[A1 Recordings/Freebandz/Epic Records]
Following the release of Future’s Dirty Sprite mixtape in 2011, very few people would have imagined that if they had taken a deep look into the crystal ball of hip hop that they would see a future quite like this (sorry about the Future pun, too easy). Upon the release of DS2 – acronymed from ‘Dirty Sprite 2’ for obvious reasons as Sprite are not to keen to publicise its connection to the infamous cocktail of codeine, promethazine and Sprite, known commonly on the streets as lean syrup or Texas tea – Future gained a massive rise from resembling a mumbling drug-fuelled T-Pain tribute act to holding hip hop cult status.
Some may say that it is only a coincidence, but for trap fans alike – and in particular the trap trolls that consistently flood social media with the #FutureHive hashtag and memes showing Future’s hero status and illustrating his seat upon the throne of Atlanta’s trap scene – it’s fitting that the week that NASA released the first ever pictures of the planet Pluto (also the name of Future’s acclaimed 2012 début release) that he would announce DS2 with just a week before the release date.
DS2 gives the hungry public exactly what they want from a Future project as he scraps the label-driven endeavour and returns to his gritty mixtape styling. The Atlanta rapper/singer delivers his much sought-after sound of warped auto-tuned moans over a simple yet captivating trap-infused recipe of heavy sub base, crisp snares and rattling high hats with loud siren synths echoing in
The opening line of intro track ‘Thought It Was a Drought’ is a perfect example; “I just fucked your bitch in some Gucci flip flops“, setting the project’s lyrical scene. The ‘drought’ in this case being the lack of Actavis cough syrup on the streets since the cease of production by the company due to its growing recreational popularity, but Future doesn’t have a problem as he boasts that he is in fact well connected, thankfully. DS2 does find Future attempting to be more heartfelt than ever before, however many times it comes off pretty cringeworthy and laughable such as on tracks like ‘Groupies’, ‘Freak Hoe’ & ‘Rich $ex’ when he braggingly depicts his sex fuelled high life with drug-influenced raps about a life that fans certainly don’t live.
Also uncharacteristic about DS2 in relation to any of Future’s other projects is that there are a noticeable lack of Featured Artists, especially with no inclusion of any Rich Gang members who had become almost a rite of passage on his work to date. The sole featured appearance on the album comes from hip hop’s undisputed hit-maker, Toronto’s own Drake on ‘Where Ya At’. A song asking the question of the absence of people before the fame, a sort of ode to the no new friends motto that Drake lives by. Drake ponders the question with lines like ‘Man, where your ass was at, dog, when niggas wouldn’t feed me?/Where your ass was at, dog, when bitches didn’t need me?’.
On the production side of things, Future continues with the winning partnership of trap wizards Metro Boomin, Sonny Digital, Southside and Zaytoven with all providing high quality beats throughout. The Zaytoven-produced ‘Colousel’, a haunting piano funk riff behind a typical 808 trap-style percussion is a perfect representation of the high production that outweighs the
It does says a lot about the cohesion on DS2 and the contrast between singles and fillers when the standout track on the album is, in fact, the bonus track. ‘Fuck Up Some Commas’, culled from Future’s 2014 mixtape Monster, is powered by a punishing beat from DJ Spinz and Southside with the catchy repetition of the now infamous hook, “Let’s fuck up some commas/Let’s fuck up some commas, yeah”. A song that although simply about blowing an excessive amount of money has become the anthemic song of 2015. As such, it is fitting that DS2 concludes with Future repeatedly uttering the phrase “Let’s have a money shower right now, oh/Let’s have a money shower right now, oh/Let’s have a money shower right now, let’s go.”