Say what you like about Future. Say that he sounds like a poor man’s Waka Flocka Flame. Say that he stole his name from Mekhi Phifer’s character in 8 Mile, ironic not only because the movie is 10 years old, but because the character was a relatively talentless hype man whose main function was to keep Eminem from getting shot. But what is undeniable is that, with the release of Astronaut Status, Future has just joined a prestigious club; artists who have had multiple releases reviewed by me on this site (in case you were wondering, the other ones are The Weeknd, Wale, Young Jeezy and Mac Miller. Make of that what you will). Even if the reason escapes me, Future has definitely made his mark and is definitely going to be in the spotlight for a while.
First things first. I’m sure you’re wondering about the title. Is this a Ziggy Stardust-esque concept album revolving around a drug-dealing rapper/astronaut lost in space? No, not at all. It’s about, or at least meant to be listened to while completely “turnt up.” For the definition, google it yourself because I’m pretty sure I can go to prison for telling anyone what it means.
If you’re a regular visitor to the site, you may have noticed that I write a lot about Atlanta “trap muzik” mixtapes, mainly because there’s so many flooding datpiff any given week, because most of them are not so good. I wouldn’t call Future the king of the genre (that’s for Young Jeezy, T.I. and Gucci Mane to decide in some type of trap muzik battle royale. Rick Ross would squash them all but he doesn’t count because he’s from Miami), but he’s perhaps the “trappiest.”
What do I mean by this? Go down the checklist. Drum machines that make absolutely no effort to hide the fact that they’re drum machines? Check. Crazy ad-lib backing vocals that sound like bird calls and gun shots? Check. Lyrics that sound absolutely nothing like the words on your iPod screen? In abundance.
This last point is where Future actually salvages some value out of something that shouldn’t really be worth the time of anyone even slightly sober. But there is no denying the catchiness of the unintelligible hooks of bangers like “Birds Take A Bath” and “Nunbout.” Love them or try to hate them, they will stick in your head.
For a 21-track tape, it’s worth noting that the only guest spots are almost exclusively certified Atlantan heavy-hitters. In addition to Jeezy on the aforementioned “Birds,” Gucci Mane hops up on “Jordan Diddy,” which may be the first time Gucci has appeared on a track with a funnier name than his own, and Ludacris joins Future for the following joint, “Blow.”
Astronaut Status doesn’t do anything close to dethroning Rich Forever as the gangsta rap mixtape to bump in the month of January, and in fact does very little to convince me that Waka Flocka isn’t all I need for I-don’t-know-if-he’s-serious-or-not gangsta rap. But if you have some type of vendetta against those two men, but not Future (and for the record, I know you don’t), this might be worth a listen.
2 / 5 bars
Future – Jordan Diddy (Feat. Gucci Mane)
Future – Space Cadets
Future – Future Back