When “Racks” became one of the summer’s most unavoidable anthems, it’s likely few guessed that of the two artists on the song, it would be the featured guest, Future, not YC, to flash staying power beyond one hit. But thanks to a consistent and well-received recent output—late July’s collaborative mixtape with Gucci Mane, Free Bricks, regional hit “Watch This,” and the Billboard charting “Magic” and “Tony Montana,” the latter of which Drake remixed—Future has inserted himself into all conversations of who’s next. Riding that wave, he drops off his latest mixtape Streetz Calling.
At its core, Future’s music is lyrically unsophisticated and melodically catchy—and the recent Sony signee knows as much and uses it to his advantage. Working hand-in-hand, and bolstered by his shockingly inoffensive (and actually rather masterful) use of auto-tune, he employs these possible detriments positively. The results range from simple and soundly executed boasts (“Made Myself A Boss”) to futuristic drinking and drugging jams (“Gone To The Moon,” “E” featuring fellow ATLien Trouble), to tales of the grind (“Never Be The Same”).
The A1/Freebandz representer has already proven, with records like “Racks,” “Tony Montana” and “Magic,” that crafting club-centric chants is mere child’s play; and he cements that rep on this project. But it’s when he reveals glimpses of uncertainty and sensitivity that Future becomes more than your ordinary Atlanta bred strip club hit-maker. On “Never Be The Same” he raps, “If you listen closely to me, hear the pain in my delivery/Through the struggle and the pain, I still remain the same.”
For the mixtape closer, the nostalgic and triumphant “If You Knew What It Took,” Future recalls his grind and promises it’ll never cease. “I’m standing in the middle of the rain, trying to hide the tears falling down my face/And when the drops stop, I come to my senses and I go hard for my block.”
Future is certainly going hard for his block on the aptly titled Streetz Calling. It’s not a tape or format that’s pushing any boundaries, but Future has found what he does and found that he does that well. From party-ready tracks to those dedicated to the hustle, Streetz Calling dials up head-nodders ripe for rhyme-along ride arounds. —Adam Fleischer