Future is never not working. Even in the era of near-nonstop output from our favorite rappers — especially the ones who hail from Atlanta, like Future — the 36-year-old’s drive to create is almost recklessly locked in high gear. Despite dropping two projects earlier this year, The Wizrd and Save Me, today Future shared the fruit of his latest project, 1800 Seconds, Volume 2, a compilation of rising stars produced in collaboration with 1800 Tequila.
Uproxx went to Future’s studio in Los Angeles for a private listening session of the album and a one-on-one interview with Future the experience of working as a mentor to young, up-and-coming artists like Lihtz, Aurora Anthony, Juiicy 2x’s, and Seddy Hendrinx. The conversation wound up encompassing not only the impact Future had on these artists’ work, but also the impact working with them had on him, as well as memes, mixtapes, sequel albums, and more.
You have had clearly such an impact on a lot of these artists on this album. What does that mean to you to have had so much of an influence on the way the modern sound sounds?
I want to make a billion dollars out of it.
You want to be like Jay-Z — a hip-hop billionaire?
I don’t want to be like Jay-Z. I want to be like Future.
How has working with these younger artists that you worked with on 1800 Seconds impacted your work and your mentality?
It just helped me to just be a team player. You know? It’s always good to have a second opinion, and in this case, other people’s opinions matter.
If you had to pick any one of those kids off this project and put them on Freebandz, what would you tell the other ones, and then what would you tell that one?
I’d say the one that I picked, “Man, make sure you make me look good.” The ones I didn’t pick, “Don’t be talking about us.”
I think one of the things that sets you apart as a musician is that you have such a unique voice. A lot of these artists on 1800 Seconds are clearly influenced by your flow and your flow is really set off by your voice. What do you think it is about voices that distinguish artists? What is a quality of a star rapper voice?
I don’t know. I could tell you this though, if you have a voice in your head that’s not your voice, you’re going crazy.
You have seen so many different eras of the ATL sound. You were with Dungeon Family. We grew up in the era of Lil Jon and crunk music, but now you’re the sound of trap music. What gave you the courage and the mentality to change the sound from what we grew up on? And what does it mean to you that so many people are just like trying to be the next Future?
I’m still living and making my presence felt. I really can’t answer that right now. It’s crazy answering a question like that. That sh*t deep.
What do you think of being a meme?
I like the memes but I’d love it if I got paid off of them.
That would be dope.
I should be able to get some money off of it. That’s why I don’t know why people like Instagram so much, because you don’t get paid from it. You get $0 from it but you quick to put your life out there just for free. I’d rather get paid for it. That’s the only thing I don’t like about the memes of me. I don’t get paid for them. But it’s free promotion, so it’s a win-win at the end of the day, because you want people to still be talking about you no matter what.
Do you have a favorite one?
It’s a gang of them… I don’t know. What’s your favorite?
I’d say my favorite is a toss-up between, ‘It’s a evil world out here.’ Or ‘She belongs to the streets.’ Everybody loves that one.
Now I’ve been hearing that ‘she belongs to the streets.’ I be going around and they be saying, ‘Say it on camera.’ I be like, ‘Please, bruh, that sh*t was one day, I don’t feel like that today.’ People want you to go back to that moment and relive that sh*t every time they see you. “Say it on camera…” You know, with my family right there — they aren’t even supposed to know about this sh*t.
You keep reminding me I did this sh*t. It’s a bad moment: You going into a restaurant, trying to eat, you trying to be halfway regular, somebody telling you about, ‘Bruh she belongs to the street,’ and it’s like, ‘Ah man.’ You get reminded you’re Future.
Why do you think people are so invested in those moments? Because I was reading an interview or review around The Wizrd and they were saying how you don’t reveal enough of yourself in your music. Why do you think people are so interested in pulling back the curtain and seeing who you are?
Because so much of my life happen, every other day they find out something new and they’re like, ‘He didn’t tell us this.’
Like with the album two years ago, man, I went through something else different, and then they want me to tell them about the new sh*t or whatever, whatever. Everybody want me to tell them my whole entire life in the music, which I do. They just don’t understand it.
You re-released Monster this year and that was incredible because this is the year of bringing back old stuff, right? Drake dropped the Care Package, Chance re-released Acid Rap. Which of your mixtapes do you think really fits in this era, if you were to bring it back from previous era and put it on streaming right now?
Whatever they want to pay me for. I put it out five years ago for free. It was incredible to me five years ago. You know what I’m saying? I did it for free and it showed my fans that I can give it away for free. It was an incredible project. I was willing to give it away and willing to move on from it and drop 10 more projects after that, before they bring it and put it back up. It becomes business then. I don’t even be wanting to really talk about it at that point. Because it just gets complicated on something that wasn’t complicated at first.
Is that a thing that you feel gets in the way of creative potential for artists?
Yeah, that’s what I would say. It was just… I was carefree. I do things carefree a lot in my life. And just having a certain amount of success, and you move a certain kind of way, and you have certain business obligations. And you can’t be carefree about the music. Can’t be carefree about choices that you make.
Well, as far as moving on, one of the things that you did do where you were revisited certain projects that were your best projects is you did sequels and the sequels turned out to be really great, like Dirty Sprite and Beast Mode. Can you think of any of your other albums that might warrant a sequel or even this album that you’re working on with 1800 — do you think that you could see yourself doing this again?
I could see myself doing this deal with 1800 again and it just becoming a partnership. I like the amount of time they invested in it, the branding, and the marketing strategies that they’ve been going about with the project. It’s a great partnership. I’m glad I did it.
1800 Seconds Volume 2 is out now on UnitedMasters. Get it here.