Future and Drake is not the future

By Nathan Fu | Arts & Entertainment Editor

After weeks of rumors and speculation, Drake and Future finally released their collaborative album “What a Time to be Alive” on Sept. 20. According to Drake, the album took only a week to make when he was visiting Future in Atlanta. “I came here to do just one song.” said Drake on the sixth episode of OVO Sound Radio. “But with Future, it’s hard to do just one song.” This album is one of the few times when two artists in their prime collaborated together. However, the two rappers have very different sounds, making it hard to listen to at times.
Almost all the songs were produced by Metro Boomin, Future’s main producer. As a result, some songs sounded like Future featuring Drake rather than Future and Drake. This is evident in the first song “Digital Dash”. Right when it starts playing, you can hear the strong bass combined with the subtle piano playing in the background, a sound that has been trademarked by Metro Boomin. Future thrives on this beat and raps “I told ‘em I’m back on my bachelor, I get focused on millions and everything”. Drake’s part sounds forced and it’s almost like he’s trying to find a flow that fits but he can’t.
However, there are a few songs where the two artists “clicked”. In “Diamonds Dancing”, the two sound perfectly in sync. Future’s rap smoothly transitions into Drake’s singing and the beat of this song is just right for both of them. It has some aspects of a ballad, which is suited for Drake, yet it also has the hard and heavy bass sound to it, which is suited for Future. But the beauty of this song is the juxtaposition of Future and Drake’s verses; Drake tends to have more sensitive lyrics that “gets in your feeling” but Future is unapologetic and “savage”. And of course, there is the song “Jumpman” which many are calling a “club banger”. “Jumpman” only does one thing but it does it really well: it gets you hyped and excited. The repetitive chorus is easy to sing along with and the strong beat makes you want to get up and start dancing. The final highlight of this album is the song “Live From the Gutter” which basically describes how each singer “started from the bottom”. Again, Future savagely raps verses like “I watch my broad give up on me like I’m average, I went back inside the attic count it up and started laughing ah”.
The last two songs on this album, “Jersey” and “30 for 30 Freestyle”, are both solo songs. Although Jersey, much like most of Future’s songs, is a song you can groove to, it almost sounds like a leftover from Future’s previous album “Dirty Sprite 2”. “30 For 30 Freestyle” on the other hand is the only song not produced by Metro Boomin. Instead, it was produced by Noah “40” Shebib, Drake’s longtime producer and the man who helped craft the OVO (Drake’s record label) Sound. This song is almost like a speech as Drake raps nonstop about his problems. But his calm and laid back voice combines perfectly with Shebib’s jazzy and slow beat. Hopefully, this is what Drake’s next album, “Views from the 6”, will sound like.
There’s no mistake that this album is good, songs like Jumpman and Diamonds Dancing will be played everywhere, but this album isn’t legendary. Drake and Future are both great rappers, but they have really different styles. Because of this, their sounds usually clash, making the songs sound awkward at times. I would much rather have Drake and Future each release a solo album than a collaborative album. When this happens, it will truly be a great time to be alive.