Atlanta rapper returns to roots

Second straight release strikes unique sonic tone

By Jshania Owens, Advocate Staff

When an artist with a huge fan base releases two new full-length projects in consecutive weeks with little promotion, there could be some underlying message he’s trying to send.

Future’s sixth studio album, “HNDRXX,” was released one week after his self-titled album “Future” in February. “Future” is full of high energy, boastful bangers while “HNDRXX” is a wonderful collection of 17 moody, low-tempo songs.

“HNDRXX” is the revival of his early mix tape years as he returns to his roots. This is his most honest album to date.

He seems so far from those hard-hitting tracks in “Future.” It’s unlikely to find a hype song to get the club going wild in “HNDRXX.” Future does something interesting by blending the two albums together.

The album “Future” is closed by “Feds Did a Sweep,” a great track about police officers raiding his house. It’s the final chapter for “Future” and leads into the opening of “HNDRXX.” Future can’t get any better than he’s already done in these two albums.

If there’s one thing to take from this album is Future’s flow, or ability to deliver his raps on beat. This was evident in the track “Turn on Me.”

This song is one of the highlights on the album, especially with questionable lyrics that could be about his personal drama surrounding Ciara, his ex-fiancé. Future delivers lyrics like, “I seen a good girl turn on me.”

Future comes out firing on all cylinders with “Comin Out Strong.” In their third collaboration, it’s clear The Weeknd and Future are a match made in trap heaven. There’s something about The Weeknd’s verse that makes the track impossible to skip.

The Weeknd is never a disappointment when it comes to features. Although Future’s singing isn’t the best, it fits the song.

Rihanna comes through on “Selfish,” harmonizing with Future in a glorious duet. This is their second one since “Loveeeeeee Song” back in 2012 and hopefully this is not their last.

The last two songs strike a depressing tone in “Solo” and an epic tone in “Sorry.” Both are unlike what’s usually heard from Future.

It’s not a bad thing. He has progressed musically and it shows.

“Sorry” is the longest song on the album clocking in at 7:31.

The song features a dreary piano backing up his signature flow and melody.

It’s safe to say eerie synth patterns sound good on him.

A more classic and raw side of Future is heard throughout the album.

As good as he sounds singing about his usual topics of drugs and money, it’s nice to hear the other side of Future as he musically steps out of his comfort zone.

While a message connected to albums is not present, it’s good to have him back.