The list of artists who benefited from Future’s Midas touch reads like a veritable who’s who of hip-hop: Megan Thee Stallion, Dreezy, Hit-Boy, Earthgang, NAV and Don Toliver are just a few of the talents to team with the Atlanta rapper this year.
In January, Future combined forces with Gunna and Young Thug for the former’s single, “Pushin P,” an anthem that delved into the triumvirate’s playground of sex, money and drugs. The tune debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 7, and waves of fans tapped into the trend, incorporating Apple’s blue “P” emoji into Instagram captions. (It lands at No. 17 on 2022’s most-consumed songs.) “Making history with my brothers is priceless,” Future says.
While the year would offer multiple opportunities for Future to work with past collaborators like Drake, DJ Khaled and Lil Baby, he also dipped into the Latin market to rap about luxury cars, sex and designer drip on “FCK U X2” by Puerto Rican artist Rauw Alejandro and Jamaica’s Rvssian. Meanwhile, Fred Again and Swedish House Mafia pushed him into the electronic/dance realm via a mix of his early hit “Turn On the Lights.” Future’s alliances also stretched all the way to Wakanda thanks to “Limoncello,” which appears on the “Wakanda Forever” soundtrack.
“My goal is to create work that touches, motivates and inspires others,” says Future. “I want to collaborate with as many people as possible who share that same goal.”
He carried that philosophy into his Grammy-nominated ninth studio album, “I Never Liked You.” Its guest list featured Kanye West, Drake, EST Gee, Kodak Black and Lil Durk. The album debuted at No. 1, buoyed by his singles “Worst Day,” “Keep It Burnin,” “Love You Better” and “Wait For U,” which samples Tems’ “Higher.”
“Tems’ voice is magical,” Future says. “All I wanted was for her to share the same emotions I felt when she heard my vocals. I knew if she loved it, then we really had created something special.”
Seven months later, “Wait For U” continues to chart, and further demonstrates Future’s ability to run the gamut from toxic to tender, a duality he also exhibits on “Beautiful,” his collaboration with SZA and DJ Khaled. The complicated love song was one of two contributions he made to Khaled’s “God Did” project (his and Lil Baby’s collab “Big Time” is the other), and Future flaunts both his romantic side as well as his melodic mastery on the track.
One of Future’s greatest strengths is his versatility — he’s at ease expressing vulnerability at one moment, only to turn cold in the next. It’s a power that commands a high price. In July, Megan Thee Stallion revealed she doled out a whopping $250,000 for a Future feature on “Pressurelicious,” a fee she deemed worth every penny considering how he sauced up her song with his trademark macho talk.
He adds, “I’m honest and unapologetic in my life. It’s easy to judge people; it’s difficult to live in your truth. In the end, I’m willing to create with whoever shares those same thoughts.”