Say what you want about Future’s music. It might not be for you, but his rise to stardom and influence in this decade of rap music has to be commended. Future has been instrumental in the invention of modern trap music. Almost every rapper coming out nowadays is biting his style one way or another. You may not say it now but in ten or twenty years time when we reflect on this decade of rap music Future will be the first name to pop into your head. And in only the space of six years Future has amassed six albums, over 15 mixtapes and countless bangers.
It would be a total mission to listen to all his projects, but from his most major and notable releases these are the best Future albums and mixtapes, from worst to best.
18. WRLD on Drugs (2018)
Objectively speaking, a collaborative project by Future and Juice WRLD was not a request anyone was expecting, or demanding. WRLD on Drugs is lost in approach, desperately searching to find a middle ground between Future’s grit and Juice WRLD’s sadboy style. The majority of the album result in pop rap ballads, all of which evoke a wince (“Fine China”, “WRLD on Drugs”). A few days in the studio result in decent songs such as “Realer N Realer”, “Astronauts” and “Shorty”. But there is not enough acceptable material to warrant a 16-track project. Perhaps as a 6-track EP, WRLD on Drugs could be something. In the real world, WRLD on Drugs is a spontaneous pleasure project, certainly not a good Future album.
Best tracks: “Realer N Realer”, “Astronauts”, “Shorty”, “Different”
17. Beast Mode 2 (2018)
Sequels are often sequels only in name, however Zaytoven returns for production in the second installment of the Beast Mode series. Featuring Zaytoven’s signature keys throughout, it is just as short as its predecessor but still manages to exceed its limit. Beast Mode 2 has highlights, but the majority of the mixtape gets lost in relation.
Best tracks: “31 Days”, “Cuddle My Wrist”, “Hate the Real Me”
15. Pluto (2012)
This was Future’s first album which focused on a different sound and style to the Future that we know today. There was no Metro Boomin or 808 Mafia back then, producers who eventually became instrumental in shaping Future’s sound. Instead Pluto is all about Future tapping into the mainstream with R&B songs like “Turn on the Lights”. Even though Future was emerging as being totally different to the other rappers around him, it took some more years to find his sound and for people to recognise his brilliance. Most of the songs on Pluto come across as generic trap bangers or pop rap cash-grabs, such as “Tony Montana”, but songs like “Turn on the Lights” are standout cuts in Future’s catalogue and he hasn’t made anything like them ever again. Pluto has highlights but as a full body of work it’s not very memorable compared to what Future ended up producing from this point on in his career.
Best tracks: “First Class Flights”, “Astronaut Chick”, “I’m Trippin”, “Turn on the Lights”, “Straight Up”
14. Honest (2014)
Honest is the most overlooked album of Future’s career. It was considered a flop and quickly forgotten about, deservedly, for a string of clear flaws. Honest is the one Future album that floats on purgatory, void of a musical identity that an album like DS2 possess (which would go on to succeed Honest and rectify its mistake). Flaws aside, Honest begins with memorable songs. That includes the best opener to a Future album (“Look Ahead”), the tingling “T-Shirt” and explosive “Covered N Money”. While Future was going for his normal trap sound he was also trying to be emotional and confessional. This theme rarely turns up throughout the album, and when it does it’s on the worst songs – “I Won”, “I Be U”, “Special”, “Blood, Sweat, Tears”, “How Can I Not”, and several more. Honest is better off forgotten.
Best tracks: “Look Ahead”, “T-Shirt”, “Covered N Money”
13. Super Slimey (2017)
The dream collaboration of the new era trap forefathers did not result in the fireworks fans expected. Super Slimey is one of those mixtapes where there are a handful of standout tracks with replay value for years to come, but is not listenable as a project from start to end. Songs like “No Cap” and “Mink Flow” showcase the type of chemistry Future and Young Thug can tap into if only they were more attentive to the rest of the songs instead of putting together a quickly-composed, lethargic project.
Best tracks: “No Cap”, “Mink Flow”, “Three”, “Patek Water”
📌 Read the review to ‘Super Slimey’
12. Pluto x Baby Pluto (2020)
The trap mogul Future collides with the trap torchbearer Lil Uzi Vert, bringing playful attitudes for their entwined fans to enjoy. There is a blatant realisation that there is no need to be meticulous. The natural process of having fun in the studio is what provides the best moments of Pluto x Baby Pluto. It channels through the hooks of songs like “Stripes Like Burberry”, “Drankin N Smokin” and the hypnotic “Marni on Me”. The duo exchange flows and lines like a game of table tennis, and we are the spectators attending to be thoroughly entertained.
