Featured, Music, Pop Culture

Can Someone Please Explain To Me Why Future Is A Thing Because I’m Trying Really Hard And I Just Don’t Get It

Years ago, I dated someone who was a big fan of HBO’s Girls. Such a big fan, in fact, that it wasn’t uncommon for her to spend a Saturday or Sunday binge-watching episodes she’d already seen. I happened to be at her place during one of these binges, and I sat and watched a few episodes with her. I’d already heard and read a shitload of commentary about the show and about Lena Dunham — some good, some bad, but all, for lack of a better term, visceral — and I was curious what the big deal was. Why did this show and the person who created and starred in it inspire such a reaction?

So I watched. And while I wasn’t compelled enough by it to seek it out on my own, I was interested and entertained enough to not feel like I was wasting my time. I also got it. It was apparent why the show would turn so many people off. And why others were obsessed with it. And why others were obsessed, but only to hate watch. And why so many people were so annoyed that the show even existed and that Dunham even had the opportunity to create it. And why so many believed — and still believe — that both the show’s existence and the show itself synopsizes the type of specifically White and racially tone-deaf privileged feminism that niggas are tired of dealing with.

I also understand why people make a big deal about the following things I generally give nil to negative fucks about:

Coffee. Starbucks. Fellatio. The Wobble. Prenuptial agreements. Marijuana. Pitbull. Snapchat. This is Us. Slack. Beets. Vans. Living in New York City or Atlanta. Anything Skip Bayless does or says. The effect referees have on games I’m watching. BMWs. Indian food. Ski trips. NASCAR. Hunting. Hiking. Fishing. Swimming. Interracial porn. This guy working in this cafe that I’m in right now on Walnut Street in Shadyside who just asked — politely, nervously, annoyingly, and whitedudeaily — if I was going to buy something because it’s getting busy and customers who buy stuff are going to need somewhere to sit. Sunglasses. Where you’re from and where you went to college. Beets. Bloody Marys. Tomato soup. How people might feel about my nuanced and situationally appropriate use of nigga. The X-Men. Nametags. White pants. Facebook live. Whatever the fuck you decide to do with your grits and however the fuck you decide to eat them.

I do not, however, understand why music created by Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn is so fucking popular. I mean, I get why he’s the patron saint of feckless fuckboys and “Name written on the milk he bought in the refrigerator so his aunt doesn’t drink it” Twitter. I get why he almost won the Blackest Name in America. Because Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn is pretty damn fucking Black. And I actually don’t mind his music. “Same Damn Time” is one of the best and most ingenuous trap rap songs ever, and when I see that Future is featured on a track of an artist I’m a fan of, I usually say “Oh, Future is featured on this album too. That’s interesting.

But as far as why this dude is popular enough to have a motherfucking Hive, I’m completely perplexed. Because I listen to his music and I don’t get what distinguishes him from maybe a dozen other trap-ish rappers who also primarily rap about about drugs, bitches, money, and chinos. It’s music that’s best appreciated while you’re in a strip club and checking your texts and Zillow updates instead of the dancers on stage. I mean, Spotify has never, ever, ever, ever, ever alerted me to when an album was released. But last week, before I could even view my playlist, I had to click off of a screen telling me that this nigga just dropped an album.

Interestingly enough, this isn’t some sort of get-off-of-my-lawn-ish indictment of trap and mumble rap. Even if those sub-genres aren’t particularly my cup of tea, I get why people love them. But if Future has a Hive, why doesn’t Travis Scott have a Hive? What makes Future so much more Hive-worthy than Travis Scott? If Future was performing on the desk in front of me right now, and I left my seat to go to the bathroom, and Future was replaced by Travis Scott while I was gone, I wouldn’t even notice until the end of the show, when Travis Scott was like “Thanks for coming everyone. I’m Travis Scott.” And then — and only then — I’d be like “Holy shit. What happened to Future?” If I’m Travis Scott, I’m sitting at home eating a bowl of Fruit Loops right now and wondering where the fuck my Hive is at?

