He's dabbled in woozy pop, fuzzy drug rap and bleak bass mumbles. But on The WIZRD, his seventh album and latest in a frenzied flurry of releases, Future's worked out what he does best: monotonous, robotic, mind-numbing trap rap.
That might make The WIZRD sound completely unenjoyable. At times, it is. Listened to as a whole, the album's 20 tracks soon begin to blur into one another, each sluggish tune morphing straight into the next, each attempting to be as unenjoyable as possible while lulling you into a depressing haze.
"On the G4, Fendi my clothes, travel the globe", the Atlanta rapper monotones on Jumping on a Jet, a song that makes international travel sound completely and utterly tiresome.
Later, when Future raps, "We say it's up / Then it's up / Perfect timin' / Dropped a diamond in my cup", it sounds like he needs a good doctor and a prescription for Xanax.
To make matters worse, The WIZRD doesn't repeat the trick of last year's dual album releases Future and Hndrxx: there's no sign of chart stabs like Mask Off and zero look-at-all-my-awesome-shit moments like Super Trapper. High profile guests like Rihanna, which Future often uses to break up his monotony, are entirely absent.
The WIZRD is all Future, and on the first few listens you'll likely feel like being one of the world's most acclaimed rappers is the worst job in the world. "Tryna run a billion up until my ankle pop", Future raps on opening song Never Stop. "You'll get rich and have problems that you never thought."
Phew. But here's the thing: over time, after repeat listens, as you get familiar with the album's tone, it's the small variations that start to emerge through the smoky haze, like the sing-song hooks and handclaps of Call the Coroner, the weird chuckles that punctuate each line in Overdose, or the flock-of-bees beat in Faceshot, the album's climax.
Slowly, you realise that Future's painting a picture in small strokes, each subtle transition adding to his overall story, each minor move layering things up. At some point, you'll see Future's big picture, and it's not a pretty one.
"Man," said Andre 3000 recently, his effortless, Outkast-honed drawl working overtime, "Future makes the most negative inspirational music ever." Got that right.
Future - The WIZRD
Verdict: Future makes you feel good about feeling bad.