Futuristic Past, an Album that is an Hypothetical Journey by S.T.R.A.P (@Listen2Strap) Reviewed
S.T.R.A.P is a Ugandan born rapper based in Kansas whose name is an abbreviation to; Sound that Roars African Pride and so he does so on his second Album (released September 2015) that I will be telling you about below:
The Album is inspired by the movie Back to the Future and thus the concepts revolve around it. He is so deep into very deep thoughts on this album, the samples, and other added features including metaphors are not to be taken lightly. The reggae influences also serve to shape the album’s sounds on tracks such as The Next Level, Friend Zone and Sliding Thru Her DMs. This will be a long review in order to try understanding the most problematic Hip Hop Album of 2015-Futuristic Past. Production ranges from LexiBanks, AFOST, Christophilus, Jay X Jay, Ayodlo, Arkutec, and Bigg Kid with only two features Kapela and Crystal Foxworth. The quote below is also carried forth from eyeWonder which features FoxWorth off Oblivion making Futuristic past seem a continuation.
“How you supposed to see when the blind don’t look”
Futuristic Past opens up with a perfect song for the theme of this album- Before the storm. We are taken straight into the album with somewhat soft hitting instruments introducing us to time travel thoughts about the past and the future. The vicious persona (or Volatile STRAP) comes out on Back to the future, which gives you an immediate hint on what the Album is about if you missed the point on Before the Storm. The highly Imaged collection of thoughts, visions is what makes up this album. You might think it’s a foreign rapper (for those who don’t know him), but well he clarifies and asserts that he is Ugandan on Back to the Future saying “I promised I will never tell a rap lie/ I promised I will always be reppin’ UG on a song till a n*gga flat Lines”
Listening to Dark Night ft Kapela, despite the mild and infecting hook, STRAP still goes hard on it with Kapela, at this point in time of the Album you Notice S.T.R.A.P is a deep movie guy. However the movie head shouldn’t be taken for granted because it’s through which his motivations and imagery develop. On this one he speaks of his transitioning to something new (if we are to psychoanalyze him) I mean when do wolves or any other creature transform? If we are to pick it from Oblivion his previous project we notice the changes even though the remix to Façade feels like a redefinition
“Full moon turning into a liken.”
May be you haven’t seen the point, the state of mind he is in is a bit bitter, hungry and yet determined to tell these stories, painting pictures some of which when he was growing up in Ntinda. Now that preceding sentence is inspired by Seen it all on which S.T.R.A.P features Crystal Foxworth as he recollects “the simple life we miss growing up in Ntinda” The hook well positions you to the journey STRAP intends to present to you. It’s also a tale of a rappers journey, writing and re-writing bars just to perfect it.
“You can’t live this long to f*ck up”
2nd guessing takes you to sounds that are inspired by hip-hop in the Bronx as he gives a more lax and yet still crisp flow telling a tale of a person, who doubts himself in search of glory and how he over comes it(doubt). Summer Breeze is much celebratory making a mark on what you need to consider as the view of the Album, to be honest at this point besides the problematic interpretation I had on the title. Summer breeze hints on that past (for example hard work as a rapper or anyone else) and the Future (Futuristic self celebrating after this sustained hard work) you know that success is repeatedly worked for, despite the initial second guessing. To agree more he asks on My Actions,.‘ why you are in the game when you can’t really score’. Through his actions he hopes to inspire and if am not mistaken its part of scoring in life which he confirms “I always talk life.”
The Tale is a sound of an angry S.T.R.A.P who is still on his braggadocio despite the nine months it took him to deliver the album. He goes into his own mind taking us with him so as we recognize his lyrical prowess in other words “a spectacular emcee”. The Tale serves to question ideologies in the world that have had many, prisoners of conscience and he asserts he is “only a vessel trying to deliver a message.” The feeling it creates is of self-worth within humanity that needs to be restored despite everything. The tale is a low-key sound to highlight some painful things both in his and others lives
To prove he is off that futuristic and deep mind talk he comes back to talk to his ‘Mama’ with Sliding Thru Her DMs. He re-calls Kapela on this one to act as a melodic back up to bars being spat, appreciating this beautiful girl who he barely know so much because he “tranna halla” at her. We all know we love to hit a pretty girl’s DM (Direct message call it inbox) you could agree with me that the future (Dreams) and Past (Memories) meeting together is a creative man’s present time.
“Hey wasap mama I been tryna halla at you mama”
The difference between Friend Zone and Sliding’ Thru her DMs is that this time round he highlights how this girl he had thoughts for “introduces him as a brother” and in between he reminds her of how he was sliding thru her DM and now they are friends. Well “She a murderer” but he insists buy asking her through Justin Timberlake’s My Love slowed down to portray the feeling- even hard-core rappers entreat.
“Enough of that Lovie dovie sh*t”- DJ Sh*t On Your Mixtape
Which other way would he do so? STRAP structured this Album that’s one thing to be certain of and They want 16s is proof of his spit-game and not to be taken lightly. This is a manifestation of flow Diversity if you allow me to say so. The next level (on which he samples sister Nancy’s Bam Bam) what away to switch flow! The Next level highlights that despite where he is (Kansas, or Uganda) he is pushing the bar higher, with of course acceptable braggadocio clarifying what he says on they want 16s. I don’t know if it’s clear now, as regards the concept? The back and forth of this album is what makes it Futuristic Past.
My name is STRAP NKober n UG is what am Repping/
Tell ma people I will be coming home in a second/
Chasing all these dreams but it’s never what it seems…/
On The Home coming He clarifies he’s pursuits here and there and alarms us to expect his home coming, to relate he could be coming from the future or the past and thus currently he is coming at a close range with the present time. How he came up is essential to him and thus recollects the time once again just as pretty much said on Seen it all.
Façade being on this album makes me think it’s the perfect beat, Delivery and flow time travel from the Past (Oblivion) and the definite future on (Futuristic Past). Somehow it makes you feel he has travelled from a certain world to the other one, where things could be done differently and yet at the end of the day he remains STRAP no matter the time.
The employment of Dj Sh*t on Your mix tape in between tracks does the magic for him making it a seemingly less troublesome understanding of the work of art and to enjoy it you need to acknowledge the talk in between tracks. They provide you with an insight and relation between all the tracks. Problematic it is, you might want to get the Album and go along with STRAP on his journey.
Listen To Futuristic Past Here
Written By Ayella NuveySHAWN