Future & Metro Boomin’s ‘We Don’t Trust You’ Is Too Good To Get Overshadowed By Petty Rap Beef

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“Rap is fun again” was a common sentiment that appeared on social media in the wake of the release of Future and Metro Boomin’s new album, We Don’t Trust You. Unfortunately, fans asserting as much were referring less to the album itself than to one of its features. On the song “Like That,” Kendrick Lamar makes an unlikely appearance with a fiery verse seemingly calling out the two rappers he’s most commonly compared to, Drake and J. Cole.

That’s kind of a shame. Not only has rap been fun for a really long time outside this album and any attendant potential “beef,” but the album itself deserves more than being overshadowed by the shade K. Dot directed at his ostensible rivals. The reason We Don’t Trust You was so heavily anticipated in the first place was the track record of quality chemistry between its principals. Future and Metro have collaborated frequently in the past, and the results have often been stellar, delivering some of the biggest standouts in the rapper’s catalog (the producer’s is another story).

Take “Mask Off.” Aside from being Future’s highest-charting single from 2017-2020 (peaking at No. 5 on the Hot 100), it’s become nearly ubiquitous in popular culture; its titular catchphrase was used as recently as a couple of weeks ago as the title of a profile of Tierra Whack for Vulture. Incidentally, it’s also still Future’s highest-charting solo single; it was supplanted in 2020 by “Life Is Good,” which peaked at No. 2, “Way 2 Sexy” in 2021, and “Wait For U” in 2022. The latter two both hit No. 1; all three songs feature Drake, which is… interesting, in light of recent developments.

Meanwhile, “Superhero (Heroes & Villains)” from Metro’s last official solo album, 2022’s Heroes & Villains, was the second highest-charting song from the album despite not being released as an official single like “Creepin’,” the only better-performing song from the album. Both were the only two songs from Heroes & Villains to appear in the top ten (“Superhero” at No. 8, “Creepin'” at No. 3). It seems safe enough to say that among Metro’s most prolific partnerships, Future is the one that gets people going the most — aside from Drake, who now appears to be on the outs with both.

I’ve now gone four paragraphs and mentioned Drake three times, which feels instructive of the point I’ve been trying to make. Future and Metro should be the focus, and they’ve let themselves get backburnered on what was expected to be one of the standouts of either artist’s career. Even worse, We Don’t Trust You absolutely clears that benchmark, offering some of the most innovative beat work the St. Louis producer has turned in lately — which should be doubly impressive, considering his recent output includes not only Heroes & Villains but also the excellent and versatile Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack and much of Young Thug’s Business Is Business jail album, along with a much-improved deluxe re-sequencing thereof.

Likewise, Future, whose last few solo projects prompted somewhat lukewarm responses (including from this publication), sounds more focused than he has since 2017’s Future/Hndrxx double release. Tracks like the titular intro, “Magic Don Juan (Princess Diana),” and “Everyday Hustle” crackle with the duo’s unique chemistry as Future reels in the more maudlin reflections prominent in his prior work to boast and threaten like a kingpin. “Got that sniff on me, that white shit like I’m Tom Brady,” he gloats on “Magic Don Juan.” “I’ma put a sports car on two wheels like it got hydraulics.”

Even on “Like That,” the beat pulls one hell of a sample — Rodney-O & Joe Cooley’s ’88 Uncle Jamm staple “Everlasting Bass,” in the style of Three 6 Mafia’s “Gotta Touch ‘Em (Pt. 2)” — to bolster Kendrick and Future’s nose-thumbing. “Runnin Outta Time” is cinematic, “Fried (She A Vibe)” lives up to its parenthetical, and “Everyday Hustle” is a masterclass in soulful street rap. (Sidebar: Anyone who says Rick Ross sounds “revitalized” here has missed Rick Ross’ last three projects.)

While the album drags on the backend (trap albums remain too long), and, like much of the overall trap oeuvre, can sound a bit repetitive, it more than lives up to its hype. It just sucks that modern audiences are so inundated with new music that the only thing they’ll get excited for is drama, beef, and gossip. Rap has been exciting — We Don’t Trust You is a fine contribution to that tradition — but if all anyone cares about is who dissed who and only gets fired up for guest rappers hijacking the conversation, then no wonder they’re so bored with the music of late. Maybe when We Still Don’t Trust You drops, the actual music can share the spotlight.

We Don’t Trust You is out now via Freebandz/Boominati/Epic/Republic. Get it here.