“Project E.T., Esco Terrestrial” is the most interesting thing we've heard from Future since the What A Time To Be Alive (WATTBA) project with Drake.
I had high hopes when I saw production from DJ Mustard & Metro Boomin as well as features from Drake, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Young Thug, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Uzi Vert and Casey Veggies. Those varied influences combined with DJ Esco's creativity make for something more than just the Future-droning-sadly-over-trap-beats that we've been getting.
Don't worry, the droning about excess is still here. There's a song called “Champagne Showers” and it's your typical, I made so much money that I celebrate by showering all of us in champagne but then I have to take a ton of pills so that I don't freak out about having champagne on all my jewelry. Also, isn't it annoying when a ho tries to look you in the face while you're banging? But even this very typical offering is added to enough by Rich Homie Quan doing ad-libs that I was able to enjoy listening to it for the 30 seconds it took me to decode it.
But there is treasure here, and it's a mixtape so don't forget that it's a gift. “Thot Hoe” is a hilarious jam. Future sings, “I ain't tryin to get into no tongue russle with these hoes, I leave out the VIP like eenie-meenie-minie-mo” which stands out nicely. “Too Much Sauce” with Lil Uzi Vert is solid roller with a plinky piano sample over it. “Super Dumb” features just Rambo So Weird a rapper a DJ Esco protege who sounds like Future if he was awake and he interned for E-40. Rae Sremmurd are on “Party Pack” which adds some pop to Future's melody. And “Stupidly Crazy” has Casey Veggies, Nef the Pharoah, and DJ Mustard on the beat ho. They make a nice pop rap-ballad that stands out but doesn't seem totally out of place on ET.
Esco was instrumental in building up Future by both making him beats and playing him in the strip club, and brought him back to the street rap that has him setting records in the last year. So it's great that he's still innovating. Future seems to be believing his own hype a little too much. He's in the new DJ Khaled song repeating Khaled's Snapchat tagline, “I got them keys, keys, keys” like an idiot, and it's embarrassing. Future has also chose to fight a war of silence on the issue of the “Panda” rapper Desiigner who most agree sounds a lot like Future, if not outright imitates him. Silence is a solid move, befitting the boss that he is, but Desiigner is on G.O.O.D. Music so he has Pusha-T and Kanye West behind him which is some formidable backing. Not to say that Desiigner is going to knock Future off the mountain of Trap, but the sales and celebrity come from the attention of the kind of fans who are extremely fickle. The fans who care to follow the original instead of an entertaining ball of energy are too far between to allow Future to just cruise if he wants to stay on top, which seems like the whole point of the thing.
On another note, if I have unintentionally put you off Future, or you are looking for something a little more bouncy but still possessing that southern drug rap edge. You should check out Saucelord Rich's mixtape “Know Me”. He's half of the production duo FKI from Atlanta. Know Me is full of gems from the well known 2 Chainz banger “Watch Out”, to songs with lesser knows like ManManSavage and Kap G. Seriously do yourself the favor of putting this on your phone and getting surprised when one of these songs come on and you love it.
by Nathan Hankins (@nathanhmhankins)