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Listen Up: Future continues ‘reign’ while artists give back

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“Purple Reign” by Future

Now seems about the time Future’s wave crests. In August 2014, the Atlanta rapper dropped “Monster,” his first mixtape after a disappointing album and high-profile breakup with Ciara. Since then, with one stellar project after another, he has to be at least the second-biggest rapper alive: ”What a Time to Be Alive” was basically an album of Drake jumping on his tracks. Ruling 2016 like he did ‘15 seemed like an impossible task.

That is, until last weekend. Future announced his latest mixtape, “Purple Reign,” with about an hour warning. Livemixtape.com’s servers wilted under the pressure, and #futurehive took over Twitter for the next 24-48 hours — long enough to endlessly mock Ciara’s current boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, when his team fell to the Panthers.

“Purple Reign” isn’t the best of his four latest mixtapes. In fact, it’s probably the worst. That’s an easy distinction, considering the quality of the other three, and far from a knock. There are quite a few gems on “Purple Reign”: “Wicked,” “Inside the Mattress,” “Run Up” and the title track, to name a few. There really isn’t anything wrong with this mixtape; most critics denounce the perceived repetitive nature of his recent work, if anything. Get used to it, though, because it looks like we’ll be hearing a lot more of it soon.

This week Future called “Purple Reign” a “warm up,” and it now seems totally possible that we’re in for another year of the mumble, the codeine and the pills, and the revolving door of Atlanta producers.

“I Love You All the Time” by Various Artists

Since the November attacks in Paris, the Eagles of Death Metal – the band whose show at the Bataclan concert hall was disrupted by a bombing that killed 89 people – has been asking other musicians to cover its song “I Love You All the Time.” The band has requested that proceeds from the covers be donated to benefit victims. In the past two months, My Morning Jacket, Florence and the Machine and Jimmy Eat World have put out their own versions, and now a compilation is available on Spotify. The versions differ enough between bands to quell any boredom, but the emotion is what matters most.

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