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6th March 2017

Review: FUTURE vs HNDRXX – Future Hendrix

Tara Baharadia pits Future Hendrix’s two eponymous albums against each other

One fateful week of this February brought us two studio albums by prominent rap artist — Future Hendrix. Self-titled FUTURE was released first and is full of his classic rap style with fast lines and expert production. Then, the long-awaited HNDRXX slid onto the scene and launched Future in a whole new light.

Any fan of Future will recognise the first of the two releases as a huge step up in his heavily-associated trap game. The album states no credited track features, yet boasts a solid set of exclusive producers. Here, we see Future sticking to what he knows best, mumbled yet energetic bars over a heavy hi-hat and kick-drum beat.

Future waited until his fifth studio release to release an eponymous album, maybe because FUTURE showcases the talents, he has been working once since 1983, best. ‘Flip’ and ‘Zoom’ contain a similarly conducted skits at the end, reminiscent of early Kanye works, which make not-so-subtle digs at rapper Desiigner and the women he has come across who are more interested in his money than his music. The angry side of the rapper is quite prominent in this album, for example, in ‘Rent Money’ he states ‘Ya baby mama fuck me better when the rent’s due’. Easily the most vulnerable track off FUTURE, ‘Mask Off’ samples a sped-up version of a Tommy Butler song with some references to drug addiction and carelessness from Future.

The seventeen-track album is packed with solos that can only be described as instant yet classic trap, he even states so himself in ‘Super Trapper’: “911 Turbo Porsche cause I’m a super trapper”. Beats crafted by experts and then drenched in Future’s thick and syrupy voice, FUTURE is arguably the best that he can get in the trap. Tracks like ‘I’m So Groovy’, ‘When I Was Broke’ and ‘POA’ show the best and limits of storytelling in trap. FUTURE doesn’t explore new ground and the extensive run time exhausts the genre but this is where HNDRXX comes into play.

It’s no surprise that two of the best tracks on HNDRXX are the ones that feature The Weeknd and Rihanna – ‘Comin Out Strong’ and ‘Selfish’ respectively. Such big names carry the potential of them taking over the song and while that can be argued for both of these tracks, this album is more about Future trying something new and pushing himself creatively, especially trying his hand at singing, so we can excuse this.

The album seems a lot more apologetic and thankful than any other Future records we’ve heard before. In an interview with Beats 1 he stated, “This is me opening up and letting it all out so I can move past it and certain things, I won’t have to speak on it again”, but I’m sure I’m not the only one hope this side of Future sticks around a little longer. Three starkly different tracks are ‘Sorry’, ‘Incredible’ and ‘Lookin Exotic’ but because this is an album of change, they almost summarise the story Future is trying his best to tell in the best way.

Listen to both albums and you’ll be able to tell which tracks belong to which. The differences between the two are stark and obvious. Both possess an extensive track list but HNDRXX’s cover art features a static, monochrome body, in contrast to FUTURE’s bright and blurred face, which shows how HNDRXX is more honest, true and could potentially be Future’s new style moving forward.

Is this the end of Future and the start of Hendrix?

Tara Bharadia

Tara Bharadia

Section Editor for Puzzles and Horoscopes

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