Called it! Called it! Called it, called it, called it!
Ahem. I, erm, called it. I called it. No wonder I’m The Internet’s Most Trusted Voice.
First, we’re going to have to address the elephant in the room by talking about Sex and the City. A length of time ago, I watched the movie Sex and the City 2. Firstly, I literally only just found out now that it’s Sex and the City, not Sex in the City, a revelation I’m sure many people reading this will also be having. I’ll just put this sentence in here for you all to get over that shock, as it really plays no part in the rest of this post. I thought Sex and the City 2 was absolutely dreadful. I thought it was badly written, a sickening love letter to capitalism, and offensively cack handed and horrendously patronising when it came to Muslim politics and identity. It was, apparently, alright for these rich white women to drink champagne while holidaying in a brutal dictatorship, because underneath their veils all the Muslim women wanted to wear expensive designer clothes to! Because, underneath it all, don’t we all just want to be self-serving consumer cunts from New York?! Awful, awful, awful, awful.
But then, I’d never seen Sex and the City 1, so perhaps I was never going to be able to truly appreciate it. Honestly, I believe that if you haven’t done the requisite background work then you really have no grounds on which to properly criticise it. That’s why I turned down Roland Barthes’s invitation to debate the movie at the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice. Not that it’s my place, but I would question if Barthes himself debating the film whas entirely proper, considering he’s been dead for more than 20 years at that point. ‘BEASTMODE 2’ is a sequel to a lauded mixtape Future released back in 2015 that I hadn’t had the fortune to hear. Would ‘BEASTMODE 2’ be an artistic achievement that failed to grab me in the same way that Sex and the City 2 did?
I was relieved to hear what an unconditional success ‘BEASTMODE 2’ was. I know Future has released roughly 473 albums in his career, and I have only heard four of them, but I can’t imagine anything he’s previously done being as utterly compelling as ‘BEASTMODE 2’. Musically, it may be 2018’s greatest rap album (if you don’t count… y’know… that one…). It loses points for Future continually returning to the well of a cheap pop by way of casual sexism. I don’t so much mind the occasional horrendous imagery (“She did forsake me, she wanna taste me/And she showed it, gave her the blue face”) if it fits the nightmarish atmosphere he’s crafting for a particular song, but casual #Banter like “Pass the bitch/That’s an assist” is a little sickening. It’s quite possible that I may have simply discredited the album completely after hearing these lines (the line I’ve highlighted is in the first freaking track), that it was only because I knew how good Future could be that I let them slide and concentrated on the multiple positives. So, yes, maybe it isn’t like Sex and the City 2, seeing as I had some previous knowledge to fall back on, and Sex and the City 2 has precisely no positives. This is a bigger issue than I want to give time to hear, the fact that I’m willing to forgive Future’s occasional misogyny because of, essentially, I like the way he can turn inconsequential lines like ‘cuddle my wrists‘ into absolute gold. He’ll release another (probably excellent) record soon, and we can talk more about his gender politics and how such views are still accepted. ‘BEASTMODE 2’ though, is more about how amazing I am.
It’s hard to discuss Future’s greatest, and the year’s 22nd greatest, album without bigging myself up. I first noticed on Future’s 2017 self-titled album how, despite Future being written off in many circles as just a boringly braggadocios trap rapper with little to say other than how big his deck of cash, Benz or penis is, underneath is a subtle and underplayed depression and despair. Future was being careful, and rather clever, in managing to sell, on the surface, the vision of him as a narcissistic drug peddler, so entwined in his high living lifestyle of girls, guns and gonk* that he barely even notices how awesome his life is. That’s just the kayfabe Future though. I picked up on a concealed underlay to all this. Future wasn’t just acting nonchalant and callous in response to his unimaginable success, he was actually numbed by how indifferent he was still feeling, how none of this material wealth could heal the misery inside. Future wasn’t callous or coolly detached, he was hollow.
(*’gonk’ is a new street drug that you’re likely not cool enough to have heard of. According to court testimony, it ‘gives the effect of having precisely three Bornean orangutan sitting on your chest, whilst your mind is always convinced that you’ve just watched Short Circuit, despite not having seen that movie for many years. It’s also helpful as I couldn’t think of a druggy word beginning with ‘G’ and I really wanted to keep the alliteration going. Gak! Gak. I should’ve said ‘gak’…)
You all laughed at me, didn’t you? Didn’t you!? Well, no, you didn’t, because that Future review rivals anything I’ve ever written about Lil Yachty as my least read post ever, but still… Well, anyway, Future doubles down on the misery this time, and makes such once covert suggestions that only people as smart as me could previously notice now explicit. IRL, people were actually surprised that I named Mask Off my Legit Boss best song of 2017, thinking I was reaching by saying Future’s announcing of the drugs he was taking as him listing exactly how many alterations it takes before he begins to stop hating himself. The ‘mask’ being ‘off’, that many more well paid writers dismissed as simply a meaningless reference to a bank raid, I was actually smart enough to read as Future revealing the real Future behind the Kayfabe Future just for a second (Future…). Now, we have HATE THE REAL ME shaking my hand and awarding me some kind of prize for being so freaking clever, as it laments that “I just wanna get high as I can”. Many reviews have claimed ‘BEASTMODE 2’ exposes a ‘new vulnerability’ to Future’s character. Not to me. Or the one or two people who actually read the review. You need no other music journalism other than Necessary Evil.
I’m gonna be so pissed off if nobody reads this either…