One of the most underrated and influential mixtapes of the 2010s, Monster, by Future, opened the door for the future of trap music and changed rap to as we know it is today. With it being overlooked by the mainstream listeners of today, I’m gonna give my take on the 2014 mixtape.
Track one Radical wastes no time getting into the dark sound of the album. Although it is not Future’s best rapping performance, the production and instrumental does more than enough to make up for it. In a way, Future’s rapping on this track fits the track with it being slow and slightly slurred which for most artists, would be very hard to pull off without sounding abysmal. Track two Monster is where the best of Future comes out with once again, another very dark beat and Future just going in on the track. Future’s energy and narcissistic lyrics provide for one of my favorite tracks on the album as it doesn’t have a dull moment. Track three Throw Away doesn’t fail to live up to the last track either. With the first half of the track showing some of the same uncaring and unrelenting lyrics, it has great energy like the last track. But suddenly the beat switches and in the next three minutes Future pours his heart out which is very uncharacteristic for him on tracks as he’s usually not a person that shows his emotions in this way. This track may be my favorite track on the album due to its quick switch in emotion and a double-sided view with the beat switch. Track four, After That (feat. Lil Wayne), brings the up-tempo vibes back which begins a recurring theme for the majority of the mixtape. Lil Wayne also showed up on this track doing his part being the only feature on the mixtape. Track five My Savages continues the vibe of the mixtape with another banger. This song has a more uplifting vibe with it as well as the production represents the song well. On track six, 2Pac, Future once again kills it, this track has an incredible bass that brings the song to another level. This is one track that caught my attention right away on my first listen as it was named after the late legendary 2Pac.
Track seven Gangland is easily one of the best trap beats I’ve ever heard as Metro Boomin who produced all tracks on the mixtape especially killed it on this one. The energy is just on another level too as it’s one of those tracks you can’t sit still to. Track eight Fetti is a much less complex track production-wise but it’s a great track as they all have been so far. It also goes to a bit more usual rapping style by Future unlike some of the other tracks. Track nine Hardly goes back to a more emotional Future, especially on the hook of the track where you can hear the emotion in his voice. This was one of my favorite tracks when I first heard it as at the time I was not as inclined to the emotional Future as he usually said before is very uncaring and selfish in his lyrics. Track ten Wesley Presley is very reminiscent of the first track, this one however being a bit more coherent. Although this track is pretty simple and doesn’t do a whole lot it’s still very solid but it just doesn’t produce the same energy as the other tracks. Track eleven Showed Up also relates to the first track heavily as it sounds very drugged up and leaned out. I find it interesting how the mixtape is set up as the intro track rapping sounds like it should be at the end but production-wise sounds like it fits perfectly as the intro. I can only assume that was the whole idea which makes me appreciate the mixtape a bit more. Track twelve Mad Luv is probably my least favorite track which is pretty ironic considering my favorite track is next up. This track just doesn’t do a whole lot for me although I do enjoy it, just not anything special about it to me. The end of the mixtape is at track thirteen Codeine Crazy, arguably Future’s most important song and one of his most popular. Future opens up about his drug addiction most specifically codeine and other issues in his life. To see Future close up the mixtape by fully opening up after flexing about these things for the majority of the mixtape is what really makes this mixtape so interesting. As he says how all these things are a problem for him it makes the name of the mixtape Monster which the whole point is it describes himself as a monster. This is revealed if you go back to Throw Away where Future says “I believe you know you’re a monster too.” This track was what got me into this mixtape and is easily one of my favorites by Future and maybe one of the best trap songs of all time.
Monster is one of Future’s best pieces of work and one of my favorites ever, the production, energy, and performances by Future all make this up. You can tell the hunger he had at this time of his career which definitely helped make this mixtape what it was at the time. I give Monster a 9/10 a trap masterpiece that paved the way for that form of music as we know it today, I highly recommend this album to people who like this kind of music or are interested in it.