Anyway, I need answers. Why is Future a thing?

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Brother Mouzone

    Uhhhh, maybe because of his baby mama? Have you ever SEEN the Ride video?

    • Bah Debo

      oh I seent it…..I seeent it

  • RaeNBow

    Sir, I think you actually answered your own question.

    “…he’s the patron saint of fe**less fu–ck–boys and “Name written on the milk he bought in the refrigerator so his aunt doesn’t drink it” Twitter.”

    ^^ the dudes just like him and the women who love the dudes just like him need a deity. that’s all.

  • TheUnsungStoryteller

    1. There are Black women that watch and like Girls?
    2. Damon. You lost me on This is Us. I simply drank and thoroughly enjoyed the Kool-Aid.
    3. “whitedudeaily” should totally be an official adverb.
    4. “Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn”? No wonder so many rappers change their government names…
    5. mumble rap – yes, that perfectly describes the rap that I hear on the radio nowadays. And I’m not even “get-off-my-lawn” years old yet.

    Oh….and to answer your question…I have no idea why someone who would think of their rap name being “Future” – but makes horrible, mumble trap rap music that should not be the future – is a thing. Maybe it’s because of the way he treats Ciara. I have no idea. He just exudes f–boi to me.

    He looks like he has nice skin though.

    • RaeNBow

      i think Damon just slid that This Is Us line in there after I read it. This Is Us is AMAZING WONDERFUL TV!!!!!! i’m almost offended lol

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I want him to seriously do an article explaining his reasoning WHY he included This is Us on his list of things he doesn’t care about. Ahem…Damon. You got some explainin’ to do.

    • Val

      I had free HBO this week so I watched two episodes of Girls, for the first time. And all I have to say is I hope I never see Lena Dunham naked ever again for any reason. Oh and she’s a horrible person in general.

      • ~*V. von Schweetz*~

        She was nekkid? Eeewww, now I know I’m never gonna watch. And yes, she’s an absolutely horrible person.

        • Val

          And not just naked but naked many times in just one episode.

          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            Sounds like that show should go in the other article about horror movies…

          • Cheech

            Not good naked. Bad naked.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              Jessa doesn’t look good naked either.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Yuck x 10. Yeah…I don’t care how “real” and “raw” that show is…I don’t care to see just anyone in that capacity….

        • Not just naked. ALWAYS naked. And I’m all for body positivity, but I felt violated.

          • Hilary B.

            She look like she has a smell. Like a stench.

        • She is CONSTANTLY naked.

      • StacyAustralia

        I tried it too when I had my free trial. Nope. I was so bored. If you want to watch something similar to this but so much better try “Broad City.” I binge it one weekend on Hulu and almost choked to death from laughing so hard. It’s on Comedy Central.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Are any of these shows as funny as The Office?

          • Highly recommend Broad City as it also informed by improv sortakinda like The Office. Still pretty unapologetically white. But I mostly find it very funny.

      • I_AmU

        Cackling so loudly I startled my dog!

      • Janelle Doe

        You got to 2 episodes? I could not even get through a preview. I’m just… I don’t understand how that happened but it is difficult for POC shows to get out on.
        I have so many questions.

      • Question
        • Val

          I’m going to have to collapse this gif, Q. Lol

          • I_AmU

            Between being assaulted by all that paleness and the body movements which I will not insult the word “dancing” by calling it that, in the immortal words of the piano player at the juke joint in The Color Purple, “Welp time to go folks”.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          HORROR SHOW ALERT.

          I’ve been blinded.

        • NicT

          This is a hate crime. I now feel unsafe and might throw up.

        • Negro Libre
        • BrownKitty289

          ew.

        • Overtymem Usicradio

          I just threw up a little.

      • Lol you become desensitized to it after a while tho. Then it becomes… oddly endearing?

        • Val

          Noap.

