When I put on Future‘s new album today while cruisin’ around T-Town, I had a few expectations going in. Like I mentioned back in this Rap Journey, I first heard Future featured on the bubbly, triumphant hit from last year, “Racks” with YC, so I figured there would probably be a little of that. Since then he’s also displayed some less pop-oriented, more aggressive flows on some mixtape tracks as well as snagged some pretty high-profile, well-established names for his singles leading up to the release of Pluto, so I knew there would be some tracks along those lines as well.
What I didn’t expect to see was a couple pretty prominent Dungeon Family references on the album, the first of which being the intro, which features the super-old-school ATL spoken word afficionado Big Rube.
Future – The Future Is Now (Intro) (feat. Big Rube)
Future’s not the first rapper to get Big Rube to set the mood for their album, and I can’t blame him in the slightest for grabbing Rube to perform this duty. I can’t think of a voice I’d rather have setting the scene for an album I’d created. But until now I’d really only heard him in more “alternative” rap contexts like OutKast’s “Liberation“, Cee-Lo’s “Scrap Metal” (before Cee-Lo was a household name), and on the intros to albums like Goodie Mob‘s One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show and Nappy Roots‘ newest project, Nappy Dot Org. None of these albums strove for mainstream success like Pluto does, and all of these examples appear in the same family of Atlanta musicians, namely the Dungeon Family (Nappy Roots isn’t in Dungeon Family, but that particular album was entirely produced by Organized Noize, so I still consider that album to be Dungeon Family-related), of which Future is not a member. The only time I’ve seen any relation between the two is on the “Ain’t No Way Around It” remix that features Big Boi for one verse. So it’s interesting to see Future give a nod to his less mainstream predecessors on this very radio/club oriented album.
The other reference comes in the hook to this track at around the midpoint of the album.
Future – Truth Gonna Hurt You
Here’s yet another Dungeon Family nod, this time to the closing lines of this track from Goodie Mob’s Still Standing album.
Goodie Mob – The Experience
I’ve thought for a while now that Future is much more than your average, run of the mill, fame-seeking, mainstream rapper, and it’s nice to see him confirm that with some pretty blatant homages to the roots of Atlanta rap on his debut album (that also happens to feature appearances by R. Kelly, Drake, and Snoop Dogg). Hopefully he won’t lose that respect as he gets more and more mainstream attention, I think it’ll serve him well. Turn Up!