings. Future’s sound was officially oversaturated. I think Future caught the hint, his next project wouldn’t drop until 9 months later following EVOL.

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     Future dropped Freebricks 2K16 w/ Gucci Mane in November 2016, but the trap sound was pretty much on the decline due to oversaturation already, and many listeners felt that Future had lost a lot of steam, since the Purple Reign and EVOL releases weren’t as lauded by the Future Hive as his previous 56 Nights, Beast Modeand DS2 solo releases in 2015.

Some fans even yearned for a music hiatus from Future, simply because, considering Future’s volume of output, the songs on his respective projects started becoming a blur. Not necessarily a thing of a quality or lack thereof, just fatigue.

Some fans yearned for a Future project produced by Nard & B, DJ Spinz, Mike Will or other producers because Future had released so much music with Metro Boomin and Southside.

Others say oversaturation isn’t a problem at all and Future should strike while the iron is hot.

Where does Future go from here?

Watch Future’s THE WIZRD #THEWIZRD documentary here:


1 comment

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