Reviews

More than a Decade In, Future Still Has the Streets on Lock

Future and friends tore the roof off of FLA Live Arena in Sunrise.
Future and friends tore the roof off of FLA Live Arena in Sunrise. Photo by ShotByXeno
Last Friday, there wasn't a single hockey jersey in the parking lot of FLA Live Arena, but Gallery Dept. tees and Chrome Hearts hoodies, Telfar bags, YSL purses, Rick Owens Ramones, and Nike Dunks lined the entrance. People flocked to security check-ins and ticket booths before passing through the doors.

The Future & Friends One Big Party Tour had arrived in town.

The 39-year-old Atlanta rap tycoon, who has already godfathered an entire generation of trap purists, dropped joint projects with Drake and Young Thug and had two solo albums go number one in two weeks, has somehow found even more room to grow in the past year. I Never Liked You, his chart-topping album from 2022, is familiar for its melding of potent melodrama ("Love You Better"), vanity ("712PM," "I'm Dat Nigga"), and pop-culture appeal ("Wait For U"), three major pieces of the Future Hendrix Experience. Earning his first Grammy as a lead artist for "Wait For U" this year, Future has proven himself to the suits and corporate taskmasters pulling the strings.

To the masses, he's already proven himself a thousand times over. Dess Dior, Mariah the Scientist, and G Herbo set the tone early for the show as attendees slowly rolled in, but the final opener, Don Toliver, waltzed and crooned across the stage once the bulk of the crowd showed up. After some slight delays from the DJ (they must've ran Future's intro track back about five times), Pluto popped out on stage to the villainous "712PM" wearing bright orange pieces from Supreme and North Face's Spring 2019 collab. Straight out the gate, he quickly cut up to several highlights from I Never Liked You, all while a massive sculpture of the female body lay sensually behind him.
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Future performs at FLA Live Arena on March 17, 2023.
Photo by ShotByXeno
Then came "Stick Talk," a song that never fails to get way too many people to yell, "I'ma put my thumb in her butt!" in unison. A slew of numerous breakout hits from the early 2010s ("Move That Dope," "Same Damn Time," "Love Me," "Bugatti") followed, bringing back cheerful memories of juvenile ignorance. "Thought It Was A Drought," the most impactful of the bunch, preceded a truly insane amount of superstar guest performances, beginning with none other than — Flo Rida?

Well, alright.

Future ducked off as "Low" brought the crowd back to 2008 for a bit, but soon returned to perform storied mixtape tracks like the viral "Wicked" and the underrated "My Savages." This became the trend for the night as the Atlanta legend flexed his cultural outreach by performing songs then stepping aside and letting his compatriots rock for moments at a time. Next came Miami's City Girls, who could've broken a decibel meter with the crowd's reaction to "Act Up."
@lilbabyrares_ Future brought out Lil Baby last night in Miami 🦅 #lilbaby #viral #future ♬ original sound - IGlilbabyrares
EST Gee and GloRilla's appearances soon after showed how much collective respect there is for Future in the world of gangsta rap. Despite all the accolades and commercial appeal in the world, emcees from the streets of Louisville and Memphis are giving him his flowers in 2023, and it was a beautiful sight. Glo's spirited "FNF" performance tore the roof off the place in the same way City Girls did.

Before DJ Khaled steamrolled his way on stage (and rapped a verse!), Future's "Turn On the Lights" and "Loveeeeeee Song" were amorous waves of nostalgia that crescendoed into the award-winning ballad, "Wait For U." Khaled's "All I Do Is Win" set the stage for his "Big Time" collab with Future and the — *checks notes* — sixth surprise act of the night, Lil Baby. Baby even brought EST Gee back on stage alongside Rylo Rodriguez for their icy posse cut with 42 Dugg "5500 Degrees."
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Future at FLA Live Arena on March 17, 2023
Photo by ShotByXeno
Safe to say it was a packed set list for the night.

For the final act, Future brought Meek Mill out to stick a dagger in the crowd with "I'ma Boss" and the club anthem of all club anthems, "Dreams and Nightmares," prompting everyone who knew all the words to rap their hearts out. With "Superhero," "March Madness," and "Drankin N Smokin," Pluto closed out a nearly two-hour-long trap extravaganza in Sunrise.

In all of its frenzy, Future's One Big Party was precisely that. 
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Olivier Lafontant is a freelancer and former intern for Miami New Times. He's pursuing a bachelor's in digital journalism at Florida International University. He specializes in music writing and photography and got his start as a writer for South Florida Media Network in 2021.

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