Listen, I'm a sore loser and a sore winner. I used to cry after losing my elementary school chess matches, which thankfully directed me away from competitive pawn-pushing and into the soothing subjectivity of the arts. However, I also love to gloat when proved right: I put my chips down on Tempe rap prankster Futuristic last year as a local artist to keep an eye on, and he's back with a promising new album.
Officially hitting iTunes on February 19, Chasing Down a Dream is a rundown of a busy year in Futuristic's world, which had him playing shows across the country in support of his previous album, Dream Big.
As obvious by the album title, resilience and fearless pursuit of success are major themes in Futuristic's rhymes. The most impressive narrative on the album, "For the Love," details his growth from a kid rhyming at the talent show to a rap lifer finding solace in the struggle to improve his game. My guy is a racehorse.
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However, the album also takes on the death of Futuristic's grandmother and other family struggles, with "You Outta Know" ruminating on the people who have supported his pursuits. To cement an album that touches on many moods, Futuristic's resident producer, AKT Aktion, sets the tone for everything from smooth R&B balladry to fuck-off trunk rattlers.
An official album release show is scheduled tonight at Club Red, with Futuristic performing alongside a number of guests featured on Chasing Down a Dream. His management team says he has no tour in the works just yet but does have a few select dates in store for only the most futuristic markets. I wouldn't hedge on the future.