Why Future Is the Future of Rap and Why You Should Be Happy About It

Categories: Future

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With 2012 wrapping-up and pieces reflecting on the year coming as quick as Christmas music, it's clear one album whose success has been as ubiquitous as it's been divisive is Future's Pluto. The Decatur-born rapper, born Nayvadius Wilburn and given his name from his hometown's collective of hip-hop heroes, the Dungeon Family, first emerged on hip-hop's radar on YC's 2011 mega-hit "Racks." One of the most inescapable and quoted songs in recent memory (referenced that same year by Lil Wayne, Kanye West and Jay-Z), its success essentially gave Future, who performs tonight at the Highline Ballroom, carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. Lucky for us, he chose to innovate.



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Radio Hits One: Nine Songs From 2012 That Should Have Been Huge

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The term "flop" in a musical context usually refers to an unsuccessful album. Although singles constantly perform above or below expectations, a song will rarely get a reputation as a flop unless there's a lot riding on it, such as a pre-release single from a big-name album. In 2011, Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" and Lady Gaga's "Judas" failed to launch and became notorious stumbling blocks for two women who had up to that point experienced one success after another.

In 2012, no singles have fallen short of expectations in such a high-profile way, but hundreds of songs are constantly being lobbed at radio, and some great tracks get lost in the shuffle. Last year, I critiqued the singles campaigns of recent albums, suggesting how different tracks could have been released in a different order. But right now, I feel compelled to highlight some singles that simply deserved better, because by December, these songs will be long forgotten in lists that boil the year in pop down to "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Call Me Maybe."

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Hot 100 Roundup: Taylor Swift's Kiss-Off To Country, Mumford & Sons' Folkie Rave, And More

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Editors' note: Each week in this space, chart-watcher Robert Myers will offer his reactions to all the new entries on the Hot 100, Billboard's big board for popular songs.

Late August on the pop charts used to be what I called the summer doldrums—almost the entire music industry went on vacation, resting up for the autumn onslaught of new releases. Now that singles have re-established themselves as the major form of product, though, and the promotion cycle is faster and more omnipresent than ever, there's no telling when a major star is going to drop something big. So this week we get new Taylor Swift, new Mumford & Sons, and even something new from country, the genre that still holds closest to the old ways (I mean Jake Owen). No one gets a vacation anymore.

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