February 28, 2024

I don’t know if you know this (I hope you do), but I have a column called Yellow Diamonds in which I break down the lyrics of love songs. It’s a practice that’s important to me, as romantic records tend to have more staying power, and I’d like for the music of my time to last as long as possible. Yet, while lyrics about love make for the most timeless music, toxicity is what’s currently feeding the streets and the souls of those who inhabit them. No one contributes to this better or more frequently than Future.

That consistency is what earned the 38-year-old the title of “best rapper alive” from Elliott Wilson in his recent GQ cover story. While Wilson’s praise sparked great debate, what’s inarguable is Future’s claim as the rapper most committed to his shtick—he’s a toxic king and the prince of pettiness, and he seems entirely self-aware about this.

On I NEVER LIKED YOU, his ninth studio album, Future is in his bag. The album isn’t as reflective of his villainous persona as its title suggests, but there are a few standouts. Throughout certain songs, the father of seven is cold, chaotic, and unapologetically childish in a way that questions the credibility of his statement to Wilson suggesting, “[These women] all were toxic to me. They Just don’t want to admit it.”

Even when he gaslights his muses, though, one thing Future isn’t is dispassionate. His sporadic bursts of affection are what separates his toxicity from run-of-the-mill misogyny (which he also has a habit of, to be clear). He went on to tell Wilson, “Putting this project together is just people understanding that I love hard… Probably love the hardest. I wanted to showcase my skills as far as melodies and topics and being vulnerable.”

That vulnerability may not have yielded his best work, but it certainly gave us some Tweetable bars. Peep the most toxic lyrics from Future’s I NEVER LIKED YOU below.

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