2015 is the year of the Future. After dropping 4 bodies of work in the span of ONE YEAR (Monster, Beast Mode, 56 Nights, DS2) Future returns yet again with the mixtape, “What A Time To Be Alive”. This time, Future teams up with the best rapper in the game, Drake. Let me tell you: this tape does not disappoint.
Future has been ruling the hip hop world for the past year with an iron fist. Therefore, it is no surprise that speculators have come to believe that maybe Drake has hopped on the mixtape with him in order to ride Future Hendrix’s massive wave. Drake’s most recent mixtape, IYRTITL, was released back in February so it does make sense to team up with the hottest rapper right now in order to build a buzz for his much anticipated album, “Views From the 6” and keep his name relevant. Regardless of his possible ulterior motives, Drake has great chemistry with Future and, at times, is even outdone by the dirty Sprite legend.
Drake has the uncanny tendency to get on songs with artists and completely take over. Whether he’s delivering a remix to a hot song, or featured on an original song, Drake will make your song his. Period. However, that is not the case with WATTBA. Future not only holds his own, but often outshines Drake! Songs like “Digital Dash” and “Live From the Gutter” could have easily been solo songs by Future. One could say that the majority of the tracks are actually Future songs with Drake features. Let’s talk about the actual music here though.
Future delivers his signature lines about drugs, jewelry, and wealth throughout the project. Just when it seems that his intentions are nothing more than to illustrate what a luxurious life he leads, Future sprinkles in lines here and there that show his internal struggles as an artist who came from the bottom. When he tells you he’s “straight up out the gutter, never had shit/ now we got 90210 on our address”, you can imagine how far he has come. When he tells you he’s got “cuban links hanging on my wrist, I was on welfare”, you can see how his hard work has paid off. He even references his breakup with R&B singer Ciara throughout the project. Despite the fortune and fame, one can tell that Future is humbled by his beginnings and relationship setbacks.
On the other hand you have Drake. On a mixtape produced primarily by Metro Boomin, one may think that Drake is out of his element here as he raps over bass heavy slammers provided by the 22-year-old superproducer. On the contrary, Drake actually delivers and it is clear to see that Drake isn’t mentioned as the best rapper because of his flows and clever bars, but because he is extremely versatile. While Future raps about the streets, Drake remains true to what he knows and does not overstep his boundaries. Let’s be honest here, who would expect Drake to be on songs titled “Live From the Gutter,” and “I’m the Plug”? So instead of telling you about how much drugs he sold or how he hangs in the hood with the shooters, Drake instead provides plenty of bragadocious lines with flows that only Drake could deliver. Perhaps the most relevant example would be Drake’s verse on “Scholarships”. While Future gives a hard verse depicting his life as a motivated hustler from the streets, Drake proclaims “I need acknowledgement, if I got it then tell me I got it then” and then proceeds to warn “nigga please watch your mouth, I’m the one without a doubt.” The flow switch that proceeds is pure mastery.
As we enter into a possible second golden age of hip hop, it’s exciting to see what’s to come in the future (pun intended). Although there’s no telling if this mixtape will stand the test of time, WATTBA definitely captures the sound of hip hop now. The two hottest rappers in the game right now have teamed up to form an unconventional rap duo and have succeeded in creating a solid hip hop project.
Junky Locker’s Favorite 3 Tracks:
- Live From The Gutter
- Diamonds Dancing