Another weekend is upon us.
You are riding in your vehicle with the speakers rocking!
Your 5-Disc CD changer just finished playing Makaveli – The 7 Day Theory.
You know what’s next… Rap A Lot Records Presents, Mil-Ticket by A-G-2-A-Ke!
AND it’s a Payday Friday!
Life is good.
It’s like 1998 all over again, except it’s not.
Its year 2020 of our Lord and Savior.
Your back hurts, your oldest kid graduates high school in a year, and you have direct deposit now so no more checks cashed at the liquor store.
Times have changed but yet your music consumption hasn’t aged one bit. Pac, Face, Devin The Dude, Mc Eiht, and The Beatnuts have all had their respective primes come and go. Yet you refuse to let go of them in place of anything new.
You constantly say how today’s music sucks and everyone sounds the same. You my friend, are a…..
That’s where your main man, Smitty The Brawler comes in.
I’m here to present you all with modern albums that should be in your rotation. As a former Fuddy Duddy, as recently as four years ago, the responsibility has been bestowed upon me to expose you all to some new tunes.
Think of me as an audio Harriet Tubman as this series of articles will become sort of a musical underground railroad. Let’s be free!
First up is an album celebrating it’s thirdanniversary. An album that has become my personal favorite album of all time. HNDRXX by Future.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Future is trash”.
And honestly, I agreed with you… until February 24th, 2017. That day changed EVERYTHING. I was pestered by Editor-in-Chief of this website, and self-proclaimed Future Hive-member, Downtown Diego. He told me it would behoove me to give Future a shot. After three years of said bothersome behavior, I acquiesced. I listened to HNDRXX on release day.
How was it that I didn’t skip a single song? No Bayless.
How was it that without having on a baseball mitt, I was catching a vibe?
How was it that once the album concluded, I ran it back even though my name isn’t Turbo?
I didn’t quite understand what was happening to me, that I was so thoroughly enjoying this album.
Then I figured it out. At the end of the day, the album was simply amazing. It was undeniable. It was inevitable. At the same time, it resonated with where I was in my personal journey. HNDRXX was the soundtrack to my life. Allow me to highlight some of the tracks, as difficult as it will be to not deep dive each of them.
The album started with Fewtch crooning on ‘My Collection’ about how the smashing of any particular pair of cheeks, even just one time, led to him having sole possession of said cheeks. Which is a theory in which I subscribe to wholeheartedly. The first track of this classic album is possibly the most toxic masculinity song of Future’s toxic-ass catalog. He confesses his stance of not saying nothing rather than lie to his woman. A noble man, indeed.
“Even if I hit you once, you part of my collection” so would had been my Myspace tagline if this song came out 15 years ago. This track got things off to the races.
Comin Out Strong (Featuring The Weeknd)
On the second track, Future reunites with fellow lowlife, The Weekend, in one of only two features on the whole project (the other feature is Rihanna). This track goes into the overcoming of women taking one’s kindness for weakness. We shall prevail over said circumstance(s) and always end up coming out strong. He goes on to say “You with my ex while I’m with different color candy”. Lesson here, overcompensating with multiple hussies of different ethnic backgrounds is the key to conquering losing the one you really love.
Free game, gang.
On this Jodeci sample-assisted song, Future leads this one off reminding his former love interest how he’s been there for her, and she knows it’s true. He then gets into some of the vices that constantly “Fuck a nigga life up”. And there are plenty of them. Money, his drunk baby moms, police, and most notably, his role model.
He then admits something every man can arrest to, “Pussy be fucking my life up, and yet at the same time it giving me stanima.”
Yes that’s correct, “stanima”.
Which is “stamina” for people who suffer from dyslexia, which he may have let us know he deals with that bar.
If you put a uun to the head and asked the question… this may be my favorite track.
He simply wants his boo to know how to use him. This song could easily be mistaken for the transcript of a black quarterbacks in a pre-draft meetings with coaches.
“Just so you know, I need you to know how to use me. Tell me what you using me for. Use me to make me better”.
But nope, it’s him offering up his usefulness to his girl. Even showing the willingness to go as far as driving to Chicago to pick up his prospective stepchild from her baby father. No wonder Lori Harvey is so in love. This guy is a classic man.
This song I feel could have been a huge single. Everytime it comes on, I envision myself on an island, doing unspeakable things with unsuspecting women.
It just puts me in that place.
Big time James Brown vibes here, as it took a few months for me to make out what’s being said at certain points on this song. Jibberish aside, this song is a great testament to Future’s elite ability to curate music. Great hook, sweet background and undertone vocals, uncanny comprehension of melody, and even a damn bridge. He also asks a lot of hard hitting questions here.
“Where the drugs tonight?”
“Tell me is it impossible to do these drugs and fall in love?”
And “Tell me why suffocate if I need to breath?” being my favorites.
We are still awaiting answers.
Turn On Me
Not many situations induce anxiety quite like foreseeing someone turning on you.
Exactly how Randy Savage felt in 1996, when racist ass Hogan leg dropped him.
Deep down, he always saw it coming.
As did Future as he proclaims “I told you from the start you was gonna turn on me.”
After Future splashed in it, she still let a square get it. Even though she should have never ever.
What a bitch.
To do that after all of the game he gave her!
On top of all the rings he put on her, and all of the blame he shouldered!
Future was left to look at this girl’s new dude be happy, as he pondered why he himself, wasn’t happy.
An absolute tragedy. The ultimate betrayal.
As only he could, Future ended this thrill ride of an album with a song titled ‘Sorry’. But there’s just one catch, he doesn’t actually apologize. Unless “I aint really mean to hurt you, sorry it’s gotta be this way” counts as an apology.
Would you accept that?
He then goes on to chronicle a few of the hot tenderonies he’s come across. The half-hearted apology comes completely unglued as he names a few of those aforementioned ladies.
While I made light of a lot of the subject matter, please do not misconstrue the fact that this album is a 10/10. It flows from one song to the next seamlessly. It’s pretty much a 17- track concept album chronicling his confliction between being moved on from heartbreak, and absolutely NOT being over that heartbreak. The authenticity of his internal conflict is very much conveyed to the listener, and that helps make this in my opinion, his best body of work.
Not to mention his elite songwriting.
I say all of everything I’ve written here simply to say. Listen to the album ‘HNDRXX’.
As I have hundreds of times over the last three years. I didn’t mean to write this much about the album, but it really is my favorite album of all time. An album in which I hold near and dear to my slightly enlarged heart.
That old UGK – ‘Riding Dirty’ aint going anywhere. Neither is your beloved ‘East 1999’ by B.O.N.E. Thugs. Take a word of wisdom from Craig Mack, and put some new flavor in your ear, you fuddy duddy!
I’ll be back next Friday with another album for you to add to your rotation. Together, our musical ears shall evolve.