Screen Shot 2017-02-24 at 11

HNDRXX is the Fullfilment of Future’s Pop Star Prophesy

For the second consecutive Friday, Future has a new album out. This week, it’s HNDRXX, an R&B-laden diary packed with tales of the Atlanta innovator running to and from his indulgences. The hedonistic defense mechanisms that made last week’s Future a sword for the trap star to wield disappear on HNDRXX, replaced by the difficult process of self-affirmation and the search for transparency in others. HNDRXX puts out the fires that Future ignites.

The best part about HNDRXX‘s melody-driven sonic palette is the fact that it’s the completion of a prophecy born of Future’s painfully obvious pop star potential. After forcing his way into the mainstream’s consciousness with a handful of undeniable anthems in 2011 and 2012—”Tony Montana,” “Magic,” “Same Damn Time”—Future used the newfound attention he’d garnered to shine a light on what he believed was his true talent: songwriting. What followed was “Turn On The Lights,” an Auto-Tuned, bonafide R&B ballad about finding love in the club. It was an overwhelmingly pop concept, which meant it should have been unthinkable for a guy who’d just rapped about “fucking two bad bitches at the same damn time” on his previous single. Regardless, “Turn On The Lights” was Future’s first release to crack the Top 50 of Billboard‘s Hot 100. It was soon followed by collaborations with Kelly Rowland (“Neva End”) and Miley Cyrus and Mr. Hudson (“Real and True”). And that’s how “Future Vandross” was born. The nickname was a humorous allusion to the sheer unlikeliness of a trap rapper being able to pull off the records he was pumping out, but he willed it into being. Future was now the next big thing in rap and pop, at the same damn time.

Then Honest happened. Future’s sophomore album was a critical darling of sorts, but it failed to resonate with fans, who suddenly weren’t sure which version of Future they preferred. Would it be the “I Won” Future? Or the “Move That Dope?” Future? The album played like Future and his team were having trouble making up their minds too. After only making it to the number two spot on the Billboard 200 and failing to chart a single song in the Top 40, Future’s spaceship stalled.

Six months later the bounce-back began. First he pledged allegiance to the trap with Monster, a blistering mixtape produced almost entirely by Metro Boomin. No more Auto-Tune octaves or Bryan-Michael Cox-esque choruses. “It don’t fuck with my conscience, I serve my auntie that raw,” rapped Future on the tape’s title track. Screw your pop charts, America! Three months later, another mixtape followed, Beast Mode. Two months after that, another one, 56 Nights. Three months after that, a full-length album, DS2, that refused to sacrifice the mixtape formula and still debuted at No. 1. He was done with release dates and music video trailers. The streets needed to be fed.

This is when the real magic happened. Future doubled down on his growled bars about codeine and strip clubs, and he began achieving pop success without any help from Miley or Rihanna. “Commas” was a near-instant hit. “Trap N****s” and “March Madness” made 56 Nights a baby LP. DS2 delivered “Stick Talk.” Then Drake wanted in. Not just for a song (DS2‘s “Where Ya At”) but an entire project. Their collaboration What A Time To Be Alive became Future’s second straight number one album. Drake went back to his “Billboard melodies” a few months later on Views, but Future wasn’t done. EVOL arrived in January of 2016 (his 3rd straight number one debut), just weeks after another mixtape, Purple Reign, launced another record, “Wicked,” into the Top 40.

Still there was unfinished business on the pop and R&B front. Before Honest finally materialized toward the end of 2013, Future had plans to release an album titled Future Hendrix. As he told Zane Lowe on Beats1 last week, he had no plans to emulate Jimi’s epic guitar riffs. He was trying to evoke the frenzy Hendrix brought with him everywhere he went. Future the rockstar. But it wasn’t time yet. His work in the trenches wasn’t finished.

Last Friday, closure on that work came with Future. With today’s release, HNDRXX, Future makes good on a three-year-old promise that some thought would never come to pass. Those unaware of this arc may consider it a fluke, but this was no accident, and no one knows it better than Mr. Nayvadius Wilburn himself.


Related Articles


Scottie Pippen Reportedly Divorcing His Wife Because of Her ‘Cozy’ Relationship With Future


Drake and Future’s ‘Summer Sixteen’ Trek Breaks Record For Highest Grossing Hip-Hop Tour


Future Announces New Album, ‘Future,’ Dropping Friday


Future Is Reportedly Dropping Another Album On Friday


Future Announces New Album, ‘HNDRXX’


Future to Rocko: ‘You’re a Con Artist’


Latest News

wifisfuneral the listening room Music

New Music From Wifisfuneral, Wiki, Meyhem Lauren and More

The Listening Room (June 27, 2017)
kevin-durant Sports

Kevin Durant Congratulates Russell Westbrook in the Weirdest Way

WTF is YouTube's Community feed feature?
jerome-juv-bauer-prodigy-tribute-art Art

18 Tribute Pieces of Art for Prodigy

All over the streets he done took
Karem/Sanders News

Reporter Calls White House Deputy Press Secretary On Her BS

The war between the press and the Trump administration rages on
kendrick lamar drops new video for "element." Music Video

Kendrick Lamar Hands Out a Proper Fade in “ELEMENT.” Video

Pull up, hop out
squidnice Features

Why Keeping It Real Is A Priority for Squidnice

"If I’m broke, I’m broke. I speak the truth. I just make it sound good.”
GOP News

LOL At These Honky-Tonk Republicans Who Can’t Repeal Obamacare

Long Live Obama
Lansing News

Cop Caught Threatening to Kill a Black Teen

A 15-year-old in Illinois is the latest whose life is put in jeopardy
sizzla-drawing Music

Murda She Wrote: Sizzla, Gaza Slim, Alkaline, Vershon

The best real dancehall music out now
public enemy, black and white News

A New Public Enemy Album Is About to Drop

Believe the hype, it's official.
james harden risks it all for nicki minaj at nba awards Sports

Russ Won MVP, but James Harden Won the Night

You don't get the trophy unless you risk it all
twitter-fail-blogs News

WTF is Happening to Hip Hop Twitter Right Now?!

The Fail Whale is back with a vengeance

PREMIERE: BigBabyGucci Balls Out of Control On “Chris Paul”

Designer shopping and balling on them lames
big-baller-brand Hot Takes

LaMelo Ball Uses “Racial Slur” on Monday Night RAW—Just Like Vince McMahon

"Keep it up, my n****"
drake-stephcurry Sports

Drake Sends Steph Curry to the Sunken Place in ‘Get Out’ Parody

And roasts the entire NBA too
Daupe!, Tha God Fahim News

Do Tha God Fahim And Daupe! Media Have Beef?

The brand gets bitten by the culture vulture title