High Off Life (Epic/Freebandz)
Atlanta rapper Future surprised everyone last week when he dropped his eighth solo album High Off Life on pretty much every platform. Life isn’t great in lockdown, but new material from Future offers some solace. A little trap when we’re trapped. The man is, after all, one of the best songwriters in the game right now — a man capable of boiling stories down to their very core. Of distilling emotion into short, sharp lines. And damn, they generally hit home.
We’re already familiar with “Life is Good,” the collaboration with Drake which has gone four times platinum. The success of that track means that the album will go gold on release. Like, straight away. It’s a solid tune too, but you know that.
Drake isn’t the only artist to pop up on here; Travis Scott, who recently blew minds with a visually dazzling concert streamed on Fortnite, appears on “Solitare” which is explicitly about the coronavirus pandemic. “When they let us off of lock, man, we gonna make that shit pop, been humpin’ wifey for so long, she got a limp when she walk,” raps Scott, typically blunt.
There’s room for aspiration (“Trillionaire” featuring Youngboy Never Broke Again), and self-analysis (“Accepting My Flaws”). Weighty stories (“100 Shooters” with Doe Boy and Meek Mill) and then something a little less so (“Outta Space Bih”).
Overall, it’s a stunning body of work, released at a time when we really needed it. The timing might be surprising but the quality isn’t. And with the guy dropping mix tapes seemingly every few months, there’s surely more to come this year. With no end to the lockdown in immediate sight though, who knows what the Future holds?