After a comparatively relaxed 2018 — which saw him releasing just two mixtapes, as opposed to the two albums and mixtape he released the previous year — Future is diving head-first into 2019 with a new album and a documentary about his life and career, both titled “The Wizrd” and due Friday, Jan. 18.
Last week, the rapper hosted a screening at iPic Theaters in Los Angeles, which was followed by a Q&A with Beats 1 chief Zane Lowe. Considering the prolific rapper’s level of popularity — he’s had five No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 and three No. 2s — the documentary represents the first time Future has truly allowed audiences into his personal life.
“It’s good for people to be here to see me speak for the first time — sometimes people never see me in that light,” he said after the screening. On that note, he paid tribute to director Marcus E. Clarke, who also recently did the City Girls’ 2018 documentary, “Point Blank Period.”
The hour-long doc was filmed over the course of three years, covering his earlier life hustling on the streets — selling drugs, getting shot, the deaths of friends and family members — as well as concert footage of songs like “Trap N—as,” “Incredible,” and “Mask Off.” While many famous faces appear in the film, it was the words from Outkast’s Andre 3000 — who described Future’s songs as the most “inspirational negative music” he’s ever heard — that got the biggest reaction from the screening audience.
“[Success] made me wanna keep going, but at the same time, made me wanna change the way I’m living a little bit,” Future said. “’Cause I understand, people look up to me. When I first came in, it was just raw talent. Me coming fresh out the ‘hood, fresh out the streets, I really didn’t care about how people feel about me — even the people that look me in a good light. But then when success came, it’s just like, you gotta change your life. Because it just calls for a different role.”
In addition to balancing his rap career with fatherhood, Future explained why after five years of touring, he decided to take some time for himself and his family.
“’The Wizrd’ was like seeing something before it happened,” he said. “It’s like a road that’s never-ending. I’m standing in the middle of a road that never ends.”