If you still commit yourself to Jay-Z's now comically inept '09 decree that Autotune is dead and buried, you either haven't bought a new rap record since Blueprint 3 or you're just pretending that Future, rap's interplanetary traveler doesn't exist. With all deference to Kanye West, Future is responsible for resurrecting Autotune for the bowels of a singsongy T-Pain abyss. As liberating as West's use of the device has been on tracks like "Blood on the Leaves" or "Runaway", it's often been monochromatic, opting to only paint in a dour black tinge. For his pieces, Future brings out the entire palette that Autotune allows. Celebratory shades of yellow reflect off of the anvil drum hits of "Same Damn Time" and Future grabs for enough green to make Scrooge McDuck blush. Elsewhere on 2012's excellent Pluto Future eschewed any fine-point work to dump entire paint cans onto tracks like "Magic", "I'm Trippin", and "Paradise". Dispiriting street dread or galactic levels of bottle poppin', Future can convey either in the same detail.
"Honest", the title track from Future's forthcoming sophomore LP is caught in the drift between tides of chest-puffing and head-hanging. A doleful piano figure is obscured by crisp snaps and blustery drum hits, leaving Future to cop to being "turnt up in Platinum", while reducing his entire conflicted personae into a "nothing but a dope boy" in the name of honesty. Every dollar bill thumbed through points to the past. Future deserves all the credit (or scorn) for teaching an old dog new tricks, but "Honest" is a reminder of something greater. The Atlanta astronaut has forged an indestructible bond of sincerity and stuntin'. Call it self-pitying if you'd like, but he's "just being honest."
Look for Honest to drop November 25, courtesy of Epic.