Future and Swae Lee have an ethereal chemistry, from 2014’s “Drinks on Us” to Ty Dolla $ign’s smash single “Blase“. The two reunite with Ty for the Mike WiLL Made It-produced “Don’t Judge Me,” a midtempo jam about seeking solace at the bottom of a cup. Dolla $ign is prepping for the October 27th release of Beach House 3, the follow up to 2016’s Campaign.
He stood dazed in a tint-less room while his attentions accumulated on the one painting like snow in a drift. It was an understated piece with an emotional layering of black and white oil paints. As his vision blurred occasionally obfuscated by tears, his mind became a sieve. A flood of thoughts passed through him in an instant — and collected in a puddle on the floor of his brain. Here, these aqueous thoughts mixed in candida yeast pockets creating dough. Next, the raw dough slowly cooked in the afterglow of a billion neural explosions. The mixture rose into a perfectly labyrinthine bread structure curated by theme: comedy and tragedy on the main floor, dichotomy and multiplicity on three, triumph and despair at the top with bathrooms on floor one. He wandered the maze breaking off chunks of the marbled rye hedging to make crumbs that would mark his progress. Ids, demons, and super-demons all populated the halls of his mind and taunted him with memories and fragments so multitudinous that they hardly seemed contained within him. In his outer field of vision there was static white on black. The light was peeking through trying to snuff out the singularity of the night. In his inner field the darkness was the odds-on victor, creeping in though the action raged on. As he made his way into the heart of the labyrinth, a rhythmic murmur guided his feet setting the pace for his descent into the shadows. New neural passageways cropped up and disappeared as his focus began to rapidly oscillate from inner to outer field. Finally he was consumed in the specter of a dark womb full of bread and other carbs, the place where all life began. He stayed drenched in the darkness for so long his eyes dried black from lack of use. This space would continue to haunt him throughout his life. When the light returned him from blindness his outer field of vision was all that remained. His mind awash in the anti-sceptic glow of a stark white room.
Before I begin to explain why I loved Future’s 56 Nights, let me tell you a little story. The date was March 21st of this year. Myself, along with my friends Dylan, Rob, Zach, and Jake were all posted up in our hotel room in Austin, Texas where we were wrapping up our last night at South By Southwest. We were extremely drained from the previous 5 days of networking, heavy drinking, and walking the entire city. It was on this Saturday evening we decided we’d had it with party chasing and would stay in. Lucky for us, we had just bought a ton of sandwiches and were planning on enjoying them all night on our hotel room’s balcony. It was in the middle of eating one of our sandwiches that Zach poked his head onto the balcony and said “Yo, Future just dropped a new mixtape.” It just so happened Earl Sweatshirt had just dropped I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside a few hours prior. So, we finished up our sandwich and went back into the room to listen to all the new music that had just come out. What happened next was something like an acid trip. As Zach pressed play on the first track of 56 Nights, the rest of us looked at each other and began to absorb the importance of that moment. For the next several hours, the five of us listened to 56 Nights over and over again, completely in awe of how amazing and fluent the whole mixtape was. I don’t think any of us had any idea the amount of momentum 56 Nights and Future would pick up in the next coming months, and I can for sure say none of us were ready.
56 Nights holds a special place in my heart because of that one Saturday night in Austin but also because of the major musical movement that sprung up because of it. 2015 belonged to Future. You couldn’t turn on the radio, go to the club, hit up a house party, or chill at a kick back without hearing at least one Future track. The man was inescapable. The music was impressive too. Songs like “Never Gon Lose”, “Now”, “March Madness” and “Trap Niggas” all flowed seamlessly together, creating a cohesive mixtape with an interesting backstory. The title 56 Nights comes from Future’s DJ, DJ Esco (THA COOLEST DJ IN THE WORLD), spending 56 nights in a Dubai jail for drug possession. The mixtape is in celebration of DJ Esco’s safe return after the whole situation was sorted out, and also a milestone for when Future really found his lane.
It was in 2015 when Future put out a collaborative album with Drake. It was in 2015 when Future became a meme. It was in 2015 when the siren most famously used in the Kill Bill movies was hijacked and reclaimed as a staple in Future’s music. It was in 2015 when Future captured the hearts of a generation. It was in 2015 when Future became trap music royalty.
You can download 56 Nights for free here.
