Future Returns To Form On The Masterful And Raw ‘Beastmode 2’

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June 2018 will go down as one of the most prolific months in hip-hop history, with most of the genre’s modern-day heavyweights dropping new projects at a dizzying clip. Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Drake, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Nas, and TDE stalwart Jay Rock all released full-length albums to hungry fanbases, eager to dissect each and every project loudly over social media. Lost among the shuffle was Future, one of the genre’s leading lights, who unveiled the soundtrack to the remake of the classic blaxploitation film Superfly at the very height of the all the mayhem to a massive thud. Hardly anyone could be bothered to care.

There is, of course, a variety of different explanations for why Future failed to make a dent with that project. Few people in 2018 seemed very interested in the proposition of a Superfly remake in the first place, and far fewer were interested in listening to a soundtrack to a film they had no intention of watching. Add to that the underwhelming returns from his 2017 joint album with Young Thug Super Slimey, and it really felt like Future needed to tap into the monster that made him such a sensation, during that incredible mixtape run back in 2015. And last Friday night, with absolute no warning whatsoever he did just that.

Beastmode 2 arrived with all of the ecstatic fire emojis and atomic bomb gifs that the internet could handle. People had been waiting on this project for roughly two years and the reception was the polar opposite of the collective shrug everyone gave Superfly. As its name suggests, this mixtape is a sequel to the project he cooked up with producer Zaytoven back at the height of Future mania in 2015, and as impossible as it might be for some to people to believe, it might be one of the rare instances where the follow-up matches the quality of the celebrated original. If Beastmode is Rocky, Beastmode 2 is Rocky III at least, and Rocky IV at most.

There’s really something to be said for a vision executed by a sole artist and a sole producer. The mind-meld between Future and Zaytoven is extraordinary, and one of the most compelling characteristics of their new collaboration is how cohesive it all sounds. This was definitely by design. According to producer who spoke with The Fader in an interview published the same time Beastmode 2 dropped, Zay and Future had been cooking this project up for over two years, recording something in the neighborhood of 100 songs along the way and finally drilling down to nine of their best to release out into the world.