    • I may be the only black person that like Girls.

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        Woah…Okay. Explain, Black Person.

        • 1) It’s set in NYC. I’ve been removed from my hometown for over a decade, so I always love-hate seeing it on screen.

          2) The dysfunction of the Girls is realistic. Hipster people who mistake dysfunction for authenticity- I saw it everyday in college and my city days where I’d troll around Bluestockings and lower Manhattan and attend the hipster parties I was invited to in the Village and Williamsburg and such. It’s extremely accurate.

          3) Building from point 2- it gives an accurate view of the liberal white people I find myself working with on a daily basis due to the industry I work. The show this becomes a form of training.

          4) I just like watching human relationships evolve into unexpected places. Jessa and Kylo Ren dating? I didn’t see that coming!

          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            1, 2, 3, 4.) I’m just going to give you a pass because being from the West Coast (L.A. to be specific – not trying to start none though.), I know NOTHING about any of the things or people you just referenced.

            Also, because you said you see this for training purposes to deal with how liberal white people act. Gotcha. You cool.

            • It’s like being 10 years removed from Compton and hearing someone blast “Money Trees” on a hot summer day.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        That show is good. I like my white people to be WHITE. Extra mayonnaise and oppression white.

        Miss me with that fake inclusion stuff.

        And they keep it extra Caucasian.

        • Thank you. It’s actually authentic they make no effort to include black peoole. Like, this is how your average white person really lives. They know no black folk and yet live in Brooklyn.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Like none of the extras look ethnic. Her token Asian friend is Jewish, who went full geisha for a spell

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            When I lived in NYC it was interesting how there was such a mix of different nationalities but they all kind of partied separately.

            • West Indians have the best parties. I never made it to the Ark before I left NYC though.

            • MsSula

              I used to say when I first moved to the US, that forget about America being a “melting-pot”, America is more like a well-plated Cobb Salad: everything is in its place. Some parts may touch if needs be, but it doesn’t willingly.

              • Linda Pritchard

                Excellent observation.

          • Blueberry01

            Neither did Friends…

            • I never could get into Friends. I didn’t find it funny.

              Seinfield, on the other hand? Watched it religiously.

          • Brother Mouzone

            Too bad Black directors/producers don’t have this same mentality when they make shows about Black people. They always feel compelled to include a wydude on shows and in movies even if it’s about the most Blackety Black subjects or situations. An HBCU HAS to have a wydude, the family’s daughter HAS to have a white boyfriend, an attractive Black woman can’t be the lead actress in anything unless she’s fcking a wydude, and on and on.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          That’s the EXACT reason why I love The Office.

          Maybe I should check this Girls show out.

        • Omg lol. Yet another revelation for me from you today. That is a very enjoyable aspect of Girls.

        • Finally watching the first episode of the 6th season. SO Caucasian I’m so lost I can’t even be sure I’m getting the jokes. Surf camps?! This is great.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            Gotta go back and watch the beginning. It’s so extra cringe-y.

            • I just fully watched every episode so far with the behind the scenes commentary at the end. My GOSH the 3rd episode with the writer is EXACTLY why I love this show. Artfully pretentious and overly self aware to the point of being tone deaf. LOVED EVERY SECOND.

        • SimplePseudonym

          hahahahahaha! This description is too perfect!

      • miss t-lee

        I never tried. I can’t watch Lena Dunham do anything without feeling bad for her.

        • Being a teacher has made me skillful at comparmentalizing. I can separate Lens the human (who is…ugh) from Lena the creator (who has a unique understanding of female white liberal relationships).

          • miss t-lee

            I wish I could, but when it comes to her I just can’t.

      • Bah Debo

        I’m surprisingly a fan….and I completely agree with most negative things people have to say about it. Yet still, I’m a fan.

        I have a couple guilty pleasure trainwreck shows….I guess this just happens to be one

      • Negro Libre
      • Solidarity, Morty.

