56 Nights dropped in March, so one can be forgiven for wondering why it’s being reviewed in The Sil’s reduced July issue.

What one can’t be forgiven for is not having heard what is one of Future’s best mixtapes yet in some form or another.

That 56 Nights followed January’s Beast Mode so quickly speaks of two of Future’s discerning qualities. One, that he recognizes how fickle today’s rap industry is and quickly sates his legion of fans with releases that closely follow the heels of one another. Two, that he is not content to completely buy into a mixtape culture that values one or two songs that will blow up the streets mixed in with a lot of filler.

How Future differentiates himself from the rest of the pack is through ensuring that his mixtapes can be boasted about as being dud-free.

In other words, anything Future comes out with is a certified, grade-A fucking banger.

The title refers to the “56 nights” that Future’s DJ, Esco, spent locked up in Dubai during a visit to the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

While Future is on a professional roll, with a tour with Drake and endless calls for him to feature on others’ tracks under his belt, the Atlanta native is going through no small amount of personal turmoil.

Since breaking up with his fiancée, Ciara, because of an affair he had with her stylist, Future has gone through a phase in which he attempted to get over the relationship by turning into the arms of other women and then immortalizing those moments in club bangers. While this approach has yielded great material, it has also taken its toll on Future’s well-being. Although it had been fun to sing along to Future’s tales of debauchery on tracks like “Fuck Up Some Commas,” those songs now feel like the artist’s attempt to distance himself from the very fresh pain of having ruined his relationship. Even though tracks like “Hardly” hinted at the rapper’s true emotions, they were always book-ended by more impersonal cuts.

On 56 Nights, Future spits his heart out over the hard-hitting beats. Rather than getting swallowed by the massive intstrumentals, Future’s personal confessions like  “I pour up again and again/ I said I wasn’t gonna fuck with that bitch then I fucked her again,” bring his pain to the forefront. Gone is the bravado that accompanied his boasts of how many women he slept with, instead replaced by a disinterested apathy for the casual sex and drug use that he reluctantly uses as a crutch in order to avoid confronting his plentiful demons.

56 Nights is a step forward for Future in his breakup recovery process, and a reasurring one at that as he proved that he can funnel his frustration towards producing a focussed piece of art that still goes when you hear it in the club with your squad, or as you drive alone at night with your own problems running through your head.

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