Future, Lil Donald, Ty Dolla $ign | Aragon Ballroom | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Future, Lil Donald, Ty Dolla $ign Recommended 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Thu., Feb. 18, 8 p.m. 2016

In the mid-2000s Auto-Tune registered as little more than a fad. And almost on cue, Jay-Z arrived on the scene in 2009 with “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune),” proclaiming the end of a short-lived era. Well, Jay-Z could have never predicted Future, the Atlanta rapper who transformed Auto-Tune from a mere gimmick into an innovation. He achieved this primarily by demonstrating Auto-Tune’s possibilities as an instrument. Future alternates his vocal delivery and the pitch-shifting tool’s settings in accordance with his lyrics, so that his word choice and its sonic presentation are equally significant parts of his overall artistic presentation; his producers, most notably Southside and Metro Boomin, are nearly as responsible for this breakthrough. Altogether, Future and his team have fashioned a style of rap that is, musically speaking, as evocative as any significant achievement in the genre’s history. On last year’s masterpiece DS2 (A1/Epic), Future and his crew make the sizzurp-soaked world of trap music sound like a hazy, multihued Dionysian playground—one that’s simultaneously supercharged and supersad—where sex is treated with ambivalence, misogyny is common, and everyday violence is conveyed with the numb indifference of someone suffering from PTSD. The music is almost always colossal and rousing, making the disconnect and tension all the more fascinating and addictive. Auto-Tune is no mere fad, but it is a footnote to Future’s immense artistry.

Tal Rosenberg

Price: $35

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