Busting out of Atlanta in 2011 with his hit street track "Tony Montana," rapper Future grew up in Atlanta's Zone 6 section. Born Nayvadius Cash, hip-hop was in his family, as his cousin was producer Rico Wade. It was his local crew who gave him his moniker, dubbing him "The Future of Rap," something the nation got to experience in 2010 when he partnered with Gucci Mane for the mixtape Free Bricks. In 2011, he released the street album Streetz Calling and made a guest appearance on YC's mixtape hit "Racks." In the fall of that year, as "Tony Montana" was catching fire, it was announced that Future would be signing to the Epic Label Group thanks to producer and C.E.O. L.A. Reid. Future's debut album, Pluto, landed on Epic proper in 2012. Featuring valuable input from Snoop Dogg, T.I., and Juicy J, it debuted at number two on the pop chart. Later that year, Future enjoyed high-profile credits (co-writing and performance) on Rihanna's Unapologetic with the track "Loveeeeeee Song," and early 2013 brought a compilation mixtape, F.B.G.: The Movie, on his own Freebandz imprint. Later that year, Future and Ciara announced their engagement.
Future's second full-length album, initially known as Future Hendrix but later retitled Honest, was issued in early 2014. It earned both critical acclaim and popular success and peaked at number two. Two singles from the album, "Move That Dope" (featuring Pharrell, Pusha T, and Casino) and "I Won" (featuring Kanye West), charted inside the rap Top 20. A few months after the album's release, Future and Ciara's split was made public. During late 2014 and early 2015, Future was on a creative roll with three mixtapes, as well as another major hit, "Fuck Up Some Commas." They primed his fans for third album DS2, which debuted at number one in July 2015. Only two months later, What a Time to Be Alive, a mixtape collaboration with Drake, reached the same spot. In early 2016 he dropped the surprise album Evol, which arrived unannounced but still debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart. ~ David Jeffries