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Future and Metro Boomin Are Anti-Heroes in Search of a Good Time on ‘We Still Don’t Trust You’

For years now, Future has been skilled at playing rap’s favorite romantic anti-hero: the man, or character, baptizing himself in purple drinks to forget about bliss that has slipped away. Some of his best songs, like “Throw Away” or “My Collection,” can be both spiteful and vulnerable, like a dog dying of a virus that it can’t understand. It’s why certain men pore over his albums like they’re David Foster Wallace novels. At any given moment, a lyric or a snark will seem to effortlessly crystalize your own feelings about situations bothering you in your personal life. 

But there’s another, unheralded element of Future: the joy for love and lust that he can convey, and the infectiousness that comes from that. His new album with Metro Boomin, We Still Don’t Trust You — which arrives three weeks after their We Don’t Trust You — is another installment of Future exuberantly singing about his hedonism. After years of making some of the best hip-hop records of the 2010s, these guys still have a unique chemistry, even if their zeitgeist-shifting days may be behind them. 

Future is 40 years old now, and like most men that age, he is aware that the prime of his life is dwindling. On We Still Don’t Trust You, there’s none of the huskiness of a boisterously euphoric song like “Slave Master,” or the animalistic scream we remember from “Blow a Bag.” But he’s still trying to hold on to the indulgences that brought him this far. “This Sunday,” a song that interpolates frenemy Drake’s “Feel No Ways,” is an example of how genuinely passionate Future can be toward women, with sweet (at least for Future) lyrics like “Soon as you land, baby, I’mma send a driver.” The chorus “I like good girls, but I love love, love bad bitches,” on “Luv Bad Bitches,” will immediately go on a list of best Futureisms. The beat is seductive, too; Metro Boomin takes a sample of “If You Love Me,” by Nineties R&B group Brownstone, and muffles it under Future’s charming horniness. Give Metro a chance and he’ll impress you with how deeply pleasing his beats are. “Amazing Interlude” sounds like a song to have a baby to, with drums and synths that can weaken the knees and dilate the eyes. 

Future remains a regular playboy. “Came to the Party” is about the pleasures of celebrity, the rarified feeling of having to get an outfit just for a red-carpet appearance, and how fun that can be. He has always been exceptional at creating that mood — the idea that the darkness you went through to get here has faded into an endless present of expensive raptures and ravished women. Musically, his comfort zone is every zone: “Beat It” is a street track, meant for driving your car on the freeway as fast as possible, with Future taunting, “I was a crook before you niggas”; “Nobody Knows My Struggle” recalls the maximalism of Lex Luger; the J. Cole assisted “Red Leather” has some of his funniest lyrics in years (like “Abacradaba make my side bitch better”). Not every swerve works though; the Ty Dolla $ign duet “Gracious” sounds rushed and not fully fleshed out. 


Even amid joy, you can sometimes see the oppressiveness of masculinity closing in on Future, like when these two grown men start arguing about who slept with what girl first. When he first hit his peak, Future’s relationship with his masculinity was disorderly and relatable. He was the toxic incarnate, like if Don Draper had grown up in the Dungeon Family studio. Nowadays, Future and the rest of these 36-and-over dudes can seem like conservative bros reactionarily following the rest of rich America, a place full of men who can’t get out of their own egomaniacal heads. That constricted sense of masculinity comes out in the album’s beefing moments. “All to Myself” is a slow jam where the Weeknd sends some shots at Drake (“I thank God that I never signed my life away”). Drake also gets it from A$AP Rocky on “Slow of Hands.” Why is Future recruiting fellow super rappers to come at Drake? We don’t know. What we do know is that everyone seems tired of the Toronto rap star. The lines are getting more personal.

Still, the music continues to override any of the head-scratching behaviors Future, Metro Boomin, and all of their friends engage in. Just like on We Don’t Trust You, the guest features on this record are quite good. J. Cole sounds tightly competent on “Red Leather,” and the Weeknd is menacing on his feature. He’s giving us moments here, as he did with Playboi Carti on “Type Shit” and Kendrick Lamar on “Like That.” On the last song, “Streets Made Me a King,” Future talks about growing up in a drug zone. The lonely image of Future serving rocks in an open-carry state reminds us of the hell that America puts young Black people through. “Fuck the Constitution, bitch, I grew up in the drug zone/All this prostitution, ho, you know a nigga love gone,” he tells us. Whether his grinding anti-hero image is earned, he can still make it work. 

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