In Which I Honestly Try to Like Future’s “Honest” Album (Stream)
There a pros and cons to every job. For example, working in an office, you get health benefits and a steady income but you are (probably) bored out of your mind all day. Sure, as a blogger, I don't have to put on pants until 6 PM and don't have to commute, but every so often my boss makes me listen to something that, quite frankly, I'd rather not. Such is the case today. Okay so maybe that's not entirely true. If we are being totally Honest, I have actually been looking forward to Future's new LP. I'm not saying I am a fan (nor am I saying I'm not a fan) but I haven't listened to much Future and I think the Honest LP is just what I needed to finally form an opinion on the polarizing rap/R&B star.
I know a lot of people hate Future because they hate auto-tune. While I'm not exactly proud of it, I have to say, I kind of like auto-tune. Is it my favorite thing in the world? Hell no, but I think I can appreciate it more than the heaver backpacker. It's fun and catchy and when I'm in the mood for something light, auto-tuned usually hits the spot. It's not the end-all-be-all, but when used the right way, it can be very effective. I'm actually looking forward to hear how Future uses it. That being said, I really hope it isn't used on every song. My favorite song from Future is "Go Harder" because he actually raps and you know what he isn't really that bad. I'm not sure if him straight up rapping is a regular thing but I guess will find out. Maybe I'll be presently surprised or maybe I'll hate it more than I think I will.
Only one way to find out....
This might just be the most inconsistent album I have heard in a long long time. First, I can't tell what he is going for. Everyone talks about him like he is an R&B singer, but really he sounds more like a trap rapper to me. This is where some knowledge of former works might have been helpful, but on the other hand, you shouldn't have to know an artists entire library to appreciate an album; it should sound good regardless of how often you listen or how much you listen to and this doesn't. When it comes to which style I prefer, his R&B-oriented one is definitely much more enjoyable. In fact, I was really vibing out from "Honest" (which I like more than I should) to "I Be U", but then "Covered N Money" came on and I lost all the momentum. There is no transition or stepping stone. It goes from a R&B cut to something brash with no warning and it makes it hard to get into.
I got to hand it to him though, when he is on, he knows how to make an infectious banger like "Side Effects". It's the kind of song you hate that you love, but you can't stop playing it. I'm telling you, there is something to that R&B-ish style, but it just doesn't fit the trap stuff. Maybe a hook here and there, but he can't hold it down and there are way too many ad-libs; sometimes it sounds like three different tracks going at once and it makes my brain hurt. I know guys like Metro Boomin and Mike WiLL Made It aren't exactly popular around these parts, but really it is their production that makes or breaks the album. The fact they can take these trap beats and make them into radio-friendly, melodic bangers is actually pretty impressive, but still, it's just not my thing. Normally, I am against forcing rappers into lanes, but with radio-friendly, auto-tune artists like Future, I think it is pretty important; you have find the sound that works and stick with it. He would be better off dropping the heavier, trap stuff and sticking with the R&B. Auto-tune is fun, but it's also relatively gimmicky. It works for a radio single or cool club song, but it's rather hard to make a whole album out of it.
It's funny, I came in wanting him to rap more and left liking the auto-tune stuff better. I might play a few songs here and there but to be Honest I still don't feel any way about him. I just don't see a reason to ever actively seek his stuff out; I don't feel like I'm missing anything.
He may not be for me, but clearly, there are people out there who really like him. Are you one of them? Why? What did you think of the album? I'm curious to see what people think of this album. Share with me your thoughts RefinedHype Nation.
This article originally appeared on RefinedHype.com, which has now merged with The DJBooth. For more info, click here.
Written by Lucas G. on 04/15/14
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