By Jesika Islam || Arts & Leisure Editor

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Born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, the artist Future has had an interesting career as a rapper. He began by joining “The Dungeon,” a music collective in Atlanta, Georgia that gave him his stage name of “The Future.” Through the encouragement of his cousin, a producer and member of “The Dungeon,” Future was signed to A-1 Recordings where he released several mixtapes. In 2011, Future signed with Epic Records, a major label officially starting his career. From there he released Astronaut Status, and Pluto. What really put Future on the map for me was his collaborative mixtape with Drake, What a Time to Be Alive. The album did amazingly well, debuting number one on the Billboard 200. EVOL was my favorite album with a feature from The Weeknd called Low Life. Although it did not receive the best critical reviews, the album was definitely considered the stepping stone to better music.

At the end of February, Future dropped his self-titled album Future, prefacing the drop with the tease that this was only part one of two. Future is his main stream part of the series, having more traditional rap tracks and classic beats. The album does have a few songs that are more emotional and soul heavy but the majority of the album is geared for playing in a frat basement.

HNDRXX is my favorite of the two albums. Future has never been afraid to be emotional and vulnerable in his albums. This authentic, unabashed artistry has differentiated Future’s albums from the more typical, hubris-centered rap albums about sex, lies, and money. HNDRXX offers insight into the turmoil in Future’s life, of being hurt and emerging from the other side. This album features Rihanna on “Selfish” and The Weeknd on “Comin Out Strong.” However, my favorite song has to be “Solo.” “Solo” is a song about Future’s success as a rapper, but also his fear of letting others down, namely the lover he seems to be addressing in the song. He also talks about how he’s alone now, and in the public eye he’s been getting through life almost solely on his own.

The combination of albums, totaling 2 hours and 10 minutes, is definitely worth listening to. If you’re looking for other albums with similar soul crushing but elevating music I would also recommend Frank Ocean’s Blonde and Kid Cudi’s Passion, Pain, and Demon Slayin’.

Junior Jesika Islam is the Arts & Leisure Editor. Her email