Future
“Mask Off”

Four days after the processions for May Day and the Met Gala, and the day after the House passed a wicked bill, last Friday was the 199th anniversary of Karl Marx’s birthday. And the same day, Edward Crawford, the Ferguson protester who threw a tear gas canister out of the way of children and back at police, was found dead.

The “Mask Off” video (by Colin Tilley, who directed Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” and Future’s fiery “Honest”) recalls photography from the 2014 protests in Ferguson, once again blending Future’s own endless withdrawal and the political depression of a white nationalist state violence (see: “March Madness”). The apocalyptic vision is, like critics have said of The Handmaid’s Tale, “eerily timely.” Eerie!

It’s revolution season in Neo-Atlanta. Future, eyes mask-off, rides into the end of the old world on a chrome chariot as Metro Boomin’s Mad Max (maybe Amber Rose is more Furiosa in the feature-length?). Fire and smoke keep the streets empty for him, but every other corner is wrestling with itself in revolt. Everyone else is living in Freebandz bacchanalia for the night.

After months of memes and the #maskoffchallenge, it’s something to remember the chilling force of that flute sample, sounding like the Horn of the Harad, a battlecry through the clouds. The riot cops are losing the war and missing the party. From Future’s last verse: “My guilliotine,” “go to those extremes,” “switch states.”

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Newsfeed