Lots of rappers talk about drugs, but Future is one of the few whose music makes you feel like you’re actually on some. When he raps, it’s in pulse-racing staccato bursts; when he sings, his Auto-Tuned vowels stretch and melt like alien dreams. Two years after his debut LP, Pluto, sent shock waves through mainstream rap, everyone else is still playing catch-up. Now the Atlanta oddball is vaulting ahead once again with his second album – a weirder, grander, dizzier trip than its predecessor.
Honest declares its stakes early, with the operatically exuberant hustler’s anthem “T-Shirt.” Tracks like this and the superb posse cut “Move That Dope” make one of rap’s oldest stories feel urgently new, with Future’s slippery yelp ricocheting giddily off fat, warped bass lines. This is an album about all-in celebration, whether he’s literally objectifying his fiancée, Ciara, on the Kanye West duet “I Won” (a sexist cliché that skates by, if just barely, on Future’s drunk charm) or hoarsely shouting the title of “Covered N Money” like Scrooge McDuck on an MDMA binge. Sweetest and strangest of all is the codeine-soaked ballad “I Be U,” about loving someone so much your identity dissolves right into theirs. The way he makes it sound, we should all be so lucky.