At times artists, especially new artists, manage to put out songs that eventually grow bigger than themselves. In 2011, that song was “Racks.” Played non-stop with the insanely infectious hook , “Racks” took off and became one of the biggest hip hop records to come out of the south in 2011. Unfortunately, from that altitude the career of YC point would come down crashing and burning (I mean has anyone heard from him since?). Luckily for Future, the hook man on that record, he would come out relatively unscathed and utilize the same formula that he used on that record, to his own. The result would be the consecutive hits of “Tony Montana”, “Magic”, “Same Damn Time,” and his latest “Turn On The Lights”, each track growing bigger than the last from his debut album Pluto. Out the gate, many never saw Future as a contender to have some sort of prominence in the game (blame Ron Browz) – but since his debut last year, he has managed to stay afloat. It’s been one year since, “Tony Montana” and now the question is, has hip hop accepted Future as an actual artist? or is he merely another flash in the pan star due to fizzle out?
Timing really played a major part of Future’s career up to this point as well. If Future came out say 5-6 years ago, he would’ve landed smack dab in a sea of undeserving artists, scoring hits because of Auto-Tune. Then, his rise would’ve been inevitably cut short – like most were, by the release of Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.” In-fact, the fact that he’s being able to score more hits than T-Pain in the past year – using HIS brand of delivery, in a post-apocalyptic auto-tune world, is incredibly impressive.
While hip hop fans these days tend to rank an artist’s worth on their lyrical credibility, his brand of popularity is measured on a different scale. Despite the first few spins of his records being largely inaudible due to his garbled delivery, Future manages to come through with a skull-pounding hook layered over phenomenal production from his collaborators like Sonny Digital or Mike WiLL Made It. With that, he’s found the recipe for an absolute banger, whether it’s in the streets, the clubs, or even for ladies (ladies who appreciate being serenaded by robotic, chain smoking love songs of course)
Future isn’t citing albums like Reasonable Doubt and Illmatic as his rap influences, but at the same (DAMN) time – he is bringing to the game what the world’s clamoring for in 2012 and that’s originality. His own distinct delivery, as well as ear snatching hooks have propelled him into prominence in the south, and on a larger scale the rap game. While his debut album Pluto has sold under 200k copies since it’s release in April, his constant growth through singles are setting up the stage for his upcoming mixtape Super Future and the inevitable sophomore album, Future Hendrix. In describing the sound to Future Hendrix to HHDX, he says:
“Future Hendrix just comes from being different. Jimi Hendrix, he always stood out, and I always like the way he stood out. It wasn’t about me getting that rock’n'roll lifestyle…that comes with this music industry. It’s another level; it’s striving to be different. I want to do it at the end of February, but it all depends on how these singles do and what this Super Future do.”
He’s gotten love from R. Kelly, T.I., Snoop Dogg, Juicy J, Lil Wayne, Drake, Young Jeezy, Kelly Rowland, Rick Ross and Pusha T in the process for his insatiable rhymes. Even the great Kanye West has worked on a few records with Future, and we know exactly how far a Kanye co-sign can go. The hip hop community have embraced future, and I think that the realm outside of the south are beginning to accept him too. Hip hop has always been an aggressive culture, not particular accepting those who strive solely for the check and to appeal with the lowest common denominator of music. Future, like Lil Jon in 2003, like aWaka Flock in 2009 – has begun to prove his worth with hit record after hit record. The question now is, how long can it last? Can we see Future 5 years down the line continuing to sustain the same success making the records he is currently making? Sound off.
Peter Bailey of NiteCap interviews: Future