The Guardian interviews Future.
Future is in an opulent country club in the upscale Bel Air suburb of Los Angeles. He is playing with two rose-gold iPhone 7s while picking at a bowl of fruit and half a dozen slowly softening chocolate-chip cookies. As the Rat Pack croon in the background, he taps away on his phones, wearing his signature oversized sunglasses and a hoodie featuring a mugshot of Jimi Hendrix, a man he has commandeered as his own rock’n’roll spirit animal. It looks like a scene from a Hype Williams video, and if any rapper deserves the big budget and fisheye-lens treatment in 2017, it’s Future.
He has just become the first artist to achieve back-to-back No 1 records in successive weeks on the Billboard album chart with his self-titled album, which came out in late February, and Hndrxx, which followed a week later. He has been a fixture on US late-night TV, performing on Fallon, and made the leap to daytime for a turn on that most mainstream of afternoon spots, Ellen. In the past two years, he has put out five albums, all of which have gone to No 1, including his collaboration with Drake, What a Time to Be Alive. He has also released six mixtapes in the past three years and played a part in writing Drunk in Love for Beyoncé. It’s an approach the New York Times dubbed “the art of flooding the market”, and has seen Future become an unavoidable presence on the radio, TV or anywhere popular music is played. Is he overdoing it? “It’s never too much,” he says. “There’s never too much Future music.”