Ink

Future brings summer’s biggest hip-hop moment to the Sprint Center

Future performs Sunday, June 4, at the Sprint Center.
Future performs Sunday, June 4, at the Sprint Center. .

Future is the illicit pharmaceutical industry’s most persuasive spokesman. The rapper makes illegal drugs sound like an essential component of a fulfilling life.

On “Mask Off,” one of the defining songs of 2017, the Atlanta native born Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn insistently chants “Percocet, Molly, Percocet” as if the combination of pills is a recipe for instant bliss. Drugs, luxury goods, casual sex and international travel are among the primary themes of Future’s repertoire.

Yet his decadent lyrics aren’t why Future is one of the most important artists of the past five years. The massively influential sound he has developed — murky beats accentuated by semi-coherent muttering — resembles transmissions from an alternate universe in which pain doesn’t exist.

High-profile collaborations with Drake, Calvin Harris and the Weeknd helped make Future’s sonic approach the default sound of contemporary popular music. The unlikely phenomenon reached its zenith when Future released a pair of chart-topping albums in consecutive weeks in February.

While he’s an unqualified genius in the studio, Future is less comfortable onstage. Three stellar opening acts will compensate for Future’s reticence.

“Bad & Boujee,” the most popular of the terse songs by Atlanta trio Migos, is just as ubiquitous as Future’s biggest hits. Tory Lanez, once best known for his beefs with Drake, has since established himself with wavy hits like “Luv.” A$AP Ferg, a thrilling performer, will captivate Sunday’s audience with vital renditions of modern-day classics like “New Level.”

Tickets to Sunday’s Sprint Center concert are $29.50-$99.50 in advance at sprintcenter.com.

Concert previews by Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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