Future, hip-hop’s best trap supervillain, has returned to deliver what keeps him High Off Life as his eighth studio album on Friday, May 22. THE WIZRD contains 21 tracks of Future portraying himself as a disturbed trap savior reeling from his futuristic lifestyle, heartbreak, heavy medicine intake and tirelessness. It’s the sleepless mind of Future that kept him winning for over a decade and this 32nd project seems to reach a new height of creativity through following his own rules.
Nayvadius Wilburn (Future) was already releasing singles with Drake on “Life is Good” and “Desires” plus spitting features with good friends Lil Uzi Vert and NAV on their own recently released albums. He listened to his core fan's wishes by re-releasing his career persona mixtapes like 56 Nights and Beast Mode on streaming services. Future pushes through this pandemic to remind fans that “life is good” despite any problems we might bew currently facing.
The opener “Trapped in the Sun” is a taste of Future’s purple drank and his life of Lamborghinis, drugs and music wealth that’s fit for cinema. The quarantine track “Solitaires” is a surefire COVID-19 club banger where Future makes delusional fun of the virus with his jewelry. “Coronavirus diamonds you can catch the flu,” he raps as Travis Scott tallies behind him in “NO BYSTANDERS” mode gearing up for havoc after quarantine.
High Off Life is trap Future after hours with signature vocals and themes that just keep topping the charts. Two songs that regard his trap militancy are “Riding Strikers” and “One of My.” The first has the ‘Pluto’ rapper sending shooters for his enemies. An EVOL piano switch with a breaking news interlude on Future preparing a bank heist with his trusty “HiTek Tek” drank. The other sounds like a war unit where Pluto and henchmen march through the streets with serious weaponry.
He keeps his ‘Astronaut’ status with unfamiliar sounds where he and Baby Pluto Lil Uzi Vert warp each other’s flows on “All Bad.” The effervescent, video game beat has the duo claim their endless surplus of women shouldn’t have to be apologized for. A more radio-friendly standout is “Trillionaire” where you pause because another tireless rap star, Youngboy Never Broke Again, is singing cohesively with Future. This rags to riches ballad shows good chemistry between Atlanta and Baton Rouge sound.
The usual motifs of Wilburn are the challenging relationships and on-off narcotics are some of the proven grounds that drive Future’s trap-bass lyrics. Tested waters that ushered in mixtape Future--budging through old agonies (‘Posted With Demons’), Italian Milan flexing with foreign women (‘Hard To Choose One’) and outlandish reaching (‘Touch The Sky’). A couple of the songs are just fillers for late night cruising because Pluto just loves to supply the streets.
“I done went against odds before, Makin' it, takin' it, they see the wrong / If the streets don't kill you first, It's gon' make you strong.” The spooky bass production done by DJ Spinz, ATL Jacobs and Southside is dope; haunting VST drums and keys make for demonic like tracks. We see more clarity from Future near the end. On “Too Comfortable," he’s directly telling his current girl not to cling too quick. Nayvadius was speaking the truth on relationships, rapping “Its hard to stay faithful when you winning” and comes out of his trademark shell to shed light on his family. Vulnerability is mysterious for the 36 year old.
The outro on “Accepting My Flaws” has The WIZRD surprisingly apologetic to one of his famous exes Lori Harvey. Plenty of emotions are whirling and he’s been on a rampage to kick his habits. "She acceptin' all my flaws, I got diamonds with the cut / I've been sufferin' withdrawals, missin' out on real love,“ raps Future as the pain of loss gets him rethinking his relationships. He reflects with more sobriety in “Up the River” with the hustler mindset and the chords are so flawless by Will-A-Fool that it can’t be skipped.
"High Off Life” is the extended album quality of trap Future filled with hypnotic verses, ghostly production, and the overturning of demons into glory. It’s a new chapter, but one that covers familiar territory for Nayvadius.
I give this album 3.5 out of 5 swoops.
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