I NEVER LIKED YOU, the first Future project since his and Lil Uzi Vert’s Pluto x Baby Pluto and his first solo outing since 2020’s High Off Life, was likely titled to cause a stir. Future has been a poster boy for the kind of toxic romantic engagements that turn well-intentioned social media users into self-certified relationship experts since about the time of his split with one-time fiancée Ciara. But rather than defend his lifestyle choices in earnest or make a case for himself as misunderstood, he drops an album whose title posits him as either a vindictive lover or a victim of a betrayal. But Future is nobody’s victim. With I NEVER LIKED YOU, he's more likely a master of marketing. The album has far less to do with the rhetoric that surrounds his dating life than it does the MC’s lifestyle, drawing open the blinds within a single bar of “HOLY GHOST”: “I was in my big truck, my wrist up, getting my dick sucked.” The MC sounds as happy as ever across I NEVER LIKED YOU, lamenting only—in the rare instance that he laments—a perceived lack of credit for his stylistic influence (“I'M DAT N***A,” “PUFFIN ON ZOOTIEZ”). There are two instances, however, wherein his influence is wholly undeniable: “I’M ON ONE” and “KEEP IT BURNIN,” where Drake and Kanye West each take a turn paying tribute to one of their most cherished collaborators, rattling off volatile non sequiturs in classic Future style.

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