Review by: Kwame Manu
Sequel albums tend to be hit or miss. Most of the time it seems they come from an artist’s attempt to recreate the buzz he or she received from a high water mark in their career, not because they want to add extension to their prequel’s feeling. Like many of the reboots occurring on tv and film lately, the name itself is almost sure to guarantee views and attract attention. This seems to be the case when Atlanta rapper Future tweeted “Should I give my fans a mixtape until my album complete?” then releasing BEASTMODE 2 hours later, making the rollout of it seem like a throw away project. The question is, does it sound throw away?
Like its prequel BEASTMODE 2 is is a brief nine tracks hardly reaching 30 minutes. Once again Future is back-to-back with legendary Atlanta producer Zaytoven for the entirety of the mixtape. After that the major similarities come to a halt. Compared to Beast Mode, the sequel is way less of an adrenaline boost and more of a watered down espresso shot. The rush begins with ‘Wifi Lit,’ a decent introduction to the tape featuring Zay’s sleek production and signature piano arpeggios. It’s a decent start that sets the album’s expectations too high. After the first song, the album feels like a slew of streaming filler. He gives us songs like ‘Racks Blue’ and ’31 Days’— songs that would be complete duds if it wasn’t for Zaytoven’s immaculate production throughout the project which is the solid foundation to the faulty and mundane performances Future gives. The beats range from high energy to melancholy. ’Some More’ doesn’t even sound like the standard Zay beat while ’31 Days’ has him sound completely in his pocket.
Content-wise, we are in Future territory. That calls for bars on bars of flexing with occasional introspective moments on his struggle coming up through half-baked crooning. The problem is he has given us this formula time and time again and doesn’t improve in any way. No new topics, flows or concepts: just more of the same. Money, foreigns (women and the cars) jewelry, guns, etc. This mixtape screams monotony. Even Young Scooter rehashes the same flow he used on his last appearance on Beast Mode. There are hardly even any sticky melodies in sight. ‘Red Light’ however, is the only saving grace lyrically. The Zone 6 rapper drops details of how the money he has earned has come with paranoia and responsibilities.
Fans of the first installment of the Beast Mode series will be disappointed. This new project is creativity-barren on Future’s end. He made the sequel to one of his better-received projects seem like an appetizer — a bland one at that. For a while Future has shown to unapologetically pad out tracks with nonsense with no consequence (“La da di da / Slob on my knob”). Let’s hope the money as well as this streaming era don’t compromise more of our favorite artists to do the same.