Future (rapper)

Last updated

Future
Future - Openair Frauenfeld 2019 01 (cropped).jpg
Future in 2019
Born
Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn [1]

(1983-11-20) November 20, 1983 (age 40)
Other names
Education Columbia High School
Occupations
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2003–present
Works
Children7
Relatives Rico Wade (cousin) [5]
Awards Full list
Musical career
Genres
Labels
Formerly of Dungeon Family
Website futurefreebandz.com

Nayvadius DeMun Cash [8] ( Wilburn; born November 20, 1983), known professionally as Future, is an American rapper and singer. Known for his mumble-styled vocals and prolific output, Future is considered a pioneer of the use of Auto-Tuned melodies in trap music. [9] [10] [11] Due to the sustained popularity of this musical style, he is commonly regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. [12]

Contents

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Future signed a recording contract with Rocko's A1 Recordings in 2011, which entered a joint venture with Epic Records shortly after. His first two studio albums, Pluto (2012) and Honest (2014) were both met with critical and commercial success, spawning the platinum-certified singles "Turn On the Lights", "Honest", "Move That Dope" (featuring Pharrell Williams and Pusha T), and "I Won" (featuring Kanye West). His subsequent albums have each debuted atop the US Billboard 200; his third and fourth, DS2 (2015) and Evol (2016) were supported by the singles "Where Ya At" (featuring Drake) and "Low Life" (featuring the Weeknd), respectively. Future's eponymous fifth album and its follow-up, Hndrxx (both 2017) made him the first artist to release two chart-topping albums on the Billboard 200 in consecutive weeks—the former spawned his first Billboard Hot 100-top ten single, "Mask Off."

After departing A1, Future released the albums The Wizrd (2019) and High Off Life (2020)—the latter spawned the diamond-certified single "Life Is Good" (featuring Drake). Future guest appeared alongside Young Thug on Drake's 2021 single "Way 2 Sexy," which became his first number-one song on the Billboard Hot 100 after a record-breaking 125 entries. [9] His ninth album, I Never Liked You (2022) spawned the single "Wait for U" (featuring Drake and Tems), which became his second to peak the chart and first to do so as a lead artist. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Melodic Rap Performance, while its parent album received a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.

Future has released the mixtapes Beast Mode (with Zaytoven), 56 Nights (with Southside), and What a Time to Be Alive (with Drake) in 2015—the latter spawned the single "Jumpman". He has released the full-length collaborative projects Super Slimey (2017) with Young Thug, Wrld on Drugs (2018) with Juice Wrld, and Pluto x Baby Pluto (2020) with Lil Uzi Vert. Among the best-selling hip hop musicians, Future's accolades include three Grammy Awards from a total of ten nominations.

Early life and career beginnings

Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn [13] was born on November 20, 1983, [13] [14] in Atlanta, Georgia. [15] [16] [17] He attended Columbia High School in Decatur. At age sixteen (c. 1999/2000), Future described getting shot in the hand and robbed, an event he regards as a major turning point in his life. [18]

Future began his career under the name "Meathead" as a member of the Georgia-based musical collective Dungeon Family. He performed in a smaller hip hop group within the collective who went by the name "Da Connect", where he would later be nicknamed "The Future" by group member G-Rock. The group recorded one album, Rico Wade Presents: Da Connect which was slated for commercial release in 2003, but was ultimately shelved. [19] Future had one solo record on the project titled "Belly of da Beast", which is considered to be his first song. [20]

His first cousin, record producer and Dungeon Family member Rico Wade, encouraged him to sharpen his writing skills and pursue a career as a rapper, as recording would create temporary respite from street life. During this time, Future appeared in numerous Dungeon Family music videos, [21] and received his first songwriting credit on the Organized Noize-produced single, "Blueberry Yum Yum" for rapper Ludacris in 2004. [22] Future voices his praise of Wade's musical influence and instruction, calling him the "mastermind" behind his sound. [17] He was thereafter discovered by fellow Atlanta rapper Rocko, who took Future under his wing as a solo artist on his A1 Recordings record label. [23]

From 2010 to early 2011, Future released a series of mixtapes including 1000, Dirty Sprite and True Story. [23] [24] The latter included the single "Tony Montana", in reference to the Scarface film. [24] [25] He gained regional popularity after his songs were played by DJ Esco at Magic City, [26] a strip club in Atlanta deemed "largely responsible for launching the careers of artists." [27] In April 2011, he co-performed with Atlanta rapper YC on his single "Racks", which would become his first hit song and Billboard Hot 100 entry—peaking at number 42. [28] [29] In July of that year, Future and rapper Gucci Mane would release a collaborative mixtape titled Free Bricks .