      • Red October

        You are not alone….I watched the first 4 1/2 seasons. *hangs head in shame* I was like a voyeur in a world I only heard about. Man did that world one part suck and one part amaze. The paleness, the the unadulterated white privilege, the gentrification, the ungodly amounts of mayonnaise, Lena Dunham…oh the horror but I just couldn’t stop watching.

      • PetiteKBee

        You are not alone, beloved.

      • MsSula

        I actually like it. It’s not must see TV for me (haven’t watched in many years) but I liked a lot of the themes discussed.

    • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

      Im letting him slide on This is Us, because he almost died last week. Once he gets a clean bill of health, trust, we will revisit the topic.

      • Where can I catch the show steaming?

        • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

          It’s an NBC show

        • miss t-lee

          NBC on demand.

          • Jetty

            just go to nbc.com its there!

            • miss t-lee

              LOL…that too.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Someone actually told me how to watch it for free on another VSB article. Check out Couch Tuner online. I would advise you to watch on your iPhone/mobile device though. Idk if you can get anything by watching via computer.

        • Nik White

          Get the NBC app

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        True. True. True. Man…But, This Is Us may be part of the remedy…

    • miss t-lee

      “He looks like he has nice skin though”

      His skin is gorg, and his teeth.

      • MsT-Mac

        I could look at him all day and do bad things to him all night.

        • miss t-lee

          I ain’t mad. ?

    • Jazz G

      “He just exudes f–boi to me.” – 1000%

      But he does look like he could lay it down. And that would explain the 9 baby mamas.

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        Sad. Because there are many non-f–bois in the sea….well at least I would hope so…

        • Jazz G

          It is sad!!! But a lot of women don’t know any better.

    • Rodmilla De Ghent

      Did the article say she was black? I assumed she wasn’t

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        I assumed she was. Because I imagined that Damon always dated sistas. I could be wrong though.

    • SimplePseudonym

      I hate-watch “Girls” and I can’t explain why. :/

  • Irked Wind & Tired (Hooba)

    I always assumed his music is pill poppers what dark liquor is to R&B. The only other thing I can come up with is you can tell just by looking at him that he has a mean stroke game.

  • A.G.

    I get it but I don’t get it because he slurs his words. But I this earlier and it made me laugh.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/LilHerb_Kent/status/835089278099144704

  • Negro Libre

    Future sounds like a trinity of abominations in hiphop:

    1. Mumbling
    2. Emo
    3. Ratchet/Fuccboi

    https://68.media.tumblr.com/382d59edd4a86c9b9cfe3d968aa51819/tumblr_n1fytnTKJy1s81ftuo5_250.gif

  • Michelle

    Because f**ckboys gon’ f**ckboy and he’s loved by other f**ckboys so…I guess that’s why he’s a thing. He’s like king f**kboy tah-me lol

    • Other_guy13

      Pretty accurate assessment of the situation.

      • Michelle

        I was worried that I used “f**kboy” too many times…but nah. I think it fits lol

        • Other_guy13

          You did but since it’s Future I can let it slide. When the shoe fits…lol

    • Kylroy

      F**kboi di tutti f**bois?

  • Darkchloe144

    I think a lot of people are starting to ask the same questions you are. They are quite valid ***bangs “Blow a Bag”***

  • AJACs

    I’m dubious that anyone would give “zero to negative” fucks about 420 + BJs. Just saying.

    • MsSula

      The negative effs Damon give to BJs are well documented. And yes, we are all amazed.

      I am also a “I’m cool” on 420 myself. I can take it or leave it. Mostly leave it. Unless it’s inside a delicious brownie. Lol.

      • AJACs

        But… but… TOGETHER?

        And… skills matter. ;)

  • Other_guy13

    The boy simple…and his fans like simple music. But again….he made “Slave Master” and that was the moment he died to me. He is a bad person for making that CD. Prob why I took his last CD out the CD player and threw it out like a Frisbee on I-285 (true story)

    • Negro Libre

      Ninjas still buy CDs?

