If we had to sum up the year so far, there’s no doubt that Future Brown‘s Tink-featuring Room 302 to be up there as one of the finest tracks of 2015. Hardly surprising, given the talent behind the collective name: Fatima Al-Qadiri, beatmakers Nguzunguzu (check out their remix of Jhene Aiko‘s Stranger to become an instant fan), and J-Cush combine their powers, giving birth to a name that quite rightly sounds akin to some sort of ethnic Captain Planet.
It’s not an unfair analogy, mind you – this self-titled debut screams of genre-saviour material. The beats are immaculate (if not entirely unheard), and every track comes alive with Future Brown’s choice in collaborators. In modern rap discourse, we’re seeing far too many of the same names, whether it’s some idiotic race war, Drake sounding like a microwave, or even FB’s namesake Future delivering lines like he has a Tourette’s stutter. In that respect, it’s massively refreshing to hear someone like Shawnna lift Talkin Bandz to a higher plane, or Timberlee‘s breathless patois making No Apology properly exciting.
If anyone has a lick of sense, they’ll be queuing up to work with Future Brown at the first possible moment. Dangerzone is the finest example of what puts Future Brown at the forefront of modern alternative-R&B: furtive, nocturnal beats that allow Kelela to take centre-stage in an absolute masterpiece of a slow-jam. This is everything the genre should be, and what people should frantically be taking lessons from. The future’s bright, people, and the future is most definitely an intense shade of Brown.