Career

2011–2014: Pluto and Honest

Future signed a major label recording contract with Epic Records in September 2011, days before the release of his next mixtape, Streetz Calling. [30] The mixtape was described by XXL magazine as ranging from "simple and soundly executed boasts" to "futuristic drinking and drugging jams" to "tales of the grind". [29] A Pitchfork review remarked that on the mixtape Future comes "as close as anyone to perfecting this thread of ringtone pop, where singing and rapping are practically the same thing, and conversing 100% through Auto-Tune doesn't mean you still can't talk about how you used to sell drugs. It would almost feel antiquated if Future weren't amassing hits, or if he weren't bringing some subtle new dimensions to the micro-genre." [25]

Future performing in 2014 Future (rapper) 2 2014.JPG
Future performing in 2014

Though Future had told MTV that Streetz Calling would be his final mixtape prior to the release of his debut studio album, another mixtape, Astronaut Status , was released in January 2012. In December 2011, Future was featured on the cover of Issue #77 of The FADER. [31] [32] [33] XXL's Troy Mathews wrote, "While Astronaut Status is up and down and never really hits the highs like 'Racks', 'Tony Montana', and 'Magic' that fans have come to expect from Future, it's apparent that he's poised to continue the buzz of 2011 humming right along into 2012." [34] Future was selected to the annual XXL Freshmen list in early 2012. [35]

His debut album Pluto , originally planned for January 2012, was eventually released on April 17. [36] [37] Its first three singles were mastered re-recordings of pre-existing songs, "Tony Montana", "Go Harder", and "Magic", the latter contained a guest feature from high-profile hometown native, rapper T.I. [38] According to Future, "'Magic' was the first record T.I. jumped on when he came outta jail. Like, he was out of jail a day and he jumped straight on the 'Magic' record without me even knowing about it." [38] The track became Future's first single as a lead artist to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 69 in April 2012. In addition, the albums next singles, "Same Damn Time" and "Turn on the Lights" peaked at number 92 and 50 on the Hot 100 respectively, further ushering Future into the mainstream spotlight. The latter was eventually certified platinum by the RIAA and spawned a remix featuring Lil Wayne. [39] Other collaborators on the album include Trae tha Truth, R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg. [40] On October 8, 2012, Future would perform the hook for Pusha T's single "Pain", which preceded his 2013 debut studio album My Name Is My Name .

It was announced that Future would be repackaging his debut album Pluto on November 27, 2012, under the name Pluto 3D, featuring 3 new songs and 2 remix songs, including the remix for "Same Damn Time" featuring Diddy and Ludacris, as well as his single "Neva End (Remix)" featuring Kelly Rowland. [41] In November 2012, Future wrote, produced, and co-performed with Barbadian singer Rihanna on "Loveeeeeee Song", from the singers seventh studio album, Unapologetic .

On January 15, 2013, Future released the compilation mixtape F.B.G.: The Movie which features the artists signed to his Freebandz label: Young Scooter, Slice9, Casino, Mexico Rann and Maceo. It was certified platinum for having over 250,000 downloads on popular mixtape site DatPiff. [42] Future said of his second studio album Future Hendrix it will be a more substantive musical affair than his debut album and features R&B music along with his usual "street bangers". The album was to be released in 2013. [43] The album featured his then-fiancée Ciara, as well as other high-profile artists including Kanye West, Drake, Kelly Rowland, Wiz Khalifa, and André 3000, among others. [44]

