Honest (Deluxe)

Honest (Deluxe)

The star power of the guests on Future's second album—Kanye, Drake, Pharrell, Lil Wayne, and André 3000, among others—speaks to the near-insurmountable heights the Atlanta rapper has reached since his 2012 debut, Pluto. That he shows them all up explains how he got there. Take "I Won," a solemn beat over which Kanye and Future exult their "trophy" wives. Where 'Ye rifles off shallow boasts, Future's verses are sincere, almost touching. On the sprightly surprise standout "Benz Friendz," Future's ATL bro André 3000 dances around the whimsical beats like a peacock, but it's Future's husky baritone that brings the party. Dominated by Mike WiLL Made It's 16-ton production (tracks like "My Momma" and "Honest" lumber like they're dragging chains), Honest demolishes the line between hip-hop and R&B. Its Auto-Tune hooks, rat-a-tat verses, and confessional lyrics exemplify the best of both genres in 2014.

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