By Megan Pearson – [email protected]

Future is an Atlanta rapper and songwriter who your parents most likely don’t understand.

Future’s style of trap rap has become increasingly popular and he’s had major success in a few album releases in the past years, including his album collaboration with Drake, “What A Time to Be Alive,” as well as his solo project “DS2” which happens to be my favorite album Future has released.

It seems however that recently Future has lost his mind. Amidst rumors of several lawsuits against him and other misinformation, Future has decided to release not one, but two albums in one week with rumors of third coming very soon. The first of the two releases is self-titled “Future.” What appeared to be a career defining self-titled project was instead 17 tracks of replaceable, repetitive, stale and unoriginal content. Because every track on this album was so redundant and unoriginal it’s difficult for me to even break this down song by song.

As a fan of Future, I do find myself appreciating this album as background music and I think a few songs do stand out and showcase some risk-taking and new sound. One of those song  “Rent Money,” kicks off the album with Future’s classic high-tempo trap beats and numerous references to his drug use, money and fame.

Although these three concepts of drugs, money and fame are almost exclusively the only things discussed on this album as well as many other Future albums, I find myself not being as bothered by that in songs like “Rent Money” that features a new fresh beat and flow.

The freshness stops immediately after track one. Prepare yourself for disappointment up until about track 13 “Poppin’ Tags,” which, you guessed it, is about drugs, money and fame.

Future’s die-hard fans would be devastated if I didn’t mention that he touches on slightly more meaningful topics throughout this album. However, keep in mind it’s Future. Keep your expectations of “deep” pretty low.

Moving on to Future’s second release “HNDRXX” which was meant to show a side of Future that his fans had not seen before and a chance for him to “put it all out there” so I was expecting deep to be a little deeper. Although I don’t think anyone could convince me that Future is an artist whose lyrics should be taken seriously or even be understood half of the time, I will applaud him for slightly venturing into a new sound style.

One of the album’s biggest strengths was its features from Rihanna and The Weeknd which both brought a new and interesting dimension to the songs “Selfish” and “Comin Out Strong” which are my favorites off this album. Along with the features, this album’s major success was giving us an almost refreshing side of Future.

While being a blind follower of Future and supporting everything he does no matter the quality is problematic, ignoring the good moments Future has and writing him off as garbage is also not totally fair. Future attempted to do something somewhat new with “HNDRXX” and showed a more melodic and emotional side of himself which hasn’t been very present in his music.

Overall as a fan and someone with respect for hip-hop and music in general, especially after these two releases, I can say I still much prefer quality over quantity when it comes to albums. I found myself at times so frustrated with these albums and at other times pleasantly surprised and impressed.

Future had some shining moments of growth and a new fresh sound but the production and the hurried released caused him to fall short in most of these tracks and the overall album releases.

I can’t recommend this album to everyone but if you’re a fan of Future and you support his work you might appreciate the tiny steps he’s taking towards growth and a new sound.