Future (rapper)


Future performing in 2014
Background information
Birth name Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn
Also known as
Born (1983-11-20) November 20, 1983
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2008–present
Associated acts
Website futurefreebandz.com

Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn (born November 20, 1983),[3][4] known professionally as Future, is an American hip hop recording artist. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Wilburn first became involved in music as part of the Dungeon Family collective, where he was nicknamed "the Future". After amassing a series of mixtapes between 2010 and 2011, Future signed a major record label deal with Epic Records and A1 Recordings, which helped launch Future's own label imprint, Freebandz. He subsequently released his debut album, Pluto, in April 2012 to positive reviews. His second album, Honest, was released in April 2014, where it surpassed his debut on the album charts.

Between 2014 and early 2015, Future released a trio of well-received mixtapes: Monster (2014), Beast Mode (2015), and 56 Nights (2015). He followed later in the year with his third studio album, DS2, and the full-length Drake collaboration, What a Time to Be Alive, both of which debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Future premiered his fourth solo album, EVOL, in February 2016 which also scored number one on the charts. Future has also released several singles certified gold or higher by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), including "Turn On the Lights", "Move That Dope", "Fuck Up Some Commas", "Where Ya At", "Jumpman", and "Low Life".

Life and career

1983–2010: Early life and career beginnings

Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn[3] was born on November 20, 1983, in Atlanta, Georgia.[5][6][7] He began using his stage name while performing as one of the members of the musical collective The Dungeon Family, where he was nicknamed "The Future". His first cousin, a record producer named Rico Wade who was also a member of The Dungeon Family, encouraged him to sharpen his writing skills and pursue a career as a rapper. He attended Columbia High School. Future voices his praise of Wade's musical influence and instruction, calling him the “mastermind” behind his sound.[7] He soon came under the wing of Atlanta's own Rocko who signed him to his label A-1 Recordings. Since then his work ethic has driven him to his success.[8] From 2010 to early 2011, Future released a series of mixtapes including 1000, Dirty Sprite and True Story.[8][9] The latter included the single "Tony Montana", in reference to the Scarface film.[9][10] During that time, Future was also partnering with a fellow rapper Gucci Mane on their collaborative album Free Bricks, and co-wrote YC's single "Racks".[11][12]

2011–14: Pluto and Honest

Future signed a major label recording contract with Epic Records fellow American rapper Rocko's A1 Recordings, in September 2011, days before the release of his next mixtape, Streetz Calling.[13] 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".[12] 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."[10]

Future performing in Toronto 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.[14] Before his album being released in April 2012.[15][16] 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."[17] Future was selected to the annual XXL Freshmen list in early 2012.[18] His debut album Pluto, originally planned for January, was eventually released on April 17.[19][20] It included remixes of "Tony Montana" featuring Drake and "Magic" featuring T.I..[21] 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."[21] The track became Future's first single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[22] Other collaborators on the album include Trae Tha Truth, R. Kelly and Snoop Dogg [23] On October 8, 2012, Pusha T released "Pain" featuring Future, the first single from his upcoming debut album.

It was announced that Future will 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 newest street single "Neva End (Remix)" featuring Kelly Rowland.[24] In 2012, Future wrote, produced and was featured on "Loveeeeeee Song" taken from Barbadian singer Rihanna's 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.[25] 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.[26] The album features Kanye West, Rihanna, Ciara, Drake, Kelly Rowland, Jeremih, Diplo, and André 3000, among others.[27]

The album's lead single, "Karate Chop" featuring Casino, premiered on January 25, 2013 and was sent to urban radio on January 29, 2013.[28] The song is produced by Metro Boomin. The official remix, which features 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.[29] 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?.[30] In December 2013, it was announced that Future would make a guest appearance on Kat Dahlia's upcoming debut, My Garden.[31] Future released DS2 on July 16, 2015.

