Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

Future – Mask Off

Flute loops!


Alfred Soto: With help from Frank Dukes, Metro Boomin wraps a melancholy flute melody from 1973’s “Prison Song” around a trap beat, resulting in Future’s most becoming backdrop since 2015’s “Blood on the Money.” As usual he’s obsessed with mumbling and Percoset and mumbling while on Percoset, so take my score as an indication of how well he pulled off the tried and true.

Thomas Inskeep: All credit due to Metro Boomin for the genius use of Tommy Butler’s “Prison Song” that gives us the flute loop that gives “Mask Off” its haunting quality — and thanks to a hot new meme sweeping the internet, has turned “Mask Off” into the biggest (pop) chart hit of Future’s career. Lyrically this is Future in confessional who-I-am mode, which I find his most meaningful; his lyrics pair superbly with Metro Boomin’s track. The way MB flips the sample, though, and pairs it with the contemporary beat, is everything. 

Maxwell Cavaseno: Wow, that’s a great loop. And up in the front of the mix? That’s a once great rapper phoning it in and doing fuck all. And that there right behind him? That right there is a shitty beat. How long ago was it when this guy actually demonstrated songwriting chops and had bars and more than two flows?

Ryo Miyauchi: Future builds quite the exquisite world around that almighty flute, antique yet gleaming like someone had to blow the dust off the treasure. What sticks out of the murk are the proper nouns: Las Vegas, Calamari Wednesdays and Rick James, 23 chains. The rest sink to the bottom of what’s at best a mood piece.

Katie Gill: This is the most chill rap song that I’ve ever heard. Between Future’s trademark unintelligible mumbling and that relaxing flute solo, “Mask Off” mostly makes me want to do yoga. It’s the weirdest take on “do drugs, get money, started from the bottom now we here” that I’ve heard in ages.

Joshua Copperman: Every once in a while there’s something like “Fuck Up Some Commas” that’s infectious enough, but I’ve never understood the hype about Future (and even if I did, I’d have to sift through the hundreds of songs in his back catalog — in a recent interview, his engineer Seth Firkins boasted that he and Future recorded vocals for up to ten songs a session — so I wouldn’t know where to start if I wanted to truly understand). Obviously, that’s because Future’s music is not meant for someone like me, but I at least wanted to find out the origin of his appeal. Between Metro Boomin’s beautiful, flute-based beat and Future’s storytelling, I’ve started to understand. As far as I can tell, part of why he’s praised is the melancholic subtext behind even his party anthems, and I can finally see it here. Of course, it’s also the soundtrack to yet another dance #challenge meme; fittingly, the one time I get it, “Mask Off” becomes part of a joke to everyone else. 

Mark Sinker: Dropping in late on an overcrowded oeuvre, half aware the world is lately underwhelmed at same, I’m drawn mostly to the Canibus-style trudge-loops I loved 15 years gone, all pretty robot flutes dancing in tiny trapped cycles. Future zeroes in something even smaller and more fragmentary — not much more than a couple of cryptic mumbles — and the flutes no longer dance as prettily.

Reader average: [7] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.