Future has described 'The WIZRD' as the end of an era -- and his seventh studio album captures it perfectly
Is Future a versatile artist? Ask around and you’ll likely receive very different answers. Twitter searches for keywords like “Future same album” or “Future repetitive” bring up scores of listeners struggling to find any aesthetic shift from record to record. Ask any devoted member of the FutureHive, on the other hand, and they’ll probably launch into an in-depth breakdown of Future’s many different personas (Super Future, Future Hendrix, Fire Marshal Future, etc.). They might even illustrate their point by splitting up Future’s discography into distinctive emotional states -- from Introspective Future to Romantic Future -- as Noisey’s Trey Smith did last week.
Since 2014’s Monster, Future’s been locked into a highly productive groove that’s yielded five studio albums, five mixtapes, four joint releases with other rappers, a film soundtrack, and 20 Top 50 singles on the Hot 100 as a lead or featured artist. To some degree, you can see that he’s found a successful formula and stuck to it. But to say outright that Future has spent the past five years retreading the same ground belies both the depth of his content and his ability to subtly, continually reinvent himself.
His latest album, Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD, introduces a new titular persona whose perspective is so much more seasoned than any of its predecessors that it borders on near-mystical omniscience. Whereas Future spent 2014-2018 pushing ever forward, relentlessly recording and burrowing further into his own psyche, he’s now taken a moment to step back and survey his legacy. The WIZRD is deeply self-referential, going beyond Introspective Future’s usual self-evaluation and sounding at times like a hall of fame acceptance speech.