Streaming EVOL from a hotel-room in Finland last weekend, I used the last of my 4G whilst overlooking a snowy tundra-like world out my window. Fifteen seconds in to the first track and I had the uncontrollable need to start dabbing on the frozen lake. And I guess that’s what Future’s music has become- a dabbing-dance-with-death.
EVOL is energetic and immersing, with each track’s short duration maintaining a high tempo and intensity, and the small number of producers, consisting once again mainly of Metro Boomin and Southside, keep things eerily dark and familiarly-dosed with Codeine.
But there’s something far more fixating in Future’s sound that makes each album, arriving in Bolt-speed succession, a necessity for fans to attain immediately, and sift through new material to choose their highlights. It seems that Future has acquired such a large body of work, it would be near impossible to put together a complete discography. Yet every time a new mixtape or album appears, it’s vital for every fan to plunge in to the purple-hued dystopia and catch up with how their rap-super-villain is fairing, with each record deteriorating deeper in to a drug-addicted exhaustion.
‘Pain pills took a double dose… Drinking codeine like wine don’t I?
Like every piece of music Future’s released in the last eighteen months, EVOL is both fascinating and curiously obsessive, as its audience journeys further in to the artist’s danse macabre, and puts emphasis on mortality with so many creative legends having passed lately. Coming so soon after What A Time To Be Alive, a lighter collaborative record of verve and celebration, both EVOL and Purple Reign almost ironically digress towards an ephemeral, transient response – for Future time is money and all is finite.
‘Premethazine Codeine this shit champagne for us
The sauce look so clean like some angel dust…
Bring a gang of tuss
I dip in the blunt, I’m tryna smoke the mud
I loaded up my gun, I’m tryna smoke the plug’
After frequently self-referencing as ‘the plug’ there’s imagery of suicide, as well as addiction in Xanny Family. Elsewhere Future finds himself John-Gotti-personifying, ISIS-referencing and ever misogynistic in his lyrics, delivered with greater fatigue than before.
The album’s sole artist-feature comes in the form of The Weeknd-collabo Low Life, where both artist’s impressively go head-to-head, complimenting each other’s flow over Metro Boomin’s trap beat. Released on SoundCloud Christmas Day 2015, the public has had a while to digest this track, something Future fans have not been familiar with, as we witness a fast-paced-conveyor-belt supply of rap material, doubling as a timeline of self-destruction.
‘It’s a dirty game, nigga dying it’
Two other album-standouts are the DJ Spin-produced tracks Lie to Me and Fly Shit Only, the first a refreshing break in the form of an upbeat, synthy, dream-like track where Future is most alive at his creative best. Album closer Fly Shit Only featured as a Beats by Dre advertisement during the Super Bowl and provides a guitar-loop sample that gives Future space to contain his inner-monster long enough to conclude the album on a positive note, with two notable rap verses concerning life’s finer things; la dolce vita.
Stream Evo on Apple Music here.