The album's lead single, "Karate Chop" featuring Casino, premiered on January 25, 2013, and was sent to urban radio on January 29, 2013. [45] The song, produced by Atlanta-based producer Metro Boomin, spawned an official remix featuring Lil Wayne, was sent radio and was released on iTunes on February 19, 2013. On August 7, 2013, Future changed the title of his second album from Future Hendrix to Honest and announced that it would be released on November 26, 2013. [46] It was later revealed that the album would be pushed back to April 22, 2014, as it was said that Future has tour dates with Drake on Would You Like A Tour?. [47] Along with "Karate Chop", the album was preceded by the singles "Honest", "Shit", "Move That Dope", featuring Pharrell and Pusha T and "I Won" featuring Kanye West; "Honest" peaked at number 55 on the Hot 100. Upon release, the album was received generally positively and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard 200. During this time, Future also made a slew of guest appearances on hit songs including Lil Wayne's 2013 hit single "Love Me", Rocko's single "U.O.E.N.O." the same year, and DJ Khaled's 2014 single "Hold You Down".

2015–2017: DS2, Evol, Future and Hndrxx

Future performing on the Summer Sixteen tour in 2016 Future Summer Sixteen Tour.jpg
Future performing on the Summer Sixteen tour in 2016

Future released DS2 on July 16, 2015.[ citation needed ] On September 20, 2015, Future released a collaborative mixtape with Canadian rapper Drake, titled What a Time to Be Alive . [48] [49] The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, Billboard R&B Charts, and Billboard Hot Rap Songs, marking the first time a rapper was able to score two number one albums in a year, in 11 years, since Jay Z back in 2004. The mixtape has sold over 334,000 copies in the U.S. [50] On January 17, 2016, Future released another mixtape, titled Purple Reign , with executive production from Metro Boomin and DJ Esco, as well as beat credits from Southside, Zaytoven and more. [51] On February 5, 2016, Future premiered his fourth studio album, EVOL , on DJ Khaled's debut episode of the Beats 1 radio show We The Best . [52] In 2016, Future became the fastest artist to chart three number-one albums on the Billboard 200 since Glee soundtrack albums in 2010. [53]

On June 29, 2016, he appeared in an issue of Rolling Stone . [54] On Valentine's Day 2017, Future announced via Instagram that his self-titled fifth studio album would be released on February 17, 2017. [55] Exactly one week later, he would release his sixth studio album titled Hndrxx . Both albums went number one consecutively, which made Future the first artist to debut two albums at number one at the same time on the Billboard 200 and Canadian Albums Chart. On October 20, 2017, he alongside Young Thug would drop their collaboration mixtape Called Super Slimey. He, along with Ed Sheeran, collaborated with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on the song "End Game" from her album Reputation . [56] The song peaked at number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Future's eighth top 20 hit.[ citation needed ]

2018–2019: Soundtrack work and The Wizrd

On January 11, 2018, Future collaborated alongside Kendrick Lamar, James Blake and Jay Rock for the song, "King's Dead", from the soundtrack album of the Marvel Studios superhero film Black Panther and Jay Rock's third studio album Redemption . At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, the song earned two Grammy nominations, for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song, marking Future's first career Grammy nominations. [57] Future curated the soundtrack for the movie Superfly , which was released in June 2018. [58] On October 19, 2018, Future released Wrld On Drugs, a collaborative mixtape with fellow American rapper Juice Wrld. [59] Wrld on Drugs debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 behind A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, with 98,000 album-equivalent units, which included 8,000 pure album sales. [60] It became Future's tenth top-ten album in the United States, and Juice Wrld's second. [60]

On January 18, 2019, Future released his seventh studio album, Future Hndrxx Presents: The Wizrd. The album consists of 20 songs and was promoted by a film titled The Wizrd, released on January 11 on Apple Music. [61] The Wizrd received generally positive reviews from critics [62] and became Future's sixth US number-one album, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 125,000 album-equivalent units (including 15,000 pure album sales). [63] With the release of The Wizrd, several songs from the album charted on the Billboard Hot 100, leading to Future becoming the artist with the 10th most entries in Hot 100 history. [64] At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards held on February 10, 2019, Future won his first Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for his collaboration alongside Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and James Blake for the song, "King's Dead", from the soundtrack album of the Marvel Studios superhero film Black Panther. [65]

