Track List: 01. Endure Intro 02. Go In ft. R-Swift, Thisl & K-Drama 03. Endure ft. Pastor AD3 04. Fight Klub Interlude 05. Fight Klub 06. Winners ft. Fitgerald 07. At His Throne ft. PRo 08. God Ain’t With You 09. Frontline ft. PRo & Json 10. Struggle No More ft. Fitzgerald 11. Never Back Down ft. Mike Real & Rio (KuntryBoyy) 12. Future vs. Pride ft. Bumps 13. Conviction 14. Hold On
If you are looking for some high-energy southern Christian rap then Future might just be that, the future! Although not on the level in popularity with other artists like Lecrae and Trip Lee, Future still features an all-star cast on his latest release titled Endure. Fellow “x-hustler” Thi’sl features a few times, as well as Flame, JSon, Pro, KDrama and quite a few more. This is the kind of in-your-face hip-hop takes on some serious issues, as well as some serious big-name rappers!
The theme throughout Endure is just that, endure. Just looking at the track list you get the idea that Future knows life is tough, but we need to persevere, with song titles like “Battle”, “Frontline”, Struggle No More” and “Fight Club”. One of the best tracks on the album starts the album off, “Go In” starts off with some horns and when the beat drops, it’s on! Thi’sl and K-Drama help set things straight throughout the track. Future delivers clear confidence and his flow never seems forced.
Other standout tracks include “Fight Club”, “Endure”, “Winners” and “Struggle No More”. There is quality effort to make the hooks and chorus stand up next to the smooth delivery of Future, something that often lacks on Christian rap albums. AD3 on “Endure” is solid when he sings “keep it moving, keep it Holy, keep it pure, Endure”. On “Fight Club” you hear plenty of sporting references, usually to leaders in their respective sports like Lebron James and the Florida Gators. One of my favorite sport references happens in “God Ain’t With You” where Future raps “you can be a star and still be Christ’s example – Tebow”. There are plenty of other clever references, like on “Never Back Down” – “I got a new heart from my daddy too, like John Q.”
The song “Winner” features a super-catchy chorus delivered by Fitzgeral “in this life I choose Christ so I’m already a winner, all because of Jesus I’m already victorious.” Future is relentless throughout the track with his lyrics, constantly promoting faith in Christ “I don’t believe in fate I believe in faith along.”. He also recommends that listeners don’t wait too long to turn to Christ because “you’re all sinners / never escape the heat like in Miami, all winter (so hot).”
The track “God Ain’t With You” could be considered controversial, you know instantly who the track is directed at with the opening line “you say your last names Ever, your first name is Greatest…” Yes, Jay-Z is the directed target, but this song could apply to just about everyone in the entertainment business. “You’re like a kid with tokens, and the arcade is open. You just bought a boat, but God controls the ocean.” The song touches on the exercise of most entertainers to thank God at their shows, yet you could question their validity by the way they live.
Endure is not without its weak moments, for example there is a staged rap-battle for track 10, “Battle”. The battle is between Future and pride, yes the characteristic of pride. The idea is creative, pride telling Future “I’ll have you thinking you’re effort’s great, trusting merits instead of grace” but the delivery is corny, with an MC and crowd cheering and other effects to give the impression that this battle happened in 8 Mile. This is a modern-day Screwtape Letters in some sense, so it worth it to read through the lyrics, considering the motives of pride. The best line though, from pride “I’m a big deal like Lebron to the Knicks, while you remain the Kwame Brown of all lottery picks.”
OVERALL Endure is a solid release from Future, full of credible performances from other rappers in the Christian rap genre. Each song has that anthem feel to it, each one would justify that towel you carry around at shows to dry off the sweat, you’ll be bouncing non-stop throughout Endure. Future puts his name on the map, for fans of straight-forward Christian rap with issues most of us can relate to, check out Endure.