Despite its dire-sounding title, Future’s Save Me is ultimately less a cry for help than an earnest expression of his desire for a stable relationship. Of course, when it comes to the (formerly) lean-laden, ATL trap crooner, the conditions for one are still slightly skewed. However, the resulting musical statement is one of Future’s most consistent and complete-sounding works in recent memory, including this year’s The Wizrd, on which he first began his temporized maturation process.
It’s a generally accepted truth among Future fans that his music is usually at its best when he utilizes his gravelly wail to convey a relatable emotion rather than trying to address complex ideas through his rhymes. The clear standout on Save Me in this regard is centerpiece song “Shotgun,” which is already theorized by fans to contain a veiled shot at Future’s ex Ciara via a sample of her 2006 hit “Promise.”
Although that rumor remains to be confirmed, “Shotgun” does envelop Future’s smoky vocals in a similarly hazy morass of a beat with drums that do sound suspiciously reminiscent of the speculated sample. The lyrics even contain the line, “I ain’t talkin’, girl, I’m makin’ all promises,” which lends some credence to the fan theory, although it’s just as likely Future himself wasn’t actually making any sort of connection when he wrote it.
It’s just that the cracks and strains in his voices — the precursors to similar vocal effects used by his obvious stylistic descendants like Juice WRLD, Trippie Redd, and XXXTentacion — are so convincing and so empathetic, that the listener can’t help but build the framework of a narrative to suit their connection with the material. This is then mirrored by the little we know of Future’s personal life — namely, his high-profile engagement and eventual separation from Ciara.