Future in 2019 Future - Openair Frauenfeld 2019 03.jpg
Future in 2019

On June 7, 2019, Future released his second project of the year, his debut solo EP titled Save Me. [66] Save Me received mixed reviews from music critics and debuted at number 5 on the US Billboard 200 . [67]

2020–present: High Off Life, Pluto x Baby Pluto, I Never Liked You, and the We Don't Trust You duology

In January 2020, Future released the songs "Life Is Good" and "Desires", both collaborations with Drake. [68] In April, Future announced his eighth studio album, Life Is Good. [69] The title was later changed to High Off Life and was released on May 15, 2020. [70] The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 153,000 units in its first week, becoming Future's seventh consecutive album to debut at number one. [71] In August 2020, Future teased a song, "Gucci Bucket Hat". It was released as a single with Pap Chanel, featuring Herion Young, on October 20, 2020. [72] On November 13, 2020, Future released Pluto x Baby Pluto , a collaborative studio album with Lil Uzi Vert, which was his second project of that year. It debuted and peaked at number two on the US Billboard 200. [73] [74] Future broke the record for most Billboard Hot 100 entries (125) until a number one single after featuring on Drake's 2021 single "Way 2 Sexy".[ citation needed ]

In April 2022, Future was named one of the "best rappers alive" by GQ . [12] On April 29, 2022, Future released his ninth studio album I Never Liked You , after it was previously announced earlier that month. [75] [76] Future released We Don't Trust You , a collaborative album with Metro Boomin on March 22, 2024. [77]

Musical style

Future's music has been characterized as trap music. [10] [78] Future makes prevalent use of Auto-Tune in his songs, both rapping and singing with the effect. In 2013, Pitchfork wrote that Future "miraculously shows that it's still possible for Auto-Tune to be an interesting artistic tool", stating that he "finds a multitude of ways for the software to accentuate and color emotion". [79] The LA Times wrote in 2016 that "Future's highly processed vocals suggest a man driven to bleary desperation by drugs or love or technology", stating that his music "comes closest to conjuring the numbing overstimulation of our time". [80] GQ stated in 2014 that he "has managed to reboot the tired auto-tune sound and mash it into something entirely new", writing that he "combines it with a bizarro croon to synthesize how he feels, then [...] stretches and deteriorates his words until they're less like words, more like raw energy and reactive emotions". [81] Critic Simon Reynolds wrote in 2018 that "he's reinvented blues for the 21st century." [82]

American rapper T-Pain, who also uses that audio processor, criticized Future's unconventional use of it in 2014. [83] In response, Future stated in an interview that "when I first used Auto-Tune, I never used it to sing. I wasn't using it the way T-Pain was. I used it to rap because it makes my voice sound grittier. Now everybody wants to rap in Auto-Tune. Future's not everybody." [84]

Due to the sustained contemporary popularity of his musical style, he is commonly regarded as one of the most influential rappers of his generation. [12]

Personal life

Future is the father of seven children by his account, each with different women, although another child's paternity has been litigated. [85] [86] He has also adopted the son of one of the mothers of his daughter. In October 2013, Future was engaged to Ciara, who is the mother of one of his sons, but she ended the engagement in August 2014 due to his infidelity. [87]

In 2016, Future was sued by both Jessica Smith and Ciara. Smith sued him for failing to pay child support, stating their son "suffers from emotional and behavioral issues stemming from Future's neglect as a father". [88] Ciara sued him for defamation, slander, and libel. [89] In October 2016, a judge said that Future's string of tweets bashing Ciara did not relate to the $15 million she was asking for. [90] In 2019, two women from Florida and Texas respectively filed paternity suits claiming that Future was the father of their respective daughter and son. [91] In 2020, the Texas woman dropped her paternity suit. [92]

Discography

Studio albums
Collaborative albums

Tours

Headlining

Co–headlining

Awards and nominations

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