Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn, famously known by the stage name Future, is an Atlanta-based rapper.
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He’s grown in popularity for a decade due to his heavy-hitting trap sound and the intriguing dichotomy between his aggressive voice and lyrics with his otherwise calm, relaxed demeanor.
Future is also full of surprises, as he’s done things that other trap artists may never do, such as add autotune to his music or collaborate with Taylor Swift.
We’ll share a snippet of the best of Future’s career by listing out the best Future songs to date.
“March Madness” is one of the best Future songs due to its layered meanings.
March Madness is the name of the NCAA basketball competition, and Future references it in the title and throughout the song to allude to two different things with this metaphor.
The first is alluding to the fact that he and his crew are also “balling,” e.g., wealthy.
The second reference is a bit more somber, as he compares “shooting” in a basketball game — which disproportionately features young black men — to the cops “shooting” people on the streets — also disproportionately young black men.
This song is fun to dance to, but when you listen to the lyrics, you realize it also has a strong political message about police brutality.
“Mask Off” is a popular jam because it is so easy to dance to and even rap along to, compared to songs where he mumbles more or uses hard-to-replicate autotune. Plus, the beat is magnetic!
Future alludes to the fact that he doesn’t have to wear a mask like he used to because he doesn’t have to commit crimes to make money.
He gets to live a luxurious, famous life now and is very much in the public eye, so “mask off” may also be a way of saying that he couldn’t hide even if he wanted to.
However, he still raps about the hard life on the streets because that is and will always be where he came from.
The best Future album is DS2 from 2015, and “F*ck Up Some Commas” was one of the chart-topping hits from that album.
This is a perfect trap song by all accounts: it’s bass-heavy, has a repetitive and catchy hook, and just enough mumbling to make it hard to understand what Future is saying.
When he says “commas,” he’s referring to the commas in the dollar amounts he can spend. F*cking up commas means he is willing and able to go hard with his spending, thus blowing through $100,000 to $1,000,000 in no time.
An early Future hit was “Tony Montana,” a banging track that references the fictional character from Scarface. Tony Montana in Scarface is known for being violent as a way to make it in America.
Similarly, Future understands living a life surrounded by people who use violence as a way to try and make something of themselves.
This is a tough life to lead, not necessarily a life he wishes for others. But he embodies the same character as Tony Montana because that is what he knows.
“Turn On the Lights” is one of the best future songs for a breakup, especially a messy breakup that involved cheating, because he raps openly about wanting someone who isn’t going to be disloyal.
It has a catchy beat like his other songs, but instead of his hard-hitting rap, he takes on a more singing style with the help of autotune.
Going back to his trap hits, “Karate Chop” became an instant hit and certified head-banger after its release in 2014.
Lil Wayne hops on the remix to boost it, and his verse is one of the most memorable from the track.
Wayne and Future use a chopped-and-screwed style flow, as if all of their words are being cut short accidentally, but they’re intentionally rapping that way. This flow is unique and works perfectly with the song’s theme about “chopping” up narcotics.
It includes everything a proper trap song should have:
- 808 beats
- heavy bass
- unique flow
The song alludes to the things in his lifestyle that some would consider “wicked,” such as drugs, violence, gambling, and sexual exploits.
Like “Karate Chop” and “Tony Montana,” “Move That Dope” is another early hit from Future that helped put him on the mainstream map.
The song is about moving dope, i.e., selling drugs. Again, this is presumably not something Future has to do now that he’s rich and famous for his art, but it was an integral part of his reality and survival on the streets.
Future and Pusha T, who feature on the track, have real-life experience dealing drugs to make money, even as young as sixteen.
In “Where Ya At,” Future and Drake call attention to the fact that many people they know want to act friendly and familiar now that they’re famous, but those same people were not there for them as they were working hard to make a name for themselves.
When they had nothing, many people didn’t care. Future and Drake are grateful for the real ones stuck with them when selling drugs (Future) or recording in the bathroom (Drake).
And while they don’t necessarily hate them, they don’t have any time for the fake people who just want clout.
“Wait for U” is arguably one of the best Future songs on his new album, as well as one of the best Future songs about love — especially complicated love.
They allude to how love is already complicated, and it becomes even more so with their famous, on-the-go, and highly public lifestyles.
Drake hops on the track, which is not surprising. He is the king of rap songs about complicated love and a frequent collaborator with Future. Nigerian artist Tems is also featured since her song “Higher” is sampled on the track.
Future is one of the best rappers in the game, and he has a catalog of songs to prove it. These are just a few of the best Future songs, as he has many more that are worth listening to.