Zari Watts | Staff Writer
It is midnight on January 17 and Future fans are beside themselves. Despite the technical difficulties, Snapchat was pouring down Purple Reign snaps first thing in the morning.
With millions of downloads and only three letters away from the creative staple of Prince’s empire, Future blessed his fans. It is only fair to assess this mixtape in terms of Future’s realm of content and sound.
He has an established style that has absolutely worked in his favor, so it would be foolish to stray too far.
Unfortunately, he is overdue for getting outside the box, or at least making it a little bigger. Purple Reign, on a Future scale, earned a 6.
Following the much loved “WATTBA” and as a preview to the upcoming mixtape “Ape Sh*t” with Mike WiLL Made It, Purple Reign successfully serves its purpose as an interim project. While much of the tape was well done, the project feels a bit like a rushed effort to put out new material as a placeholder.
This sentiment was reflected in Future’s tweet two days after the release saying, “Ain done yet [purple rain emoji] pre warm up…get ready.” The key detail from this eight word tweet being the “pre” in front of warm up which relieves him from any accountability for lack of effort.
With a bit more deliberation, it could have been released as a significantly stronger ten-track mixtape.
“Wicked,” “Bye Bye” and “Run Up” are all complete wastes of time that offer neither novel subject matter nor musical value. “Wicked,” is unintelligible and borderline intolerable.
It is an impeccable embodiment of Hopsin’s surprisingly impressive spoof song “No Words” that disses rappers for piggybacking on good production to earn the favor of their easily-impressed, musically uneducated fans.
I am sure everyone remembers the YouTube sensation “Supa Hot Fire.” He would spit empty, inartistic lines with unfaltering confidence and his squad would hype him up as if he just freestyled game-changing lyrics. I would be doing every one of Future’s fans a disservice if I did not draw this parallel.
“Bye Bye” was not only a dumping ground for all the recycled lines of trap songs past, but also a broken record. “Run Up” had the potential to augment the variety of beats on the mixtape, but even though it was a change of pace, the result was too basic to count as having a positive impact.
“No Charge” came close to being the fourth waste of time as 90 percent of the track failed to add any new subject matter. The lines, “I look inside your eyes, I see the same things I’m going through/ Tryna take your heart away, you gotta be bulletproof” save the lyrics from being complete trash.
However, his delivery was flawlessly cognizant of the beat and furthermore, reflective of it. He also did not rely on auto-tune to carry his vocals. Therefore, much to the pleasure of fans out there, “No Charge” gets a thumbs up.
To be fair, the rest of the songs on the mixtape either played an essential role, earned major musicality points, or contained lyrics riddled with raw honesty, guilt and reflection.
An unforgivably hypocritical exception to these categories is “Salute,” a track full to the brim with pointless lyrics and mediocre delivery, saved exclusively by a crazy hard beat.
“Inside the Mattress” scored musicality points with the silky, soulful guitar riffs careening throughout. “Perkys Callin” and “Purple Reign” get their points from Future’s measured use of auto-tune to create wavering vocals alongside the slower tempos, muted bass, and simple yet prominent melodies.
It is just a shame that he saved the latter two tracks for the end of the mixtape, especially since these are the sounds that will expand Future’s realm.
It goes without saying that “Never Forget,” “Perkys Callin” and “Purple Reign” fall into the category of Future’s open introspection. A few songs of this nature are absolutely necessary to counterpoint the tracks bursting at the seams with bland negativity and irreverence.
Overall, this mixtape was overhyped, overrated, and will definitely be overplayed. Notwithstanding, I would be lying if I did not admit that the majority of the content was well done and worth it.