Near the end of 2016, long after best-of lists were published and the narratives surrounding the year’s prominent musicians had cemented, Future quietly released what turned out to be his best song of the year, the sparkling, K-Ci and JoJo sampling “Buy Love.” That song was the antithesis to the music Future released for the majority of the year; from his Purple Reign and Project E.T. mixtapes to the major label effort Evol, Future was at his darkest, most distant. But “Love” showed a light that Future carries with him on his self-titled new set, his most versatile release in quite some time. “Draco” bursts at the seems with energy, from the staccato beat to Future’s best melody on the entire album, “Draco” does not relent. “You’ll never ever get your bitch back,” he repeats on the hook, taking what’s his and moving on.
With “Mask Off,” Future slows things down, using a choice Tommy Butler sample as the backbone for one of the more memorable songs on Future. The song chronicles Future’s come-up, but he exceeds the restrictions of this standard rap story with his captivating persona. And, of course, that flute. “Make on, fuck it, mask off,” he raps. When you’re as hot as Future is right now, why not let people see the real you?