Photo courtesy of the artist
Atlanta rapper Future is one of the most left-field artists cutting through the mainstream right now. It's more than appropriate that he's got a record called Pluto. Now he's gearing up for his anticipated sophomore record Honest by opening up for Drake on his current tour.
Ahead of Sunday's show at Target Center, Gimme Noise caught up with Future to discuss his new album and where he finds his inspiration.
Gimme Noise: What made you change the name of your upcoming album from Future Hendrix to Honest?
Future: Future Hendrix was a little premature, I just wanted to go with the best title, [that was the] best fit at the time. I believe I'm being honest right now, in the things I should do and where I want to go with this music.
How does the sound of Honest compare to Pluto?
It's a different sound. I feel I was just out there making hits, coming off a mixtape run, putting out mixtapes back to back and then dropping Pluto. I'm a little more aware of the branding and marketing, like who my audience is. It's an emotional record, and inspirational. It's just what I'm experiencing in the studio, creating in the moment.
What's your approach to writing songs?
Just day to day experiences, life and what's going on with music. It's an opportunity to be creative and express myself in a different way that I've never expressed on other records. Life changes happening, experiences you have that you try to capture in the moment. It was very important for Honest to be open and for people to get a real sense of who I am.
A lot of your music is a sort of hybrid of rap and R&B. Do you divide songs into two styles?
You say rap and R&B; I believe I'm a rock star. There's really no category you can put me in. Rock star, astronaut, something of that nature. I just really want to think outside the box from the average hip-hop artist or your average R&B artist or whatever. I like to think outside the box and have my own creative space for it. I don't even put it into categories, because it allows me to be more free with my thoughts.
What made you want to move in a melodic direction initially?
I feel like melodic things are just the best ways to express certain things, like being in a blessed situation in life. I pick certain beats that express that, and to be able to say something over those beats and to carry out certain emotions, trying to give off what connects with me and connect with the passion. The lyrics I'm expressing over the beats just become that way.
Who were your influences when you first started rapping?
When I first started rapping, you know, Outkast, Goodie Mob, the Atlanta favorites, but also E-40, Juvenile and Cash Money, just a wide variety of artists, Marvin Gaye to Barry White to Anita Baker. Certain records that I could relate to, a lot of melodic stuff [that influenced] the way I'm going with records. Sometimes something will stick in my head, childhood experiences, memories of being involved in so many music genres.
Growing up around the Dungeon Family in the studio, what were some of the most important things you took away from being surrounded by that?
I feel like the Dungeon Family groomed me from an artist development standpoint, they're really good at artist development. The process of making a record, the process of building an album on top of just writing music.
"Shit" is one of my favorite records of the year. How did you achieve sounding so combative?
It is a competitive track. With a record like "Shit", just to know I could make a record I could take to the streets, It paid off for me at the end of the day, they responded well to the record. It's still building right now, "Shit" has still got long legs. My experience with this Honest project, and having a record like "Honest" as the lead single chart for a span of four weeks, it says a lot about the space that I'm in. It's been great.
How did the tour with Drake come together?
It was just a great situation to be involved in. It's a wide variety of music from different families. It's gonna be a great experience.
Do you know why the tour got pushed back initially?
I'm not for sure what was going on, I didn't even ask any questions, it just gave me more time to prepare. I wanna give my fans a great performance, and make sure I get my people to come out and support, those who've supported me from my mixtape days to this day. It's about to be a great experience, so just come out and enjoy yourself. When I come out, it's gonna be energetic, I put a lot of passion into my performance. Expect that, expect greatness.
Catch Future with Drake and Miguel at Target Center this Sunday, 12/8.