Released just a week after his self-titled fifth effort, Future's HNDRXX provided an introspective and confessional complement to the more extroverted Future. Languid and self-aware, HNDRXX presents Future as a man lamenting past sins and missteps. Without ever mentioning her by name, ex-girlfriend Ciara looms over many of the songs, the former couple's legal troubles bleeding into Future's wounded lyrics. For fans in search of more substance than what would typically be found in his usual trap bangers, HNDRXX offers one of the deepest views into the rapper born Nayvadius Wilburn's soul. So while the production here isn't as exciting as on Future, the vulnerability displayed makes HNDRXX a highlight in Future's catalog. "Use Me" serves double-duty, not only as a plea to a woman, but also as a tempting call from his drugs. On "Turn on Me," a late-album track packed with some of his more exposed open-journal rhymes, Future wonders "why [he] ain't happy." After all the boasting and bravado, it's almost refreshing to hear him be a normal, damaged man. R&B stars the Weeknd and Rihanna offer two high-profile features on HNDRXX, bringing their own pain and catharsis to Future's therapy session. "Selfish," the Rihanna number, is a bittersweet, yearning highlight. When digested with Future, HNDRXX shows listeners what lies beneath the veneer and posturing, a brief look at the struggles one man must face when the party ends.
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AllMusic Review by Neil Z. Yeung