Hip Hop has had its fair share of novelty acts, and Future appears to be the latest flavor to emerge into the public eye. Born and bred in Decatur, Georgia, the rapper has developed a penchant for transparent lyricism, and his debut album Pluto carries out this theme.
While Auto-Tune is heard all over the Drake-assisted single “Tony Montana,” it isn’t necessarily a crutch for Future, with use of the voice modifying application primarily assigned for hook purposes. However, in the instances in which he does incorporate it into his verses, the results are just a few shades away from absurd. Searching for his space-age counterpart, “Astronaut Chick” comes off as a discordant performance of elementary rhymes and stale metaphors. “Turn On The Lights” shares similar sentiment, with his voice becoming inaudible throughout the record. Add in a puzzling dedication to Pimp C (“Long Live The Pimp”) and a self-congratulatory record (“You Deserve It”), and one may surmise that Future is in fact from Pluto, because clearly his thoughts are not on a human level.
Things hit rock bottom on “Magic,” where Future’s plethora of nonsensical rhymes would get the side eye from the worst weed-carrying rapper:
“Excuse me but my lingo crazy / See these diamonds, ain’t none of them fuggazi / Two bad bitches want to fuck me the greatest / Aye young G in a brand new Mercedes / Turn out the lot, I’mma do a 180 / For the haters I’mma go ahead and do a 360 / Drinking on the Sprite, got lean all in it / I’m an astronaut nigga, better trust my pimpin’.”
Even with its many, many missteps, there are a few positives to take away from Pluto. Whether it’s the hard body beat of “Same Damn Time” or the hazy glow found on “I’m Trippin,” the album boasts an admirable selection of production courtesy of Mike Will, Nard & B and Sonny Digital. “Parachute,” “Homicide” and the aforementioned “I’m Trippin” also find success from the featured artists. In that respect, Future should get credit for possessing the often-overlooked ability of a chemistry radar, as well as a keen ear for beats.
At times tasteful and other times tasteless, Pluto demonstrates a bravado that knows no shame. Time will tell whether Future’s cheeky style is simply a passing faze or a trend that others will carry a torch for. Here’s to hoping few will.