The Future of Rap



One easy way to keep rap lovers happy is to introduce them to an emerging emcee with fast flow and a sharp, cutting vocabulary.

Futuristic, born in Illinois and based in Arizona, is just that. His “Watch Yo Mouth” tour hits dozens of stops along the West Coast, and then extends east as far as New York. While he has gigs scheduled with musicians like Action Bronson and Shwayze, the 22-year-old rapper says he enjoys performing for audiences similar to what he expects to see in Eugene.

“It’s super dope to perform for your peers,” Futuristic tells EW. “Plus college kids like to party and get drunk, so it’s always a good atmosphere!”

His recent project, Traveling Local (2014), debuted at number 10 on the iTunes charts. The album heavily relied on music videos to add context to each song and energy for his audience. It’s working: The videos for songs such as “I Guess I’ll Smoke” have racked up more than three million views.

“YouTube videos are everything,” Futuristic says. “A lot of people want to know you as a person and your character. It’s a lot easier to identify with an artist if you have a visual to connect with the music.”

Perhaps the best way to connect with this rapper is through his WTF, or the “We’re The Future” movement he started, which may evolve into his record label.

Futuristic says in the next few years his goals include touring three times a year, selling out more than 800 venues and selling 50,000 copies of “whatever project” he drops. After working with artists like Dizzy Wright and Curren$y, the artist feels prepared to make this dream a reality.

“[I’ve learned] to not worry about what anyone else is doing because everyone has their own path that can’t be duplicated.”

Futuristic and Sam Lachow perform with special guest Ray Bock for the “Watch Yo Mouth” tour 9 pm Saturday, March 21, at WOW Hall; $10 adv., $12 door. All ages. — Bryan Kalbrosky