When it comes to the lineage of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene, the Dungeon Family is the closest thing to royalty we’ve got. So the fact that Future (born Nayvadius D. Wilburn) is the first cousin of Rico Wade– the songwriter/producer whose basement studio, The Dungeon, gave birth to hits by Outkast, Goodie Mob, Joi and more–makes him the closest thing the city has to a musical Prince.
It was the Dungeon Family who gave Wilburn his apt rap pseudonym, and it was Wade who helped him sharpen his songwriting skills and develop his own sound. By 2010 he was making his name in local mixtape circles, collaborating with Gucci Mane on Free Bricks, and penning hits for YC. In 2012 he was signed to Epic Records and released Pluto, which spawned five Billboard Top 100 singles.
Honest is weirder, wilder and more wonderful, showcasing an artist settling into his own distinctive sound. The spacey Auto-Tuned raps are still there in spades, with lyrics sharper than Hannibal’s scalpel, but there’s also a surprising amount of sincerity and emotional depth. Guest features include Miley Cyrus (“Real and True”), Pharell Williams (“Move That Dope”) and Kanye West (“I Won”). But Future is the real star here, finally living up to his promise as the rightful heir to the Dungeon Family throne.