Rising hip-hop artist Future endured a tumultuous last month as rumors surfaced that he had been fired as the opening act on Drake's "Would You Like A Tour?" series of live shows. But the Atlanta-based artist tells Rolling Stone that the furor was simply "a big misunderstanding" and that he's looking forward to finishing up his sophomore album Honest, due out in early 2014.
"Certain stuff was being said but it was just that me and [Drake] had to make sure we were on the same page 'cause everything was taken out of context," he says of the Billboard story that caused controversy. "When I heard the rumor, it goes without saying that the only thing it was was a misunderstanding. At the end of the day, I'm back on the tour and I love being a part of it — it's my first tour — and I'm about giving my fans a club experience. They know all my songs from the club so I'm bringing it like that, just giving them back-to-back bangers and hits after hits. I want the arena to feel like the club."
One of those club-friendly songs is Future's current single and the title track to his upcoming album, which he says has been getting "tremendous feedback" when he plays it out. But he adds that it's his next single, "Real and True," (out today, with a video due on November 10th) is going to be a "a huge smash record." The song was produced by Mike Will Made It and features Miley Cyrus plus a chorus courtesy of Kanye West cohort Mr. Hudson.
"Miley heard the hook and instantly fell in love with the song," he recalls. "She did her vocals and they sent it back to me and I wrote my verses to that and tried to come up with something unique. Her vocals are very strong and emotional on the song. She brings that passion to this record. Miley is really cool and down-to-earth; she's always fun to be around and I'm always cracking up when I'm on set with her."
Future recently got engaged to R&B singer Ciara and hints that "Real and True" also reveals a more personal element to what he's been going through lately. "It might surprise people what I'm saying 'cause I'm speaking on my relationship and everything I'm going through right now and trying to capture that moment."
Future says that he's recorded around 20 songs for Honest and that his next step is to put together various mixes of songs so he can ascertain which tracks will make the final cut and how the project will be sequenced. Mike Will Made It is slated to notch five production spots on the project, with other beats coming from Metro Boomin, DJ Spinz and TM88 from Lex Luger's 808 Mafia collective.
One of the songs helmed by Mike Will Made It is titled "Land of Fire" and was originally ear-marked for Jay Z. "I think he was in the process of considering the beat but as I listened to the track I heard the hook in my head so it's a Future song now," he says. "The beat is a banger and my man Mike WIll is always pushing me to the limits."
Nicki Minaj is also slated to appear on "Rock Star Life," a song that's produced by New York City radio fixture DJ Clue. "That's a record that's going to take over," he anticipates. "It's real hip-hop, we're not using an 808 [drum machine] but we've got straight sampled snares for it and a few kicks in it. It's a real stripped down song, it's real fresh. Nicki's verse is very powerful — bar for bar and line for line she's really taking it over."
"I'm a rock star and you can witness history when the album drops," he adds.