Sunday, February 26, 2017

McQ's #73 Album Of 2015 - DS2 (Deluxe) - Future

Our first rap album (or to be more subgenre specific, "trap" album), to make our countdown - Atlanta-based rapper Future's DS2 (Deluxe) is both one of the most artistically committed, stylistically forward-looking and important rap albums of 2015, and also one of 2015's most tedious.

A slow-burning, druggy, psychedelic hip-hop album drenched in dark, moody layers of synths and heavy, heavy bass that garnered a ton of year-end praise - DS2 has a fascinating off-kilter sound, a sound further amplified by Future's unique use of autotune, which he employs to steer his voice into deeper, more hallucinogenic territory.

And make no mistake - despite a few songs (Blood On The Money, Slave Masters) that zero in on trap's more common lyrical focus on the brutal hardships of inner city life - hallucinations and the hedonistic pleasures of a drug-fueled lifestyle are what DS2 is all about, with most of the album's songs conveying the sense that we've been locked away in a high-end hotel room with Future and his lover (or lovers) for some hardcore, multi-day bingeing.

It's a creepy, amoral environment to be sure, but one that Future generates evocatively in a way I've never quite heard before, and with a lot of lyrical creativity, so in that regard, DS2 deserves most of the praise it's gotten.

But for me, DS2 has one huge flaw that I cannot get past, and that's the brutal same-i-ness of the material as a whole.

This is just not music for which the album is the ideal method of delivery or consumption.

No matter how good or interesting some of these individual songs are (including several of the bonus tracks available to listeners only on the deluxe version of this album),  they are all so similar in pace, style, and mood that they gain nothing from being listened to back-to-back-to-back.

No matter where I start on DS2, I am initially fascinated, but by the fifteen-minute mark, I'm bored, really bored.

So relatively high marks for the sound and style of DS2 and what Future has accomplished here, but low marks for the album listening experience as a whole.

Status: Mild Recommend

Cherry Picker's Best Bets: Thought It Was A Drought, Where Ya At, Blow A Bag, Blood On The Money, Trap Niggas, Fuck Up Some Commas 

Original Track Listing:
1. Thought It Was a Drought - 8
2. I Serve The Base - 7
3. Where Ya At - 8
4. Groupies - 6
5. Lil One - 6
6. Stick Talk - 7
7. Freak Hoe - 7
8. Rotation - 7
9. Slave Master - 6
10. Blow A Bag - 7
11. Colossal - 7
12. Rich $ex - 7
13.  Blood On The Money - 8
Bonus Tracks:
14. Trap Niggas - 8
15. The Percocet & Stripper Joint - 7
16. Real Sisters -7
17. Kno The Meaning - 7
18. Fuck Up Some Commas - 8
Intangibles - For Style - Above Average, As An Album-Length Listening Experience - Low

Here are the official videos for my favorite cut on the album Blood On The Money, the very typical of the album as a whole Rich $ex, and one of Future's biggest hits, the deluxe version bonus track Fuck Up Some Commas.

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