Release Date: Jan 15, 2015
Record label: Be Music Group
Despite the overwhelming perception that the internet has allowed artists to flash and burn at record speeds, most of its greatest stars have followed an all too familiar trajectory. Gucci Mane, Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, Drake et al toiled for years as scene favorites before stumbling onto a truly cohesive project worthy of their immense hype. The average wait time appears to be about three years, and depending on the math Beast Mode arrives directly in that creative maelstrom.
After a debut album littered with yearning club jams like "Turn on the Lights" and "Neva End", warm hits penned for pop stars, and a whirlwind romance with singer Ciara that produced a few pretty duets and an adorably well-dressed baby, Future has come to be understood, perhaps prematurely, as one of his generation’s premier romantics. His story was always more complex than that, though, as we came to understand over six months in 2014, when our rap Romeo went from "Girl when I’m with you, feel like a champion" to "Girl you know you like a pistol, you a throw away. " Things soured for Future and Cici somewhere between the April release of Honest and Halloween’s Metro Boomin produced Monster, and the callous nature of his writing post-breakup has given the lie to the Nicholas Sparks perception that’s clouded his major label career.
Before even getting into the contents of Future’s Beast Mode, his first release of 2015, it’s important to note that he’s setting a trend for the year that other rappers should deign to follow: This mixtape is only nine songs long. There are no boner-wagging freestyles and no egregious skits. But one can’t help but wonder, does the Free Bandz head honcho have some repenting to do? After a messy axing of his engagement to R&B crunk luminary and baby’s mother Ciara, he released one of the most subtly homoerotic, misguided rap songs of 2014, ‘Pussy Overrated’.