'Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD' is a narcissistic, yet infectious, self-declaration of greatness

Music Future9 1 19
Photo credit: Courtsy Epic
NEVER STOP: Future's seventh album commands respect.

At a sprawling 20 tracks, Future’s seventh album, Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD (Epic), is a narcissistic, yet infectious, self-declaration of greatness. The album is practically void of any featured artists, but Future’s ravenous energy is what makes songs such as the lead single, “Crushed Up,” so compelling. The extensive self-indulgence is equally irresistible; Future (born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn) even samples himself throughout the album. However, the samples are more than audacious nods to how long Future has been dishing out hits. They also serve as motifs, ushering in transitions in a rewarding fashion for longtime fans. This technique is flawlessly executed on “Baptiize,” a deep cut featuring an exhilarating beat switch that flips a sample of “Slave Master” from 2015’s DS2. While plenty of credit goes to WIZRD’s long list of producers (ATL Jacob, Tay Keith, Wheezy, and more), Future’s charismatic delivery propels the trap extravaganza, demanding recognition. That desire resonates on “Krazy but True,” where he demands respect from his rap contemporaries as well. Lyrics like “I’m God to you niggas/I worked too hard just to spoil you niggas/You need to pay me my respects” are admittedly self-righteous, but the messiness is just as enjoyable. On WIZRD, Future mostly boasts his wealth, jewelry, and sexcapades without offering much substance. Nevertheless, the album still feels like a triumph and makes for a solid argument about Future’s musical and cultural contributions. Wizardry at the peak of self-reverence. ★★★☆☆

★★★★★ This album will change your life | ★★★★☆ A truly great album | ★★★☆☆ A solid effort, worth a listen | ★★☆☆☆ No thanks | ★☆☆☆☆ Don't bother

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