Future is a superstar rapper who was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Before releasing his debut album Pluto in 2012, Future released a number of mixtapes to get his buzz started and got his own fandom called the “Future Hive.” Even after releasing a number of albums Future still gives the fans what he started with and that’s mixtapes. With these mixtapes, he has crafted his own sound with frequent producer and rapper collaborators such as Metro Boomin and Drake.
Future has one of the largest discography’s in Hip-Hop today. Below is a list of Future’s best mixtapes from best to worst.
1. Purple Reign
Future has been deemed King of the Mixtapes since Lil Wayne has been on musical hold by Cash Money. All of his mixtapes have a dark, drug-induced, unforgiving sound. Purple Reign is the result of the perfect mixture of all of Future’s elements. The 13 track mixtape has DJ Esco and Metro Boomin working as executive producers.
Purple Reign deserves the top spot because of the number of Southern producers that help craft its sound. The production credits include Zaytoven, DJ Spinz, Southside, Nard & B and Metro Boomin. There are no features on this tape but it’s not needed. By this time Future has perfected his sound and knows exactly what the Future Hive wants.
2. Beast Mode
Beast Mode is the first time we see the amazing sound that Future and producer, Zaytoven can make together. Each song is catchy and would want you replaying it over and over. Some may not like it because it doesn’t have DJ Esco but there are other Future mixtapes you can listen if you are looking for that combo.
Beast Mode is 9 tracks long, it has features from Young Scooter and Juvenile and is a bit slower paced than other Future mixtapes. One stand out song is “Just Like Bruddas.” On this track Future raps about his former relationship with his child’s mother Ciara and how much he loves his friends, “ they say I turned my back on my baby mama, I’m on them tabs/And my hood looking up to me, I love them to death.” Future is going through some pain on this mixtape and Zaytoven’s trademark piano riffs help him through it.
3. 56 nights
56 nights is the most consistent Future sounding mixtape on the list. The production is done by 808 Mafia and hosted by DJ Esco. The sound is an all dark trap that Future has honed in on. His words are mumbled, yet smooth and easily decipherable. The biggest stand out track is “Purple Coming In,” the song is catchy and is about Future’s love for drinking lean.
Each Future mixtape seems to have a theme and this one seems haunting. 808 Mafia’s production is haunting and hallow – the perfect place for Future to get across his feelings. Even though 56 nights is produced by one team, the 10 track mixtape is extremely diverse and has created one of the best Future anthems ever with “March Madness.” This song took over the summer it was released and even had Lebron James dancing to it. “ Ballin’ like the March Madness/ All these cops shooting niggas, tragic/I’m the one that’s living lavish/ Like I’m playing for the Mavericks”
Similar to Future’s first few mixtapes, Monster has been a pivotal point in Future’s career. Monster was released shortly after his breakup with R&B singer Ciara and felt he has something to prove after his previous Honest album didn’t perform as well as expected. The result of this is a 16 track mixtape that ranges from sad to Future seemingly say he’s going to party regardless.
One of the songs where Future raps about his past with Ciara is “Codeine Crazy” where he says, “they was tryna’ serve me at the arraignment, never comment on it, never complaining/ I’m taking everything that comes with these millions/I’m taking everything that comes with my children.” Despite his hardships Future still gives us classics to turn up to like “Fuck Up Some Commas.” Monster is executive produced by Metro Boomin.
5. What A Time To Be Alive
What A Time To Be Alive is a joint mixtape with Drake. Even though Drake is the bigger mainstream star, Future is the King of The Mixtapes and many feel he is the shining star on this tape. The mixtape was made when Drake spent six days in Atlanta and is executive produced by Metro Boomin.
On What A Time To Be Alive there is a great amount of chemistry between Drake and Future. This doesn’t feel as legendary as the Kanye West and Jay Z Watch The Throne album but it’s still entertaining nonetheless. Some of the stand out songs are “Digital Dash” and “Jumpman.”
6. Astronaut Status
Just like its name would indicate, Astronaut Status is Future’s first ascendance into the greater rap hierarchy. Released in 2012, Future knew he wanted to enter his own world of Pluto so you hear a very emotional, aggressive Future on this mixtape. He wanted to make it clear he is someone worth paying attention to for years to come.
Astronaut Status is hosted by DJ Esco, DJ Scream and DJ X-Rated. From the very opening track “Future Back,” Future lets you know that he’s coming, ““All the lil ghetto children/Future all they know/Astronaut, Pluto/Numero uno/I’m comin’ for ya throat.” Even though Future was trying to go worldwide, he already had the respect of Atlanta with features from Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane and Ludacris.
7. Streetz Calling
Streetz Calling doesn’t have most consistent and concise sound as the other mixtapes on this list but it still has some of Future’s best songs. Streetz Calling has one major track that boosted Future’s star power called “Same Damn Time.” The hook of “I wear Gucci, I wear Bally at the same damn time/ On the phone, cooking dope, at the same damn time/Selling white, selling mid, at the same damn time.” Prompted many remixes of different rappers making songs of things they like to do at the “same damn time” as well.
Streetz Calling features producers Sonny Digital, Zaytoven, Nard & B, Will-A-Fool and K.E. It became clear that these producers would start to be known as Future’s main team that would craft his sound.
8. Dirty Sprite
Future decided to revisit his Dirty Sprite series about four years after the original dropped. This mixtape is great because it shows Future’s versatility. There are radio hits such as “Splashin” and “Racks” and then there is the usual haunting Future sound with the title track, “Dirty Sprite.” This mixtape is also the first time we hear about Future’s alter-ego “Future Hendrix.” There is also a song on here titled “Pajamas” that foresees him getting in a relationship with Ciara, “pulled this bitch who look like Ciara.”
9. True Story
True Story is Future’s third mixtape. By this time Future realizes he needs to get away a little from his gritty sound and make more commercial hits. The result of this was songs like “Magic,” “Ain’t No Way Around,” and “Tony Montana.” The biggest hit of those three is “Tony Montana” which got the attention of Drake and prompted him to hop on a remix. Besides these commercial hits, True Story doesn’t have much left to offer.
The 17 track mixtape which features Skool boy, Shawty Lo, Scooter, Rocko and Waka Flocka seems to drag on too long. Each song is more repetitive than the next. With this only being his third mixtape, Future didn’t figure out how to say the same thing in creative ways.
1000 is Future’s first mixtape and understandably has a lot of missteps. Each song on this mixtape has Future jumping from style to style. On some tracks, he sounds like impersonations of his favorite rappers like on “Do It To Em” where he sounds like Young Jeezy. There is one stand out track on this tape and that is “Life Of A G.” This song shows how Future can easily rap hard verses but still bring melodies when it comes to the chorus.
There is nothing innovative about the songs or production on 1000. It doesn’t feature Future’s all-star line-up of producers like Metro Boomin and Sonny Digital. Thankfully soon after this tape, Future carved his own sound in Atlanta’s rap scene.