Best tracks: “Moment of Clarity”, “Drankin N Smokin”, “I Don’t Wanna Break Up”, “Lullaby”, “Stripes Like Burberry”
📌 Read the review to ‘Pluto x Baby Pluto’
11. The Wizrd (2019)
Taking the best 11 songs, The Wizrd would be a satisfying Future mixtape. Though with its bloated tracklist, vacant production and lifeless performances, The Wizrd resulted in no standout singles, hooks or concepts. Tracks like “F&N” do see Future in his supreme element, but borrowed aesthetics from projects such as 56 Nights and DS2 leaves a string of rehashed songs done bigger and better in the past.
Best tracks: “F&N”, “Overdose”, “First Off”, “Baptiize”, “Rocket Ship”, “Krazy but True”
📌 Read the review to ‘The Wizrd’
10. What a Time to Be Alive (2015)
The pairing of Future and Drake excited people at first, but if anything, Drake weighs the project down. Once the hype died down after its release, you could tell WATTBA was a rushed product consisting of leftover Future songs which Drake merely added a few verses to. Then with some songs, like “Plastic Bag” and “Diamonds Dancing”, it’s evident that it sounds like Drake ft. Future, not Drake and Future, due to the Drake-styled production. But WATTBA does open up strongly, especially with “Digital Dash”. Though towards the end it becomes totally forgettable with “Change Locations”, “Jersey” and “30 for 30”. There’s enough songs to enjoy on here but the project didn’t turn out as amazing and long-lasting as expected.
Best tracks: “Plastic Bag”, “Digital Dash”, “Diamonds Dancing”
9. 56 Nights (2015)
The home of “March Madness”, and the final instalment of the iconic mixtape trilogy that revitalised Future’s career.
Best tracks: “March Madness”, “Trap N***as”, “56 Nights”, “Never Gon Lose”, “Now”
8. Beast Mode (2015)
Produced entirely by Zaytoven, Beast Mode is a concise presentation of Future toning down the energy for once over Zaytoven’s vibrant, cheerful production. The sound of the mixtape is consistent throughout, with highlights being the mellow “No Basic” and “Peacoat” and the upbeat “Oooooh”. Though a major criticism is how repetitive Zaytoven’s production becomes as he continues to use the same piano in every beat. It’s good that it’s a short project.
Best tracks: “Real Sisters”, “Lay Up”, “Oooooh”
7. HNDRXX (2017)
HNDRXX is what Honest was trying to be. Future stated he wanted to rectify what he was trying to do with that album, and it resulted into a consistent offering of vulnerable R&B Future. It’s still new but just like the best of Future’s work it presents a different sound. There’s no Metro Boomin production on here so that supports his case. “My Collection”, “Use Me” and “Solo” are good examples of Future’s ability to create melody outside of his typical genre. The only trap moment on here is “Lookin Exotic” which still blends well and remains as a highlight. The seven-minute closer “Sorry” is the most confessional and introspective song on the album, and is the album’s “Codeine Crazy”. The only issues with HNDRXX is that the personal lyrical content vanishes for large chunks and a handful of songs could have been cut off to make it more cohesive. But they contribute to making HNDRXX an album that you can easily listen to beginning to end.
Best tracks: “Solo”, “Sorry”, “Lookin Exotic”, “Use Me”, “Selfish”, “Comin Out Strong”
6. EVOL (2016)
EVOL stands out in Future’s catalogue for its dark sound. There may be a couple skippable songs, but there are some brilliant songs on here too. “Seven Rings” is insanely good and is the best song on EVOL. “Fly Shit Only” and “Lie to Me” have a classic mixtape-Future quality to them and the project opens up well with “Ain’t No Time” and “In Her Mouth”. It is a project that left a bitter taste initially, particularly due to lacklustre cuts like “Lil Haiti Baby” and “Photo Copied”, but even those tracks are enjoyable when contextualised in the minimalist aesthetic of the LOVE-backwards theme.
Best tracks: “Seven Rings”, “Fly Shit Only”, “Ain’t No Time”, “In Her Mouth”, “Lie to Me”
5. FUTURE (2017)
It is one of his more recent releases, but FUTURE is already top 5 in Future’s catalogue. FUTURE is Future’s strongest album to date if we’re strictly talking about bangers; there is an absolute abundance of them. “Rent Money” is his most explosive opener to date, then “POA”, “Poppin’ Tags” and “Flip” follow the same path (“Drove it too long, time to swap it out” 🎶). The hooks and melodies are extremely memorable, merging that with the loud production and it’s a perfect recipe for trap bangers. Considering there are 17 tracks it is astonishing how likeable a majority of the songs are; “Draco”, “Outta Time” and “High Demand” are the only underwhelming tracks. FUTURE embodies the signature sound of Future when executed appropriately.
