Extraterrestrial: Future and Lil Uzi Vert Create A New World on "Pluto x Baby Pluto"
If there are any two current figures within the music industry that embody intergalactic, out-of-this-world energy, the pair that should quickly surface to your mind is none other than Future and Lil Uzi Vert. It is a known characteristic for artists / musicians to undergo various metamorphic evolutions throughout their careers. For years, Future has maintained his alter ego of Pluto - the savage, heavy drug using, emotionless alien that many have come to love for nearly a decade (if not, longer). As for Uzi, the young rockstar has always maintained an extraterrestrial aura since the beginning of his career in (2014/2015 respectively). However, more recently the young rapper has created his most recent alter ego, "Baby Pluto" in homage and respect to the legend himself, Future.
Due to their spacey interiors, it made complete sense when the two announced their collaborative project Pluto x Baby Pluto over the summer. Prior to the album's release, the two dropped a two-pack of promotional singles ("Patek" and "Over Your Head") back in July as an appetizer for listeners. However, the main course would not arrive until Friday (Nov. 13).
If listeners were not full enough, the two immediately followed up with dessert days later with a deluxe edition to Pluto x Baby Pluto on Monday (Nov. 17).
Much like an alien, this year saw Lil Uzi Vert's return to Earth back in March with one of the most dope releases of the year, the galactic Eternal Atake . The 26-year-old Philly native had been relatively quiet for over two years before crash landing back onto the rap game. Following the release of EA, the rapper followed up quickly with the album's deluxe, the sequel to LUV vs. The World (which actually features Future also). On the other end, 2020 saw Future being "high off life" with the release of his rather forgettable High Off Life album back in May.
Nonetheless, Pluto x Baby Pluto finds the two stars blending aesthetics and flows while also introducing listeners to the world they hail from. Running for nearly an hour and a half, the album consists of 16 tracks with 6 additional tracks being added from the bonus. Of the additional tracks, listeners are greeted with the album's head singles "Patek" and "Over Your Head" yet again. The main album also contains a visual for the bass, pounding, trap-booming, "That's It."
The chemistry is immediately showcased on the album's outer-world opener, "Stripes Like Burberry." Produced by DJ Esco, the track finds the two rapping about making their mother's proud rather than bringing them stress. Here the two create this ghostly trap melody as they reflect on the "stripes" they've earned that have gotten them to wear they are. On the bass-cackling, "Marni On Me," two besties engage in a playful tit-for-tat battle. The two flex their wealth, money, and stature with flashy back and forth bars, and heavy bravado.
It is important to highlight that neither artist tries to sound like the other. Instead they adapt to each other's musical styling while maintaining their own form of artistry and performance. On "Sleeping on the Floor" Future activates the flow from The WZRD and goes full throttle. The 37-year-old gallivants about money, power, and sex. He flows about his lavish lifestyle, heavy participation in drugs, and getting fly. Uzi adapts to this future-ish track with his machine gun delivery. Uzi makes it clear that no one wants smoke with him and of course he highlights his money.
An album standout immediately surfaces at the blazing "Real Baby Pluto." Produced by Twysted Genius and Zaytoven, "Real Baby Pluto" finds the two rapping about their respective "Pluto" personas. Here, Uzi goes BESERK. Like a loose cannon, he goes off as soon as the beat drops rapping about getting 500,000 a show, his addiction to luxury spending, and even having pockets larger than Missy Elliott. While maintaining the heat, Future follows Uzi's hot trail flowing about the various women he has under his thumb.
The next standout track arrives at "Bought a Bad Bitch." The DJ Esco-produced jam is a purely flex record that could only be executed by both Future and Uzi. The two literally stick to the song's title. Uzi raps about keeping his wrist icy, not eating at Ruth Chris, pink diamonds, and more. His energy is purely cocky. He knows nobody is in his league (women or men). Future jumps on the beat with a relentless flow as he raps about bossing his women up, having overwhelmingly large amounts of money, and engaging in increasingly high drug use.
