Moments of introspection add interest to a record that’s playing it safe…

With irrefutable longevity in the hip-hop world, Atlanta rapper Future has been making chart-toppers for years. And his seventh album, ‘The Wizrd’, appears to be travelling on the same path.  Right from the get-go, the 20-track production packed with Future’s signature wordplay establishes an anthemic presence; starting off with slow, melodic ‘Never Stop’, the album sets itself on a prolific run from its very first notes.

For the most part, Future raps about things that many rappers do – money and fame – as he does on solid banger ‘Temptation’, but he finds clarity and introspection on the album too: exploring addiction on ‘Krazy But True’ and ‘Tricks On Me’ – and features from Travis Scott on ‘First Off’ and Young Thug and Gunna on ‘Unicorn Purp’ lift the project.

Coming a long way from his first album, 2012’s ‘Pluto’, Future’s sound however remains the same nine years later. It’s one that created rap history; redefining what hip-hop bangers would come to mean in the club world. But this signature sound – stuttering fast-paced basslines and autotuned choruses – becomes a worn-out formula when played over and over again, and that’s exactly where the problem with ‘The Wizrd’ lies.

The forthcoming candidness in tracks ‘Krazy But True’ and ‘Tricks On Me’ are refreshing, and the record could have done with that brand of honesty in more of its songs.

The world of hip-hop and rap is changing and, while Future’s pattern works well, it becomes slightly repetitive with every listen.

Future described his seventh release as the “end of a chapter”, and if that means a revamp of his sound with its immense potential to be brilliant and history-making once again, then that is a welcome end and a much-anticipated new beginning.

6/10

Words: Malvika Padin

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