Future’s seventh studio album The WIZRD descended upon fans mid-January. On Wednesday night (January 23), the Grammy Award-nominated rap star took some time to discuss the 20-track project with Elliott Wilson for TIDAL’s CRWN series at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.
During their conversation, the Freebandz Gang boss opened up about kicking his lean addiction, his past projects and the process of making The WIZRD, which is already projected to sell over 120,000 units within its first week as well as debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
HipHopDX was there to witness it all go down, so here are five things we learned.
He Grew Out Of His Codeine Habit
With tracks like “Codeine Crazy” and an album titled Dirty Sprite along with its predecessor DS2, Future has gained immense criticism over his glamorization of prescription cough syrup, otherwise popularized as lean or purple drank.
In 2016, Super Future admitted to his loyal fans he kicked the lean habit but he recently told Genius he was actually scared to admit he was no longer indulging in the syrupy concoction out of fear of what his fans would think.
“It’s just something I grew out of,” he said during his conversation with Wilson. “It wasn’t something I was trying to stop like, I’m just stopping because of what the people are saying … it was just me not feeling like walking around with a cup anymore.”
Recognizing his influence, Future actually apologized to Juice WRLD for introducing him to the drug through his music when they linked up together for the creation of their collab project Wrld On Drugs.
“There might come a time in your life where you just might not want to do it anymore,” Future said of his former practice.
Future Declares Dirty Sprite 2 A Certified Classic
In 2015, Future was on fire. He dropped his critically acclaimed mixtape Monster late 2014, which was followed by Beast Mode and 56 Nights at the top of 2015. That summer, Dirty Sprite 2 was released and the “Crushed Up” rapper believes that album is his certified classic.
“I was just on a roll at that time,” he said. “Coming from Monster, Beast Mode, 56 Nights, I just couldn’t do any wrong at that time, so might as well come out with Dirty Sprite 2. I wanted to go back to 2011 when I first did Dirty Sprite and catch up the new fans because I started building up new fans from the mixtape.”
Many fans would agree with DS2 being optimal Future. The multi-platinum-selling project contains popular cuts such as “Thought It Was A Drought,” “Rotation” and “Stick Talk”, which all happen to be Future’s favorite songs, too.
“March Madness” Was Recorded In Honor of Mike Brown
On March 4, 2014, the U.S. Justice Department decided not to press charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Mike Brown. “March Madness” was born as a result of that decision, but the song wasn’t released until a year later.
“I made that record that night in the studio,” he recalled. “It was a real situation that inspired ‘March Madness.’ It was in March too, so it was like madness.”
“March Madness” is one of Future’s biggest records and among a handful of tracks that never got an official release but makes the Future Hive absolutely lose its collective mind when performed live.
He Picked Out The Songs For The WIZRD
Future has always been super involved in the making of his mixtapes and projects, but when record labels get involved, it’s up to them as to what makes it on the final album. For The WIZRD however, Future maintains he had full creative control over the 20 tracks that made it to the album.
“I picked out the music,” Future said. “I pretty much was involved the whole time. I didn’t have no A&Rs who picked out the music or picked out the songs. It was just all me just going back in the studio and being more hands on.”
His Next Project Will Sound More Like HNDRXX
— cheriseeee (@yourCheriseAmor) January 25, 2019
Future released his R&B-tinged album HNDRXX shortly after dropping his rambunctious self-titled album. Both hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. HNDRXX mostly flew under the radar but still contained impressive songs such as “Incredible” and “Selfish” featuring Rihanna. The project reflected a more vulnerable version of Future where he explores love and romance in his own space.
While The WIZRD is being considered the beginning to an end of a Future era, when Wilson asked if his new music would be more in line with the vibes of HNDRXX Future said, “Of course.”
“The music got overlooked and I worked hard on that album and then ‘Mask Off’ took off so big that no one was paying attention to HNDRXX,” he said of the album’s release.
Watch the full Future #CRWN interview with Wilson above.