Posted on July 22nd, 2015 (3:00 pm) by Lucy Xiong

Dirty Sprite 2 sounds like the embodiment of its namesake — lean. Definitely a musical improvement from Honest but still not necessarily a traditionally great rap album. However, Future Hendrix shouldn’t be judged as a traditional emcee, but rather as a conductor of great seated-dance/party music with a commendable degree of introspection. It’s perfect for that hazy euphoria of being solidly inebriated in close proximity to a couch.

I want to be honest. I had to review this album in two states of being. My sober and inebriated selves have very different opinions of this album. Sober me is irritated by the repetitiveness and the lack of intelligibility on the album. Its reliance on autotune warble and very simple bass-heavy instrumentals makes it boring in a way that makes the album seem shallow and musically incompetent. However, at the same time, when I remove the lens through which I might usually judge hip-hop and just allow myself to feel the music, sober me suddenly starts drinking. After slight to moderate inebriation, it starts to make sense. Its simplicity suddenly feels relieving and its repetition feels familiar in a warm welcoming way. The bass becomes super uplifting and the lyrical incoherence becomes surprisingly relatable.

There are spurts of sonic and lyrical juiciness throughout the album that confirm the pedestal that Future’s established himself on in hip-hop. For example, though lyrically atrocious, "Rich $ex" is melodically engaging in that decadent R&B-for-the-bedroom way. Though "The Percocet & Stripper Joint" doesn't seem to be about much more about doing drugs with strippers, his flow and lyrics on it are incredibly smooth and dulcet. There’s something about Future’s groans and gritty, light on annunciation voice that evokes emotion and empathy even though what he’s saying isn’t totally clear.

Future is definitely more self-aware and mature on this album. With lines like “I know the devil is real / I take a dose of them pills and I get real low in the field” and the repetition of “Long live A$AP Yams” at the end of "Slave Master," he more than acknowledges the dark side of drug use. In I Serve the Base, he even turns the mirror of introspection onto women with financially exploitative intentions for men and/or themselves along with his own career path— perhaps molding a substantial metaphor. Throughout the album, he weaves effective imagery of his and Trap music’s roots displaying a loyalty to his devoted fan-base and a sense of security in his identity.

In this sequel to his 2011 breakout mixtape Dirty Sprite, Future declares his independence while displaying growth by having only one feature and maintaining a lyrical conciseness amid the repetition trap music is known for. The one track with a feature on the album, "Where Ya At," is a continuation of the message of Drake’s "No New Friends" and "Worst Behavior" in this “holding up a mirror of honesty” style of Future. This collaboration between polarizing genre-bending artists who’s R&B infused sounds have both aroused harsh rejection by hip-hop fans while also significantly influencing music is an undoubtedly powerful statement.

Future, like Southern hip-hop in general, has long been a point of heavy contention in not just hip-hop but music as a whole. Some feel that it’s an abomination to the (perhaps romanticized) role of hip-hop. Others feel that it takes music in a very necessary direction and connect to it deeply. Dirty Sprite 2 perhaps clarifies that contention on the basis of whether one can relate. To those who don’t identify with the internal and environmental contexts or values of Future’s music, it can easily seem like a superficial glorification of getting wasted and partying. To those who identify with the pain and melancholy to which the lifestyle “glorified” by Future is often a relief to, the complexity in his music is evident and worthy of high acclaim. All in all, this album lives up to the hype and deserves all the reverence it’s receiving.

Track List:

  1. Thought It Was A Drought
  2. I Serve the Base
  3. Where Ya At (feat. Drake)
  4. Groupies
  5. Lil One
  6. Stick Talk
  7. Freak Hoe
  8. Rotation
  9. Slave Master
  10. Blow a Bag
  11. Colossal
  12. Rich $ex
  13. Blood on the Money
  14. Trap Niggas
  15. The Percocet & Stripper Joint
  16. Real Sisters
  17. Kno The Meaning
  18. Fuck Up Some Commas
Future - Dirty Sprite 2
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

70 / 100
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