Roughly a week after Future’s self-titled effort, Future releases HNDRXX, which is undoubtedly his most introspective effort in his vast catalogue as of today, and subsequently provides Future apologist’s a new weapon in their arsenal that was once non-existent…substance.
In HNDRXX, Future stripped himself of his normal unapologetic, misogynistic bravado by sharing elements of heartbreak and brokenness, that as fans, we once didn’t know existed. This is a stark contrast of his self-titled album from the week before, and much of anything that predates 2017.
The most notable tracks on the album for myself are “Coming Out Strong,” “Use Me,” and “Selfish.”
In “Coming out Strong,” Future opens up about his falling out that stemmed from a lawsuit had with former manager Rocko, over an accused side deal between Future and Epic Records. Future raps,
“My brother Casino said you wasn’t Freebandz (Freebandz)
And at the time I couldn’t see what he was sayin’ (he was sayin’)
You turned your back, I shouldn’t have ever gave you a chance (gave you a chance)
I got for lawyer fees, shit ain’t ever end”
On “Use Me,” Future touches on how someone in his position can often be taken advantage of, in his many capacities and the effects that this has on him. Future has expressed his struggle with contradictions on other efforts, however, it was the last bar in the first verse that was remarkably confusing and truly highlighted a “Future paradox.”
Future raps, “Ill scoop your son up from your baby daddy; From this point on, you don’t have to deal with the talkin’
This line brought me back to the controversy around Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson, and his interactions as Ciara’s new boyfriend with Future’s son. The trolling was in full effect as the common theme conveyed “another man shouldn’t raise another mans child.” And Future shared the same sentiments. However, in “Use Me”, Future was willing to do just that of what he accuses Wilson of doing.
Now, I think this point is merely collateral, and shouldn’t take from the essence of the track. We can all relate to “Use Me,” and the pain that manifests internally when reminded of that person, friend, or lover whom we gave ourselves too, only to be taking advantage of come full circle.
Have you ever been in a relationship that’s inevitably broken; yet you find yourself continuing to stay with that person, or have the desire to just be around “what’s comfortable” for the night? Future abstractly discusses the internal struggle of this very circumstance in his second collaboration with Rihanna on “Selfish.” Future has a way of pulling emotions of you that you didn’t know are there, and this is done effortlessly through “Selfish.”
For myself personally, Future represents a great compromise as illustrated in “My Collection.” He writes, “even if I hit you once, you part of my collection.” If you really delve deep into the thematic climate of “My Collection” or this particular line, somehow its understandable that we are all forever connected to the intimate experiences we have with one another. However, I would be hard pressed to argue that this is what Future was going for.
My younger self could probably relate or find satisfaction in such lyrics, now I find great difficulty with the subject matter.
Currently, we are under the leadership of a President whose rhetoric has notoriously objectified women, and if I can’t stand for that, I can’t stand for this either. We can make excuses for it, and we can even blame it on women, for they are the ones who “know what they are doing” and/or subject themselves to “Instagram Thotting,” (if that’s a word, or a thing now days). However, our “selves” deserve better than to be “lied” too. No judgment here, you have a right to enjoy the music and Future’s artistic vision, but also be willing to accept it for what it is, and go to bat for it when called upon.
Final Thoughts: I think Future the lyricist couldn’t measure up to that kid in your middle school who was battle rapping random kids on the playground, or those late night back and forth freestyles you may have while inebriated with your best friends. However, I don’t think Future’s intentions are to be a lyricist, or to be rap god, though many perceive him as such. Over the past four years, he has carved himself a niche in hip-hop and has consistently given fans material at an undeniably fast rate. Future has mastered a formula for making enjoyable tracks for listeners and he is doing it better than anyone else right now. His music is often as emotionally charged as it is sonically pleasing, and this is best demonstrated on HNDRXX, thus being the perfect album for Future fans. ~Toons