Album of the Week: Future & Zaytoven’s Beastmode 2 (2018)

Can I call this the last great Future project? I’m not mad at him for making 22-track albums that rehash the same territory he’s been in for years – his output from Pluto (2012) to 56 Nights (2015) is still unfuckwithable, and he’s earned the fandom that allows him to operate on cruise control.

But Beastmode 2 stands out among the mixed bag of Future projects over the last 5 years. Like the first Beast Mode (2015), Zaytoven – truly the Beethoven of trap-rap production – handles all the beats here, and the chemistry is palpable. Beastmode 2 is lean at 9 tracks, and holds up well in the era of bloated Deluxe editions.

I appreciate that Future, who had scored a massive hit in 2017 with “Mask Off”, included his OG Young Scooter as the only guest on this tape. “Doh Doh” bangs, and it helps Beastmode 2 feel more like a classic early 2010s ATL tape than post-peak Future.

Introspective Future is good Future: see “When I Think About It” (“I’m droppin’ outta school but that didn’t stop my education”). This is the first of three superb songs that close out the project. “Some More” finds Fewtch gliding over an icy, beautiful beat. And “Hate the Real Me” finds Future at his most compelling. Like “Codeine Crazy” and “Throw Away” he is reckless, remorseful, self-sabotaging, all over the most thrilling production on the project. It’s a peak that puts a bow on an outstanding tape with a lot of replay value. As Future himself puts it – the music special… it’s a part of us.

Listen to Beastmode 2 here.

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