Future & Metro Boomin: “Like That” [ft. Kendrick Lamar]

Future and Metro Boomin collaborations have always straddled the line between playful and sinister. Since their first team-up on 2013’s “Honest,” watching them both consistently tweak that chemistry has made for some of the most thrilling rap high-wire acts of the last decade (“I Serve the Base” and “Mask Off,” in particular, are still instant party-starters). Somehow, Future and Metro haven’t released a full-length project together, which makes this week’s We Don’t Trust You—the first of two new albums coming from the Freebandz affiliates—a landmark event. And, so far, all eyes are on sixth track “Like That.” As exciting as it is to finally have a full-length from the duo, “Like That” doesn’t show either at the peak of their powers. In fact, it’s boilerplate by their standards, Future boasting about nameless one-off flings and endless supplies of drugs over a so-so Metro beat that splits the difference between modern Atlanta and vintage California and Memphis.

It’s guest Kendrick Lamar who provides the song’s showstopping moment, dropping the therapeutic malaise of 2022’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers in favor of coming directly at contemporaries J. Cole and Drake after years of subliminals. The three are often seen as the big dogs of modern rap, but Kendrick uses his frenzied verse to stake his claim to the top spot. “Fuck sneak dissin’, first person shooter/I hope they came with three switches,” he growls, referencing Cole and Drake’s recent single “First Person Shooter” before swiping at Drake’s status as a Michael Jackson–level star with a clever and nasty nod to Jackson’s beef with another music icon: “Nigga, Prince outlived Mike Jack.” Kendrick rarely sounds unfocused, but here he sounds particularly possessed, invoking rap luminaries and his own security guard in a hungry display on par with his genre-shaking verse on Big Sean’s 2013 song “Control.” Future is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most influential rappers working, but even he and Metro seem to understand the gravity of the moment. As Future starts his second verse, it slowly fades out before it gets off the ground, the duo sidestepping the crater left in the middle of their song.