Sad songs for happy people.
Perhaps there’s a method to the madness, if only a subconscious one. We’ve seen the storyline time and time again, arguable though it may be, that depression makes for a better muse than inner peace. Of course, artists deserve peak mental health even if it does lead to a shift in tonal aesthetic. Yet Future’s finest musical moments tend to arrive during his darkest hours. Consider Monster, or what many consider to be his opus, Dirty Sprite 2. Both garnered critical acclaim and helped cement Future as a viable act among the arthouse scene, earning himself respect from both hipsters and hustlers alike. When “Codeine Crazy” arrived, the response was universal. The song was swiftly deemed Future’s crowning achievement, a window into the soul of a mysterious and tormented entity; at long last, character development. And lo-and-behold, it was conveyed with a sincerity not often seen across Future’s music. Even the presence of falsetto suggested vulnerability. Curious that Future’s pain is received much differently when served in a musical capsule, as opposed to the dog and pony show that is his tabloid business.
Cut to this afternoon, in which Future unveiled his new EP Save Me. A few days back, he previewed a new single called “Xanax Damage,” which appears to cover groundwork originally laid by its codeine-infused cousin. It’s difficult to say without having heard the complete song, but Future is once again using a unique cadence to express his vulnerability; this time, in lieu of falsetto, he’s offering a warbling baritone. Paired with the evocative album title, the bleak artwork, and the slightly comical yet telling “Oh Fuck, I Have Made A Huge Mistake,” all signs point to a Future scorned – and the fans seem all the more eager for it. Is it fair to suggest that there’s a cyclical nature in the casual – not “The Hive,” for their loyalty is unwavering – Future fandom?
In order for him to deliver the fanbase’s desired musical outcome, he must be coming from a depressed state. As such, his business, his love life, his flow, his artistic integrity, all of them must be systematically dismantled until he proves himself in their eyes, time and time again. It’s easy to imagine Future as a supervillain of sorts, especially after his sinister turn as The WIZRD, but any good villain does not become forged overnight. In order to continuously serve the redemption arc that so many seem to covet, Future must be brought down in a repetitive cycle ad-infinitum. After all, Save Me can’t have any urgency if he’s already found salvation.