      • TheUnsungStoryteller

        For Frisbee purposes, apparently.

        • Other_guy13

          Gotta play with something in the park.

      • Other_guy13

        That was before I got my new car man. I didn’t have a aux cord so I had to make it work.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          Aux cords cost less than 10 bucks…what’s your real excuse? Lol

          • Other_guy13

            Sorry…my car didn’t have the aux cord port.

            • Cheech

              Mine still doesn’t. I’ve had to solve with a wedge bluetooth speaker on the dashboard.

              • Val

                Don;t they have adapters?

                • Cheech

                  There’s one that goes in the cassette deck. But it sucks because the cassette deck is auto-reverse and it just keeps clicking while it’s trying to reverse the adapter.

                  Also, I make the car go by pushing with my feet through the floorboard.

                  • TheUnsungStoryteller

                    I don’t think I’ve even seen the word “cassette” in like fifty-eleven years.

                    People still have those?

                    • Cheech

                      I think there are probably 2 or 3 in the bottom of the armrest. Maybe with baby mice living in them.

                      But I sprung for the 6-CD changer, so I’m good.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    I literally just mutley snickered.

                    • Cheech

                      I love that no one admits to cassettes or 8-tracks, but everyone is current on Muttley. Muttley was on TV when I was 5. (So was The Jackson 5.)

                    • Cleojonz

                      I have a vivid memory of a car my uncle used to drive that actually had an 8 track deck in it.

                    • Cheech

                      Did it also have a CB whip antenna? (My uncle’s did.) (Green Ford Gran Torino, as I recall. With bucket seats.)

                  • Cleojonz

                    I’m sitting here like no aux cord, how daggone old is your car lol. Mine is a 2008 I got used and even it has an aux cord.

                    • Me

                      A car under 10 yrs old ain’t anywhere near old.

                    • Cleojonz

                      I’m not calling mine old but it’s not brand new and we know how fast technology changes. I wish I had bluetooth for sure and not the aux cord.

                    • Cheech

                      2002. Bought it new to replace the 86 that had 314K when its headliner fell in.

              • Other_guy13

                They have one at walmart you can put on the visor

      • Val

        I wonder if one day folks will collect cds the way folks collect vinyl now?

        • Negro Libre

          Doubt it, CDs require way too much maintenance

        • Other_guy13

          They scratch too easy to hold any value

          • Cleojonz

            Scratched CDs still play fine on your computer though for some reason.

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          My step father used to have a CD rack full of 90s CDs. I remember one day I got curious as a child and look through them…he had everything from Tupac to HWA (which was the female version of NWA). He even had Lil’ Kim. I saw and learned a lot that day as an innocent child.

          Anyways, if people do collect CDs like vinyl it’ll be contained in those racks. I wonder what happened to all his CDs after he passed because I have no clue…

          • Val

            I’ve had hundreds over the years. They do have a tendency to just disappear.

            • TheUnsungStoryteller

              Probably because they break or scratch so easily too.

          • i remember HWA! they had an ad in one of the SLAM type magazines…

          • miss t-lee

            HWA! Talk about a throwback.

          • miss t-lee

            There was also a group called BWP. Ahhh the 90s.

        • Cleojonz

          I know folks USED to collect CDs that way. I was one of them, and cassette tapes before that. I had cases and cases of them. With vinyl making such a come back and turntables not actually costing that much, I the jump will always go to vinyl.

      • I do. I want to create an entire library of CDs when I get a man cave jumping.

        • Negro Libre

          If that’s the case why not just buy Vinyls (which sound better anyways).

          • I like CD covers for the art value and I like to be able hold things that I paid for. I know, it’s time for my afternoon nap.

            • Cheech

              Jewel cases are also handy for scraping frost and ice off the windshield. You know, back when we used to have winter.

            • Val

              Vinyl album art is much better. Plus you can actually read the liner notes.

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