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-- By Dontaira Terrell
For nearly a decade, Future has been dominating airwaves with his infectious hooks, autotune hits and catchy flows. He has even garnered a wide fan base and loyal following known as the "FutureHive." From street anthems to club bangers, the Atlanta native understands the dynamics of his audience, and his influential effect on producing music that is high in energy and full of emotion.
Although many critics consider his music as mumble rap, the 35-year-old insists that the new generation of rappers have mimicked his cadence and have copied his style. Just last year, he took to Twitter to discuss these exact sentiments in a series of tweets.
We have to admit that he is right to a certain degree because he is a pioneering force in this sub-genre of trap music. Utilizing ad-libs and autotune to stretch his lyrics was definitely an unconventional approach that helped solidify his mark as a chart-topping artist. With such an extensive musical catalog under his belt, it was tough to decide. But, here's a look at five songs that helped secure Future's spot at the top of his game.
1. Mask Off
"Mask Off" sampled the 1978 track "Prison Song," from the musical "Selma" by playwright Tommy Butler. The track became the rapper's highest-charting single to date. Released in 2017 as a single from his self-titled fifth studio album, the song catapulted him into superstar status. The viral #MaskOffChallenge was created following the song's release with musicians putting their own spin on the Metro Boomin-produced track.
2. Turn on the Lights
It's been seven years since the release of Future's debut album, Pluto, which spawned several hip hop bangers including "Turn on the Lights." Mixing his autotune signature style and crooning lyrics solidified him as a stand-out rapper in the game. It reached No. 2 on the Billboard U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and was his first single to achieve platinum status.
3. March Madness
The Tarentino-produced track is an intoxicating tune that takes audiences on an incoherent journey. However, the visual for the song paints a much clearer picture and provides a deep message beyond his lyrics as he raps, "All these cops shooting niggas / tragic," as it showcases news footage of police brutality and systemic racism within the black community.
4. Purple Reign
Far too often, Future is simply dismissed as a "turn-up rapper," but behind the tough bravado of money, cars, sex, drugs, and women is his emotional side that fans have grown to love. As an ode to Prince's album Purple Rain, this joint is an alluring song that touches on his struggles with lean by comparing it to a relationship. The video shows raindrops falling in the background and the rapper murmuring over the beat, "I just need my girlfriend. I just need my purple." It puts listeners in a trance of emotional ambiguity.
5. I Serve The Base
Teaming up once again with Metro Boomin, there is no doubt that once the beat drops on this track, you will be hooked. This song puts you into a bonafide Future frenzy, as he unapologetically raps about personal experiences in the music industry by rapping, "They tried to take the soul out [of] me / They tried to take my confidence and they know I'm cocky... I can't change, I was God-given / Tried to make me a pop star and they made a monster."
One thing is for sure with each song that Future releases. His music chronicles the ups and downs of his journey; documenting the good, bad, or indifferent moments, which is something we can all appreciate.
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