Future has made... Another one...
DJ Khaled might be the epitome of mainstream culture. The overweight celebrity has risen to A-list status thanks to becoming a viral laughing stock. At this point, I can name more memes made by Khaled than songs. It's so bad I'm failing to name-drop any song he has produced without a Google search. Though I may underestimate his musical ability, I refuse to give him any respect as long as I have friends who dedicate their Snapchats entirely to mimicking him. "They don't want you to be successful," he says. YOU'RE FUCKING RIGHT KHALED! GET ON YOUR JETSKI, AND NEVER COME BACK. The man is walking pop culture, and his association with Future strikes an odd note with me.
Because of Future's rough upbringing, I cannot fault him for trying to become as mainstream and popular as possible. In the same vein as J. Cole, I believe he's playing the game to change the game. Someone as real as Future can release as many simple mainstream hits as he pleases. Let the man cash in! Similar to how Cam Newton is spreading Atlanta culture on the field, Future is leading the charge on the musical front. Could any other rapper make the self-proclaimed 6 God wish he was born in A-town? I'm proud that Atlanta currently hosts the country's most popular rappers, and I cannot turn against the moguls just because they are cashing in on their fame. I'll stick around as long as Future stays out of the family comedy genre.
While I will cheer on Future as a fan as long as I can, the recent amount of music he has been releasing makes me uncomfortable. After dropping a studio album and a collab album with Drake last year, he has already released a mixtape and has an album coming out this Friday, Feb. 5. Future announced his new album via Khaled's instagram post above. Even as I sat writing this article on Feb. 3, Future dropped a song ironically titled "In Abundance.". Once again, get your money fam. Yet as an individual music consumer, I don't have enough time in my day for that much Future.
I'll listen to whatever songs become popular, but I will not be a fan that dives into the album to find out which songs are worth a listen. Call me fairweather, bandwagon, whatever; it's the price you pay when you're trying to cash in. In the Internet Age, attention is the valuable resource, not information. Are these songs really filled with thought if they took only a few weeks to make? Can Future genuinely entertain me by churning out songs on a daily basis?
Without a doubt, the landscape of music is changing, particularly rap. An astoundingly new trend forces artists to produce piles of tracks in order to stay relevant. Though musicians like Adele can prosper by releasing music sparingly, the majority of new, young artists rely on studio binging to get noticed. Artists have to release enough music in order to drown out others and stay afloat in the daily tide of new releases. Take the highest selling artist of the last decade, Eminem. I was a little too young to experience Eminem during his peak, but that didn't stop me from gorging myself with his music and dressing up as him 2x a week in high school.
Eminem released his best three albums within three to four years. His fourth album took two more years, then he went down the rabbit hole of drug addiction. He has emerged successfully and released several great albums since, but they're nothing compared to his freshman, sophomore and junior albums. Whoever will be the best selling artist of this decade will have a drastically different album timeline than ole Slim Shady. Whichever artist does sell the most (probably not Future) might have to adapt to the modern music environment, and release much more music.
Although I am reluctant to appreciate Future's avalanche of music, maybe I am just closeminded. A decade ago if someone tried to pump out as many songs as him, they would have fizzled out immediately (Lil Wayne anyone?). But a decade ago, no one was surrounded by talented producers who can spoon-feed hits like Esco, Mike Will and Metro Boomin. No one had the connections capable of fueling any number of musical ventures like Future. The Mo-townesque culture backing Atlanta provides to its trap artists didn't exist ten years ago. Maybe he is smarter than I give him credit for. Maybe he chose his name because he can see where the rap game is going, and he wants to boost us into a new age. Maybe... Future is the future...