“Commas” by Future

The phenomenon of what the music press has tentatively dubbed ‘Hook-Rap’ is related to, but different from, the preceding craze of Crunk-esque Party Rap it grew out of, being subtler and more artful. It’s basically a new form of Rap where the lyrics are completely irrelevant and all that matters is creating an atmospheric soundscape through the repetition of small melodic fragments…think a Rap version of Philip Glass. Many music fans, including myself, have been slow to embrace this new musical paradigm, but the truth is that there’s a reason the professional critics respect this stuff so highly. Future has received some not-entirely-unwarranted skepticism because his first album to make a mainstream impact, Honest, made some poor choices in terms of its single releases, but his later material, particularly from 2015 through 2017, is much more consistent. This song has the standard generic Glam Rap lyrics Future has always used, but they’re not really the point. The point is the melody, a string of melodic fragments that is actually extremely sophisticated, almost resembling the work of certain Classical composers like Debussy in terms of structure, and the hypnotic atmosphere created by the melodic and lyrical repetitions. This is a far more interesting song than it might seem at first glance, and I can actually see now why Future gets such a high degree of critical praise.

Verdict: Good.

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