I was somewhat neutral towards Future’s Mask Off the first time I heard it but it steadily grew on me after a few listens. You can already see Metro Boomin’s flute-infused beat beginning to cast its influence over other rap production, i.e. Drake’s ‘Portland’ with Quavo and Travis Scott from his new More Life album. I can’t pinpoint why but it also has a vaguely similar vibe to Tunnel Vision on Kodak’s new album, which was also produced by Metro Boomin (this guy is on quite the winning streak right now). It’s just another one of many beats by Metro Boomin that will go down as a touchstone of its era. I was surprised to see that this was actually Future’s highest-charting single of all time, just for the fact that he has had so many huge songs over the years.
Since the song has taken off like a rocket, it’s inevitable that other rappers will be doing their own freestyles/remakes over the unique beat, and one welcome addition is Harlem’s own Dave East, who did his take on it as part of his ‘East Mix’ series. East is a very proficient rapper with a lot of dexterity and he puts it on full display over the Mask Off beat, with a number of impressive lines, for example my two favorites from it below…
“Dirty project kids in A-list parties we be wildin in it, steak medium well, mashed potatoes and some salmon with it, a true father won’t cop unless his child can get it… walking up Lennox just ‘cause Malcom did it”
“Back and forth over whose the hottest got the whole city riffin, I ain’t never laced foamposites I wore my Penny’s different, they gave my cousin life so f*ck it I’ll take a million visits.”
So far Dave East has the best take on Mask Off in my humble opinion and it will be a tall order for anyone to displace him at the top, will be interesting to see what song he remakes as his next ‘EastMix’