It’s been nearly two years since Future released High Off Life. Future hasn’t been absent per se, but the gap between projects seems uncharacteristic of him. What followed was a slew of guest verses and a joint project with Lil Uzi Vert. And in the midst of all of that has been plenty of hints and teasers of new music. Thankfully, the wait is over. This morning, Future released his latest studio album, I NEVER LIKED YOU – a 16-song effort that includes appearances from Young Thug, Kanye West, Drake, and more.
One of the most refreshing parts of the project is that Future calls on many of his collaborators, both old and new, to join him across the tracklist. However, even if he didn’t have the star-power attached to the tracklist, his ear for production is more than capable of carrying the project on its own. This time around, Future largely calls on Wheezy, Southside, and ATL Jacob to hold down the beats with additional contributions from TM88, MOON, MoXart Beats, FNZ, and Torey Montana. ATL Jacob holds down nearly half of the project while Wheezy and Southside come through on the project’s highlights. However, it’s a producer like Torey Montana who really show out on one of the biggest records on the project.
There are plenty of highlights on I NEVER LIKED YOU and it would be difficult to narrow down the top five songs on the album. However, with a slew of top-tier producers, we examined some of the best beats on Future’s latest project.
It’s unclear what’s happening in Future’s life at 7:12 p.m. every day but it sounds exciting. The intro to I NEVER LIKED YOU includes production from MOON, MoXart Beats, TM88, and Wheezy whose combined powers open the doors for a gargantuan entrance. The ghastly vocal sample and haunting violins during the song’s build-up emphasize Future’s kingly arrogance as he expects women to tie his shoelaces on command. The samples bring out a sense of opulence while the grating synths that slyly sit underneath embolden the guttural feeling of the trap that serves as the cornerstone of Future’s sound.
I’m On One Ft. Drake
Unlike Southside, TM88, and Wheezy, who’ve played a significant role in Future’s career, Torey Montana only began building chemistry with Fewtch in the past few years. The producer of Moneybagg’s “Hard For The Next” ft. Future turns out a menacing banger with “I’m On One,” a thrilling collaboration extending Future and Drake’s track record together. The 808s pump over spine-chilling bells and the lush synth pads add a sense of lavishness – kinda like the whole track was recorded in the Massachusetts estate where The Haunting was filmed. Torey Montana’s earned a few high-profile beat placements in the last year but “I’m On One” is a star-powered addition to his resumé.
Chickens Ft. EST Gee
While there are plenty of records that maximize Future’s aura through heavy-artillery production, a song like “Chickens” ft. EST Gee finds both rappers basking in a spacey and futuristic soundscape. The sparsity of the production allows for an atmospheric feeling but it’s also a blank canvas for EST Gee and Future to explore different flow pockets and cadences. Dez Wright and Wheezy’s combined efforts on the song feel minimalistic compared to other records but it’s a testament to how less is more, even when you’re producing on the most anticipated project of the year.
ATL Jacob serves as the MVP on Future’s I NEVER LIKED YOU with nearly seven credits. And while he does handle several of the project’s highlights, his work on “Holy Ghost” is chef’s kiss-worthy. Another example of how less is more, ATL Jacob turns Atlanta into a slasher flick, and Future is the anti-hero. Grungy guitars quaintly sit behind the looming 808s but as the song builds up, anthemic chords strike with a dizzying effect and ominous vocal chants carry along with the song’s snares.
One of the strangest song titles on I NEVER LIKED YOU includes two of YSL’s finest. “For A Nut” reunites Future with Young Thug and Gunna for an undeniable banger produced by ATL Jacob. It’s a riveting record but the eccentricities of Future, Thug, and Gunna are further emphasized by ATL Jacob’s attention to detail. The 808 does the talking but it’s the subtle sounds that linger across the record that add more excitement. That could be the 42 Dugg-inspired whistle that subtly sits in the background or even the whimsical guitar loop that pops out halfway during Gunna’s verse. ATL Jacob, once again, steals the show.
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