Is there any arguing the magnitude of Future‘s impact on hip-hop over the last few years? Ever since he woke up in that Bugatti, Future’s influence has been felt by almost every rapper and has even crossed over into the pop realm (look up the writing credits for Beyonce‘s Drunk in Love and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised). After a trilogy of mixtapes that were better than most albums (seriously, Monster still gets daily spins from me), everything culminated into something painfully beautiful. DS2 didn’t have a prolonged marketing roll out. It wasn’t laced with top notch features. DS2 was Future at his all time creative best: intoxicated, depressed, and spiteful. Had Codeine Crazy – or an emotional equivalent – been placed on DS2, I’d probably be inclined to give it a 10/10 and possibly tattoo the album art across my back. There’s a brutal honesty in the entire album. Even a record like Thought It Was A Drought has undertones of darkness, seclusion, and addiction. Sure, we are used to hearing rappers go on and on about drug use, robberies, and shoot outs; but the pain in Future’s voice allows for us to hear his stories with empathy – and sometimes sympathy. DS2 is also the culmination of the evolution of Super Future Hendrix. I’ve said it for awhile now, but I don’t think any of us could have imagined the guy that made Same Damn Time could a few years later make something as emotionally impactful as Kno The Meaning (speaking of which; Kno The Meaning leaves a great opportunity to go back and listen to 56 Nights). The albums hit single – Where Ya At featuring Drake – is quite possibly one of the loneliest subject matters ever used for a song that turned into a club banger. I think my personal favorite is Stick Talk, which at first listen could be easy to confuse as a braggadocious trap banger – but there’s savage levels of honesty here too (“I’ma tell a lie under oath”). Every payday has me running out of the office like, “BOUT TO F*** THIS CASH UP ON A NEW TOY!”. As noted in my review of Bryson Tiller‘s TRAPSOUL, I am a fan of an emotional listen; and I can’t lie – Future’s DS2 puts me all the way in my feelings. We’re coming up on 2016, and DS2 still to this day gets more spins than anything else in my catalog. Here’s to hoping he can continue this formula. Revisit the magnum opus that is DS2 here, via Spotify.
Atlanta had the hottest year hip hop has ever seen in terms of commercializing one sound and they essentially monopolized rap on the radio by dominating the charts week after week. Obviously New York and LA had their time in the pre-historic era but neither of those cities were getting heavy rotation from multiple artists over the radio waves. Toronto did decent this year with Drake creating a cultural phenomenon that had white suburban teachers dancing like him from his video ‘Hotling Bling’ which we’ll say was “heavily inspired” by D.R.A.M’s ‘Cha Cha’ (lol) or the fact that he along with Quentin Miller made the first timeless song of our generation with ‘Know Yourself’. The Weekend had a dramatic year with continuing to rock a hair style which romanticizes America’s homeless culture and supports at least 3 forms of life. He also put out “Beauty Behind The Madness” which debuted at No. 1 on the extremely relevant Billboard charts.
Atlanta consistently bombarded us with hit after hit making every DJ set a 30 minute to an hour collage of Atlanta anthems. With Thugger having a year of insanity, Rae Sremmurd dominating the radio, Guwop obviously still king, Future being the hardest working major label rapper in the game this year, 21savage coming from the underground and making one of the best mixtapes of the year, Awful Records creating major waves with their unhinged talent, Raury being the new generation’s blend of Cudi and Andre 3000. Not to forget Migos, Waka Flocka, 2 Chainz, Peewee Longway, Young Scooter and producers such as Metro Boomin, Southside, 808 Mafia, Mike Will Made It, Zaytoven, Honorable C-Note, Sonny Digital, DJ Esco who’s phones haven’t stopped ringing since 2014 there’s no way anybody can say they didn’t have the most successful year almost in rap history. Any point you have against it is asinine and should only be engaged for the art of debating. Atlanta killed it this year and although hip hop purists despise the way their o’ so sacred genre has evolved no one can argue that Georgia’s capital isn’t doing the most to help establish rap as a staple of popular culture (well maybe Kanye, but we’ll save that discussion for later). Yeah it’s filled with auto-tune and has drugged up kids rapping in triplets over 808s that would blow any cars speakers made before 2003, but these kids stayed true to a sound, it blew up, the world ate it up and they conquered. My hat goes off to Atlanta for having a wonderful year.
All this to say, this song is nothing different. It has A$AP Ferg on it rapping in triplets, Future continuing to be Future, and my favorite producer Honorable C-Note continuing his streak of making the hardest hitting beats in the game. It’s going to be played in clubs for maybe 3 weeks (generously) then die, but its a nod to everything Atlanta accomplished this year and it’s worth the click for a 4 and a half minute turn up.
Also Chicago is taking over next you better believe it.
A$AP Ferg – New Level (feat. Future)
Right on time.
RL Grime’s annual Halloween mix always delivers a solid array of original, hard-hitting edits and mainstream club hits. This year’s is no different, remixing Future, Kanye, Section Boyz and more, with some hardstyle blending into a euphoric, progressive edit of Weeknd’s “The Hills” towards the end.
Plus, Hannibal Buress shouts a strong declaration at the top; “I’m trying to be Chicago’s Avicii!”
It’s probably safe to assume, at this point, that Future is incapable of throwing up a miss. The Percocet & Stripper Joint is one of my personal favorites from his recent magnum opus DS2; and yesterday Hendrix decided to gift to us the records accompanying music video. Nothing too elaborate or difficult to understand here – it’s pretty much just an entire video of Future kicking it in a half-star hotel with ladies of the night and while consuming drugs the entire time.
Watch the music video for The Percocet & Stripper Joint by Future above.
Vince Staples just dropped some ABSOLUTE FIRE that is sure to be one of the hotter songs this summer. If you aren’t convinced on the young MC yet, this might be what does the trick.
Promising UK singer/songwriter gets together with DMV standout Goldlink for this next-level banger. Goldlink has a great ear for beat selection and can flow over just about anything, but Bipolar Sunshine’s amazing voice coupled with production Fraser T. Smith is the highlight of this track.
Hoodboi and Arnold (M|o|D|) team up to give Future the synthy Jersey remix that he deserves.