2015–present: DS2, What a Time to Be Alive and Evol

Future performing on the Summer Sixteen tour in 2016

On September 20, 2015, Future released a collaborative mixtape with Canadian rapper Drake, titled What a Time to Be Alive.[32][33] 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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36] In 2016, Future became the fastest artist to chart three number-one albums on the Billboard 200 since Glee soundtrack albums in 2010.[37]

On June 29, 2016, he appeared on an issue of Rolling Stone.[38]

Musical style

Future makes prevalent use of Auto-Tune in his songs, both rapping and singing with the effect. Pitchfork Media 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".[39] GQ stated 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".[40] The LA Times wrote 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".[41]

Rapper T-Pain, who also uses that audio processor, criticized Future's unconventional use of it in 2014.[42] 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."[43] Future's music has been characterized as trap music.[44]

Personal life

Future has fathered four children with four different women: Jessica Smith, Brittni Mealy, India J, and singer Ciara.[45] He was engaged to Ciara in October 2013, but Ciara called off the engagement in August 2014.[46] Their son, named Future Zahir Wilburn, was born on May 19, 2014.[47]

As of 2016, Future is being sued by both Jessica Smith and Ciara. Smith is suing him for failing to pay child support, and stated that their son "suffers from emotional and behavioral issues stemming from Future’s neglect as a father".[48] Ciara is suing Future for defamation, slander, and libel.[49] In October 2016, a judge said that the string of tweets bashing Ciara by Future did not relate to the $15 million she was asking for.[50]


Main article: Future discography
Studio albums
Commercial mixtapes

Concert tours


Awards and nominations

American Music Awards

Created by Dick Clark in 1973, the American Music Awards is an annual music awards ceremony and one of several major annual American music awards shows. Future has received two nominations.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2016 Future Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist Nominated [52]
What a Time to Be Alive (with Drake) Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album Nominated [52]

BET Awards

The BET Awards were established in 2001 by the Black Entertainment Television network to celebrate African Americans and other individuals in music, acting, sports, and other fields of entertainment over the past year.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2012 Future Best New Artist Nominated [53]
2013 Best Male Hip-Hop Artist Nominated [54]
2014 Nominated [55]
2016 Nominated [56]
"Where Ya At" (with Drake) Best Collaboration Nominated
Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Nominated
Future and Drake Best Group Won

BET Hip Hop Awards

The BET Hip Hop Awards are an annual awards show, airing on BET, showcasing hip hop performers, producers and music video directors.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2011 "Racks"
(with YC Worldwide)
Best Club Banger Nominated
2012 "Same Damn Time" Nominated
2013 "Bugatti"
(with Ace Hood and Rick Ross)
Nominated [57]
Best Featured Verse Nominated
Best Collabo, Duo or Group Nominated
2014 "Move That Dope"
(with Pharrell, Pusha T and Casino)
Nominated [58]
Best Club Banger Won
Best Hip Hop Video Nominated
People's Champ Award Nominated
Honest Album of the Year Nominated
Future MVP of the Year Nominated
2015 Nominated [59]
"Fuck Up Some Commas" Best Club Banger Nominated
People's Champ Award Nominated
56 Nights Best Mixtape Won
Beast Mode Nominated
Monster Nominated
2016 Purple Reign Nominated [60]
Future MVP of the Year Nominated
Best Live Performer Nominated
Hustler of the Year Nominated
Made-You-Look Award Nominated
"I Got the Keys"
(with DJ Khaled and Jay Z)
Best Hip Hop Video Nominated
Best Collabo, Duo or Group Nominated
(with Drake)
DS2 Album of the Year Nominated

Billboard Music Awards

The Billboard Music Award is an honor given by Billboard, a publication and music popularity chart covering the music business. Future has received two nominations.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2016 Future Top Rap Artist Nominated [61]
What a Time to Be Alive (with Drake) Top Rap Album Nominated [62]

Much Music Video Awards

The Much Music Video Awards are annual awards presented by the Canadian TV channel Much to honour the year's best music videos.

Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref.
2015 "DnF" (with P Reign and Drake) Best Hip Hop Video Won [63]


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External links

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