After two years in the making, Future’s second studio album ‘Honest’ dropped this Tuesday. It’s not a departure from his body of work, but a leap of faith forward, as he bares his raw soul and takes us a step closer to finding out who the man in the space suit truly is.
The album was pushed back at least twice, and Future even scrapped the original version of the album, which he described this way: “The beats were slower, had more guitar riffs, just playing around with the piano more and with different instruments. I started going in another direction after I made the “Shit” record.”
With random sprinklings of leaked tracks, Future still managed to bless fans with a couple treats while we waited for his sophomore record. We collected ten of the best ones, just in time for the weekend body party.
10. “I Can’t Believe (Moving On)” [Prod. by Beat Flippaz]
This cut would have joined “Special” in the “songs aimed towards an ex-girlfriend” category, and it’s one of Future’s best lanes. He has that timorous fragility that toes the line between defiant and hurt, and he communicates it with Auto-Tune. It’s damn near perfect howling to the moon music, full of pain, regret, and acceptance.
9. “Good Morning” [Prod. by Detail]
Future told YN the truth behind his involvement with Beyonce’s smash hit “Drunk In Love,” but before we got that explanation, he debuted the song’s original demo at SXSW, “Good Morning.” It’s odd that he also did a separate remix to “Drunk In Love” after it was released, but they’re both a study in how Future can take a melody and make it entirely his own.
8. “Wolf” [Prod. by Mike WiLL Made It]
In December 2013, Future’s official DJ, DJ Esco, released the No Sleep mixtape, packed with exclusive, never before heard Future songs.
The standout was “Wolf,” produced by Mike WiLL and featuring images like: Future slinging dope in his long johns, the lean and molly look in his eyes, “concrete, that lion turf,” and all dogs going to heaven. And that’s just the first verse—on the next I swear he says, “praying for my demons, MDMA up in my semen.” The fuck?
7. “Faded” [Prod. by Mike WiLL Made It]
“Faded” came courtesy of Mike WiLL’s #MikeWiLLBeenTriLL mixtape, and it’s another track that mentions an ex-girlfriend—yeah, better to have left them one on the cutting room floor. You do have to wonder why Future kisses his watch and then thinks of his ex, though.
6. “How It Was” [Prod. by Metro Boomin’]
I imagine the process for getting your music into Grand Theft Auto is something like this: Rockstar Games reaches out to an artist and says they’d like to include them on the soundtrack; the artist either records a new song for the game or sends a stash of old songs; Rockstar picks which one they like and why, and it’s a go.
When they heard “How It Was,” they had to think, “This is exactly the kind of music that I’d want to commit violence to.” How else can you explain the brain-splintering simplicity of “Hit the block and sell drugs/ That’s exactly how it was”? This would be Superman’s favorite song if he drank codeine and slang rocks.
5. “Substitute Everything”
We don’t promote drug use, but if you happen to indulge, damn this is a hell of a trip to listen to. It’s a narcotic song that’s at once a praise of pills and a call for help (again, that fascinating contradiction). At the song’s core, Future knows that the drugs only help temporarily. Thus his hope to “substitute everything” comes off darker than expected.
4. “Dem” [Prod. by Will-A-Fool]
A mainstream rapper who talks about selling cocaine to his own auntie? How can you not fuck with this? Future strains his voice to the best limits, showing exactly what makes his brand of timbre so agonizing. It’s produced by Will-A-Fool, who didn’t make Honest despite the many classics that he’s made with Future (“Fishscale,” “Gone To The Moon,” and “Never Be The Same”—not to mention “Tony Montana.”)
3. “Day One” (Feat. Yo Gotti) [Prod. by 808 Mafia]
“Day One” sounds like an undercooked leftover, despite the chorus being pretty catchy, especially the way Future says “Roley.” The best thing about this song is Future revealing he has a “coup the color Akon.”
2. “No Love For You” (Feat. Young Scooter & P. Sonata) [Prod. by Beatz Attikz]
This sounds at home on a mixtape, especially with Future’s battle torn hook. I count at least three different flows in Future’s verse.
1. “Real And True” (Feat. Miley Cyrus & Mr. Hudson) [Prod. by Mike WiLL Made It]
Future also told Elliot Wilson that he made “Move That Dope” after one of the first singles, “Real And True,” failed to connect with his fans. “You have to have that “Move that Dope” because that’s my core fans, and build from that,” he explained. Nonetheless, it currently sits at over 25 million views on YouTube and three million streams on Spotify, but nothing connected until “Move That Dope.”
Still, this demonstrated the vulnerable side that Future shows throughout Honest. The song could have used more of him and less of Mr. Hudson, though. Just being…, well, you get it.