Today marks the official release of Future’s Epic Records debut Pluto. We were able to get a preview of the album a week in advance, and it was an impressive collection of Auto-Tune street corner narratives with a melodic sound that encouraged sing alongs.
Three of the album’s singles—“Tony Montana,” "Magic," and "Same Damn Time"— have been burning up the airwaves, placing Future among the ranks of artists who can attract attention by rapping or singing. It also explains why big names such as Drake, R.Kelly and T.I. have contributed their talents to the album—it appears that Future’s got next in Atlanta’s burgeoning hip-hop scene.
Just in time for his big day, Future sat down with us to talk about Pluto. As part of an elite cast of signees like OutKast and Usher by rap mogul L.A. Reid, the 25-year-old seems to be on the verge of taking the Dungeon Family legacy to the next level. Here, he talks about his collaborations on the album, his movement as “the future of rap” and elaborated on teaming up with a rock 'n' roll icon one day.
Interview by Eric Diep (@E_Diep)
I listened to your album yesterday. I noticed that “Ain’t No Way Around It” didn’t make the cut. Why was that?
Ain’t no way around it. [Laughs.] Because it did what it did. I gave it to DJ Drama, he put it out. I got a great visual from it. I wanted the other songs to be on it. I didn’t want to sacrifice other songs because “Ain’t No Way Around It” wasn’t on it.
And then people were like, “You gonna give us a new album and give us all the songs that has been out for a full year.” “Tony Montana” already been out. “Magic” already been out. “Same Damn Time” have been on my mixtapes. So I am already giving you three songs that have been out. I don’t want to give you four, five songs.
I could have put “Long Time Coming,” “No Matter What,” “Ain’t No Way Around It” if I was just gonna pick songs that were hot, that were just bubbling for me. I could have got “Ball Forever” and got the version with Yayo on it. I could have done other songs, but it’s just the timing. “Ain’t No Way Around It” is not Pluto.
So you just wanted to give people fresh tracks?
“Ain’t No Way Around It” is regular old, natural shit. Ain’t nothing special. You gotta think “Tony Montana” is a movie on wax. “Magic” is a song about a strip club. “Same Damn Time” is powerful, everybody do that at the same damn time. That’s the new lingo. Things that people say and rappers are like, “Why didn’t I do that?”
Why I make a song called “Tony Montana?” Why he talk about magic? What’s he talking about? A basketball team? Talking about the strip club? Is he really talking about really making magic? What is he doing? I am adding new flavor, new lingo to the game.
That’s why I feel like that’s Pluto. Everything on Pluto—it’s “Parachute” it’s “Homicide.” The phrases is different and it’s crazy. It just sounds like Pluto.
“Tony Montana” was already a hot record, but you put the Drake remix on the album. How did Drake’s verse take it to the next level?
Drake showed people you can do whatever you feel as far as being an artist. He jumped on the new dude. I wasn’t even signed when he jumped on. He do what he feel. I salute Drake. Till this day, I still salute him. For that move he made at that time. I was hot as shit in the streets. I was bubbling, true enough, but that doesn’t mean you have to jump on my song.
But he did it because he was like, “I hear where you getting at with this shit. I hear where you going. I hear how creative you is. I want to be a part of this.” For him to do this, that shit is big. To attest to something that is so powerful and you hear it and know what you listening to—it just made me go harder.
I know what you heard, Drake. I am not trying to let anybody down. I know what the world hearing. So what I am gonna give ’em? I am going to go goddamn harder for y’all.
Because I am going to show the people, why did Drake jump on that song but not on that song? I am going to show you why he did it. He know I wasn’t trying to piggyback off him. He knew I was going to do it anyway because he heard the talent.
He kind of gave you a new fanbase as well.
Yeah, he gave me a chance to reach out to his fans. He gave me a chance. Opportunity is everything. Every time you get an opportunity in this game, you got to make the most of it.
When Drake did that verse, I recorded a mixtape just for that verse and put it out. When I did “Racks,” I recorded a whole mixtape around “Racks.” When I did “Watch This,” I recorded a whole mixtape around it.
“Same Damn Time” I recorded a whole mixtape around Astronaut Status. “Magic” we recorded a whole mixtape Streetz Callin’ around “Magic.” “Ain’t No Way Around It” I did a whole mixtape for it. I don’t just do songs. I had singles that lead to mixtapes like real albums. Nobody never dropped ten hits before I even dropped a major album and all those hits were on my mixtapes.
You did a song with R.Kelly, “Parachute,” how did that song come together?
My homie from Chicago sent the record. When he sent the record, we jumped on it. At first DJ Pharris gave me the record to do for him and then when he gave it to me and I heard it, [I was like] “How can I make this a Future song?”
He wanted me to do one verse and I took Kellz’ parts. I just took 12 bars of his shit and stopped it, put a verse in between. Took another part of his because he was just going for a long time. I just took the song and made a real record out of it.
Was it originally Kellz’ song or yours?
It was Pharris trying to get different artists on the song. You know, one of those Khaled things—just getting different artists on it. He was going to get a bunch of artists on it. Kellz did a long part to it. I just like the part he did.
He was going to cut Kellz’ part and put my part. Get another artist, do eight bars. Kellz he just freestyled it. He’s Kellz. I’m finna just take the greatest parts off of his shit. I knew that was what he was thinking. He set the tone of the record. And I’m going to make this record off of him.
I just thought in my head, before I send it back with my verse, let me try something new. I took it two verses, chopped Kellz up and made it a record. I told him, “I need this record.” He heard it and said, “It sounds like yours.” And made it happen.
There weren’t a lot of big-name producers on Pluto. Why did you decide to stick with underground producers from your mixtapes?
Because they my family. I wanted my family to be part of this album. Every dude that’s on my mixtapes, that’s like my family. Tell you the truth, they helped me to be creative because they didn’t give me no pressure. “If I give you this CD, don’t mixtape my beat.” They like, “Future put it out. We want you to put it out.”
They gave me a chance to be creative and I am forever thankful for them for just letting me be creative over their beats. From the Nard & B to Will-A-Fool to Jevon to Mike WiLL to Sonny Digital to Zaytoven to DJ Drama to the Luney Tunez to Jon Boi to Tasha Catour. Everybody just pushing me to this point. When we do mixtapes to this point, it’s been as a collective. It’s been more of a team.
This group you are building with, are you going to stick with them?
It’s like a dream team. And once you build that team, as you go along, you can never get that same team back. It’s impossible to know each other that good. They’re going to become part of my team along the way, but it’s going to be at heights of my career and certain points of my career. I know I couldn’t get back that groundwork. When you building that team, that’s the foundation.