Future – F.B.G. – The Movie
Technically, this mixtape is billed as a release by Freeband Gang, It’s supposed to be a group tape, like A$AP Mob, but functionally it serves as a Future mixtape, given that he raps on nearly all of the tracks, and his presence is all over the ones he sits out on. I sat on Pluto until the end of the year, a decision I completely regretted, as the album was a glorious example of excess, bombast, and sheer fun cementing Future as one of the most entertaining rappers to come up last year. From the 4 minute long intro that features Future just rapping in his warped Autotune style about how everyone is with him including Iraq and St. Louis and doesn’t end the many times you think it will, you know you’re in for a ridiculous adventure. The rest of the tape absolutely follows suit. It’s incredibly overstuffed, featuring 24 songs that go on for over an hour and fifteen, including hilariously bad raps from the DJs, filler cuts by posse members, and completely unnecessary posse cuts. This is still one of the best all-around mixtapes to come around from a bigger rapper though, because it is so over-the-top and just incredibly fun. Future might be the only rapper besides Danny Brown trying to have a good time out here.
Future’s style is less rapping and more about finding just how distorted he can make his voice while singing. He does this over the loudest kind of beats that are probably inspired by Lex Luger and Waka Flocka, but with singing instead of pure shouting. He brings out a bunch of friends for some really good songs, like the ridiculous ode to Ceelo Green that features Wale or the deranged repetition of “Keep On Shinin” with Casino. He brings out Drake for two tracks. The first is the excellent “For Real”, one of the best rap singles of the year that could have been a highlight on Pluto. It’s got Future singing the catchiest hook on the tape alongside Drake being as confrontational as he’s sounded since Take Care, making for a great song. Drake comes back on “Bitches Love Me”, another ridiculous track that also brings out some hilariously offensive raps by Lil Wayne, who at this point is just turning into a caricature. It’s awesome.
Many times throughout F.B.G., the release is described as a blockbuster, and that’s a really apt way to explain these songs. There really isn’t a solid artistic vision, and it’s more of just throwing a lot of explosions and thrills onto a tape and seeing what happens. F.B.G. works because it is highly entertaining, and what it lacks in complexity it makes up for with sheer fun. Just listen to songs like “DNA” or the closer “See It To Believe It” with Sisqo and try to not be won over by Future’s swag. I mean I don’t even know what the hell is going on with “Mark Mcguire” but it sounds great. Future figured out his formula with success on Pluto, and uses F.B.G. as expensive celebration and possibly a thank-you to fans. Sure, it could probably benefit from being 20 minutes shorter with less filler, but then it wouldn’t be Future. It’s a treat when a mixtape that should be a throwaway tape ends up being better than many other rappers studio releases. Between this and Pluto, Future is quickly becoming one of the most exciting rappers to follow. Put on F.B.G. and enjoy, you deserve it.
- David Sackllah