Best tracks: “Flip”, “Rent Money”, “Zoom”, “Massage in My Room”, “Super Trapper”, “POA”, “Poppin’ Tags”, “Feds Did a Sweep”
4. High Off Life (2020)
The trap titan is once again in his untouchable element, endorsing the vices of the world without ever taking his foot off the gas. High Off Life is Future’s best full-length trap offering since 2017’s self-titled FUTURE. Except this time round the inflated volume is traded for a seasonal tempo without sacrifice the consistency. In fact, High Off Life barely even provides skippable moments; a testament to its 21-track consistency.
Best tracks: “Accepting My Flaws”, “Pray for a Key”, “100 Shooters”, “Too Comfortable”, “Touch the Sky”, “Life Is Good”
📌 Read the review to ‘High Off Life’
3. Purple Reign (2016)
It took some time to sink in, but Purple Reign is an amazing body of work. It was only released last year, but that just shows how Future gets better and better year by year. After we get past the forgettable start, you’re exposed to a highly consistent 13-track mixtape. Just like with any good Future project there’s a distinct sound to the production. Purple Reign possesses a very moody and ominous sound. The simplistic “Perkys Calling” is going to go on to become a Future classic. The bonus track “In Abundance” is the perfect moody and atmospheric-styled Future song. The way the string section comes and goes on “Hater Shit” shows noticeable detail in production. The beat to “Inside the Mattress” sounds ‘terrifying’. And “Wicked” is just retardedly addictive. The only songs I don’t care for are “All Right” and “Never Forget” but they don’t disrupt the listening experience. From start to finish, Purple Reign is one of Future’s best tapes.
Best tracks: “Perkys Calling”, “In Abundance”, “Hater Shit”, “No Charge”, “Salute”, “Drippin (How U Luv That)”, “Inside the Mattress”
2. Monster (2014)
Monster is cut from a different cloth. After the disappointment of Honest, Monster was put out in the same year and was the first installment in the “Future mixtape trilogy” (plus Beast Mode and 56 Nights). It was also his first release since his break-up with Ciara. Clearly he had some emotional steam to let off. The result of that is classic tracks like “Codeine Crazy”, top 2 in Future’s best songs. It’s a 6-minute personal track which almost sounds suicidal at times. More classic tracks include “Throw Away”, the two-part song which begins on an optimistic note (“It’s gon be okay, okay”) and transitions into a bitter, depressive second half. The minimalism of “Hardly” is very similar to “Perkys Calling” so it’s another emotionally gripping track (“Hope my legacy live on”).
Amongst all these personal songs you also get the bangers like “After That”, “Fuck Up Some Commas” and “Radical”. “Fetti” and “Wesley Presley” sound like the foundation to what DS2 eventually became, while even the Intro is gripping and effective in setting a scene for the 15 tracks that come after. The level of quality of Monster makes it feel like an album, but it’s a free mixtape.
On top of being a free mixtape, it’s a classic Future project. From start to finish, there’s not a single mishit. Monster is the perfect blend of personal Future and bangers Future, and contains plenty of his best songs to date.
Best tracks: “Codeine Crazy”, “Throw Away”, “Hardly”, “My Savages”, “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “After That”, “Radical”
1. DS2 (2015)
Sonically, DS2 is the most standout Future album, and his best commercial release to date. On top of that, it may just be the most intoxicated we have ever heard Future. From track 1 you receive a consistent sound which consists of grimy, face-screwing production. An easy example of that description is “I Serve the Base”. The beat shouldn’t even be enjoyable, but Future’s performance makes it work. Before that we get the twinkling “Thought It Was a Drought” that’s most memorable for its quotable lyrics (“I just fucked your bitch in some Gucci flip flops” / “I just took a piss and I seen codeine coming out”).
“Stick Talk” is the most aggressive and energetic song of Future’s career which pairs well with the more lowkey cuts like “Rotation” and “Blood on the Money”. “Kno the Meaning” may just be one of Future’s most heartfelt songs, and “Slave Master” is another example of the finely-crafted mellow trap tracks (“Brooklyn ridin’ with us, got my jeweller ridin’ with me”). There’s not a single song I don’t enjoy, therefore it tops Purple Reign in terms of cohesion. DS2′s sound is one of a kind, and is a prime example of Future at his peak.
Best tracks: “Stick Talk”, “Thought It Was a Drought”, “Freak Hoe”, “I Serve the Base”, “Where Ya At”, “Slave Master”
This post has been updated to include subsequent releases by Future.