Future has a gift for you.
A mixtape of trap lullabies. 12 tracks of Future's lilting drone over distorted bass. Music to nod off to in a codeine haze. This is not to say it's terrible. It's genius in it's ability to hypnotize you sadly numb. DJ Esco and Metro Boomin have perfected layering trap snares over kick drums to create a wave of sound, then adding small samples and electronic noises to make each song different. But, not break the the haze that starts with the intro and doesn't end until you pass out or the mixtape ends.
The first two listens I couldn't get past being bored. But then on listen number three I walked to the store just after dusk and I floated there. I got back to my apartment and I couldn't remember taking a single step on my very sober legs. Thinking about Purple Reign as a “Promethazine Ballad” allowed me to appreciate what it was great at. Making me want to nap. When we talk about syzzur we focus on the euphoria of the codeine. But it's the drowsiness caused by Promethazine combined with the codeine euphoria that gives it the trademark “body drowning while the mind is floating” feeling.
Promethazine's primary effect is drowsiness or somnolence. If you've ever taken a Benadryl and spent any time trying to fight the quicksand settling in your eyelids then you know that's the truth, they're essentially the same drug. So if we're calling Future “Hendrix” because he's vocally recreating the effects of his favorite drug like Jimi Hendrix replicated the effects of LSD with an electric guitar then we're making a fair comparison.
This mixtape is all the sleep-aid that I need for my next cross-country flight.
I don't want to leave out the lyrics. The mixtape has them. But the only effect they have is to turn this trap lullaby into a trap dirge. He's lamenting everything. On “No Charge” he raps:
“Drug dealers and strippers they in my entourage / I'ma give them xans to you baby no charge / Get that Perky to you no charge / I give prescriptions to you no charge / We gon' have fun baby, no charge, yeah."
in a tone that makes it sound like an apology.
He's offering to give strippers prescriptions for no charge so they can have fun and he makes it sound like he's telling his neighbor he ran over his dog.
It's the post-party lament that we've been hearing with a darker hue, but not a more meaningful one. “Purple Reign” is a sad nap. The good news is that if you're into that, it's free.
by Nathan Hankins (@nathanhmhankins)