Future, review of his album I Never Liked You (2022)

Perhaps the hardest part of the cultural critic’s job is reviewing late works by legends past their prime. Future He is one of the most influential artists on the North American (and therefore global) hip hop scene of the last decade. Without him, neither Bad Bunny nor Yung Beef would exist, to give two examples known to all that have evolved unevenly. Future was the protagonist of the universalization and mainstreaming of trap, reaching unimaginable heights of popularity. His albums and mixtapes until 2016 –until “Purple King” to a greater extent and “EVOL”, to a lesser degree– they are classics that not only helped define a sound, but also the codes, the motifs, the way of dressing and interpreting, and even of living, of dozens of artists from all over the globe. The peak that they supposed “56 Nights”, “DS2” either “WATTBA” He is only up there with the best of all time; with an added difficulty: Future did it by creating the genre and taking it to its highest levels. The trap has a godfather and it is him.

Having said all this, the drop in quality of the projects of Future in the last five years it is relatively justified, but for that reason it is still so painful. Her latest work, including the double with which she managed to be number one on Billboard two weeks in a row with two different albums in her first week on the street, “HNDRXX” Y “FUTURE”, they have not recovered the freshness, the aggressiveness and that inexplicable magic that it possessed. I point out a possible reason: his connection with Metroboomin, Southside and Dj Esco has not been what it was in terms of quality, but also quantity.

In the same way that other artist friends like Young Thug (with whom he has recorded several works) have not reached the heights of Future but they have been able to take their music to other places (“Punk”, of Young Thug himself, is a clear example), Future has continued to make the most orthodox trap his own. In this way“I Never Liked You”, which is the work that concerns us here, is obviously superior to its immediate predecessors, but inferior to its original predecessors. This is an album that almost completely recovers the Future that was revealed to the world in all its splendor, going from dealing crack in Atlanta to collaborating with the biggest artists in the world on equal terms. It remains to recover the impossible, to return to being the best and the creator of something new at the same time.

Even so, we find the best interpretations of Future in the last times. “Poofin On Zootiez”, “Gold Stacks” either “Love You Better” are among his best performances of all time, and he has managed to once again choose some productions that bring out the best of himself and that push the listener again and again at full speed, shake him and make him remember why trap is the best thing It has happened to hip hop in the last decade. Special mention deserves to listen to Future and Drake together again in “Wait For U” Y “I’m On One”, remembering thatWATTBA” which is still brilliant to this day.

Bittersweet feelings overwhelm the veteran listener of Future with this work, but attentive listening, however, is worth it. Most of the proposals of the young aspiring to dethrone Future They don’t reach the sole. Perhaps that is the reason for the worldliness of what was once exalted: without heirs fighting for the throne, one becomes too comfortable.

Following the increasingly usual dynamic of releasing an album and immediately afterwards re-releasing the deluxe edition (we saw it a week ago with “It’s Almost Dry” by Pusha T.), Future calls for the double album to many of the young hopefuls of whom we speak. The good ones, it goes without saying, are in the original, the only ones capable of sharing a track with the pope Future. The others show in this second round their second-tier status (with the exception of Lil Durk). Future comes back with “I Never Liked You” but we, oh, we did like it from the beginning.

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Future, review of his album I Never Liked You (2022)

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