Future (real name Nayvadius Wilburn) dropped his fourth studio record, Evol, on February 6 of this year. Receiving a mixed reception from critics, Evol currently holds a 68 on Metacritic. Conflicted pundits praise Future for his production on the record, but criticize him for his lack of innovation and variety. Anthony Fantano, known as The Needle Drop on YouTube, spoke of the record.
“[Evol] is kind of like a DS2 rehash, a DS2 sequel.”
While DS2 (Dirty Sprite 2), released in July, 2015, is Future’s third full-length project, it is one of his highest-rated and most recognized commercial albums, holding an 80 on Metacritic, the same score as his Honest record, which was released in April, 2014.
Earlier this month, actor and comedian Jonah Hill introduced Future to the Saturday Night Live stage. Just before the lights illuminated the stage, showing Future in an extravagant jacket, the crowd crescendoed into an orchestral applause as the synth denoted the “Low Life” track. The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye) spawned from the side, crooning as the lights warmed the stage, the crowd cheering even louder.
Both Future and The Weeknd swayed in an off-beat rhythm on stage as The Weeknd continued to sing and bellow during the performance. When the song concluded, Future and The Weeknd stood side-by-side momentarily as the crowed erupted in a reverberating cheer. Since then, fans have wanted Future to release a visual for “Low Life.”
— Highsnobiety (@highsnobiety) March 26, 2016
It seems Santa Claus came early this year. Just yesterday, Future dropped the music video for “Low Life” via YouTube. The video begins moodily, with both Future and The Weeknd shrouded in shadows, with the burning of a bouquet of roses. The indecipherable, semi-discordant, refrained vocalization plays just before the deep, booming sub bass kicks in, Future mumbling as the verse starts.
“I just took some molly, what else? (Hey).
“Got some b*tch from Follies with us (‘scuse me, ‘scuse me).”
The video continues in a quasi-monochromatic tone, not necessarily “black and white,” but dark and grey with some very muted colors. The video’s tones seems to characterize the lyrics, detailing aspects of a “low life”: excessive drugs, wanton sex, an abundance of alcohol, indulging in strippers, and the like. None of this is new for Future or The Weeknd. Both, in previous solo projects, discuss one or more of these topics on several tracks. For example, “Xanny Family” from Future’s Evol, or “The Hills” from The Weeknd’s Beauty Behind the Madness. As the video progresses, The Weeknd subtly enters the track with his sombre voice, singing about drug production and eviction.
“I turn the Ritz into a poor house.
“It’s like eviction number four now.”
Slo-motion and foggy shots permeate the video, eliciting a kind of druggy, out-of-place feeling. Interestingly, a majority of the video is shot in a warehouse, further highlighting the lyrical theme of drug production and consumption. While not the focus, scantily clad women — some in lacy lingerie and heels, and others in skin-tight dresses and heels — make brief appearances throughout the video.
Later in the video, there are some angled shots and focuses on cockroaches, evoking a sense of uneasiness and “trap house” imagery; Future even says, “Turn a five star hotel into a trap house.” The “Low Life” video wraps up with a plethora of slo-motion and angled shots, myriad foggy, muted lights, and the indecipherable, semi-discordant, refrained vocalization playing over Future’s muttering of the intro.
You can watch the entire music video above. And, if you haven’t seen Future and The Weeknd’s Saturday Night Live Performance, you can view it here.
[Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images]