The second half of the project begins with two solo appearances by both stars. On Rockstar Chainz, Future might be at his most savage level yet. Assuming his Pluto alias, he raps, "Rockstar chain all the way to the floor, dawg / Ain't tryna be cool with no rap nigga, I'm f*ckin' they ho, dawg / Took two Addys, then counted an M and damn near dozed off / I'm in the stars drivin' myself, I feel like autopilot." He flows about being leery of the people who aren't solid and keeping his guard up when near them.
On Uzi's "Lullaby," the toxic energy heightens the more. Uzi associates his lack of being a faithful partner to childhood traumas. Sounding completely nonchalant, his flow is still blatant as he raps about being unfaithful, cheating, and not trusting his woman: "I talk to b*tches even when you right here / I text 'em in the room when we layin' right next to each other / I try my best just to hug her with my fingers crossed / 'Cause I know deep down inside, I am really doing wrong." He relentlessly flows as if the moment he's dropping one bar, another one pops right in his head.
As the project continues, the second half of the album showcases a more emotional side. Listeners witness more of that HNDRXX Future. While maintaining their traditional flow, both of the stars switch up their cadences and pitches. Listeners hear more melodies and song-like rap. On "She Never Been to Pluto" the two deliver over this animated, cartoonish beat produced by Brandon Finessin & Lukrative. Their deliveries are more amplified, harmonic, and passionate. "Off Dat" reverts to the upbeat appeal of the first half of the album as Uzi and Future rap about sexual encounters, luxury brands, and selling / using drugs.
On the D. Hill & Gudda Tay, "I Don't Wanna Break Up," listeners are swooned with the pop-infused trap production. The song literally sounds like an Uzi song the moment it begins. Over the chorus, Uzi passionately sings: "I don't wanna wake up / I'd rather dream, that's the way that you stay up / I don't wanna break up/ But money's on my mind and I gotta keep the cake up." Future follows up with one of his most serious verses ever. Releasing Pluto for just a moment, he raps: "Tryna make better decisions, tryna be more consistent, yeah / I'm going through hell just to get to you again / I make millions by myself, but I need you to win / Money couldn't buy real love, real friends." The trap melodies continue on the money focused "Bankroll." The two sing about waking up with money and wealth.
Overall, Pluto x Baby Pluto is fair. There are far too many songs that simply could have been scrapped or used in past projects. When it comes to delivery, the joint effort sees much of Uzi out rapping Future. In many instances it feels like Future is playing keep up. His flow is not consistent and comes off uninspiring in some moments. However, when he goes off... he goes off. Having just killed 2020, Uzi shows no signs of slowing down. His charisma, wordplay, and animated persona just makes his music so much fun to enjoy.
Lyrically, there is not much to dissect. The focus is simple: Money, Sex, and drugs (with a dash of reflection and evaluation). Every song highlights the immense wealth that two have. They both make it clear that their opposition resembles less than a threat to them.
The album is definitely salvageable. While every song is not 10/10, there are certainly some heavy trap / turn-up gems that will receive heavy rotation in the car and within party playlists and clubs (whenever it is truly safe to do so). The production is incredible and the producers heavily aid in making the songs sound so great.
Despite redundancy and the lack of heavily compelling lyricism, both Future and Lil Uzi Vert make music that make you want to push your foot on the gas literally. Almost like a drug, the songs simply generate an undeniable rush. "Pluto x Baby Pluto" takes listeners to a new world and showcases both Future and Lil Uzi Vert blending in a way that is fun and enjoyable for the most part. Because of this, Pluto x Baby Pluto receives a 7/10.
Top 5 Songs from Pluto x Baby Pluto (Deluxe):
Real Baby Pluto
Marni On Me
Stripes Like Burberry
Honorable Mentions: That's It, Sleeping on the Floor, Off Dat, I Don't Wanna Break Up, Brought a Bad Bitch, Lullaby