Tonight the Live In the Cipher Team pays tribute to Big L. 13 years ago today the hip hop world lost a legendary MC who was taken from us way to early. Big L known for his word play and delivery was tragically gunned down on February 15, 1999, shot 9 times in the face and chest.
Big L gave us countless underground hits and commercial hits. From Put it on, M.V.P, Da Graveyard to Ebonics. L was well known around the game and ready to take it to another level. Unfortunately for his fans and fans of hip hop he was taken from us before we were able to witness his full potential.
So tonight you will hear some of his well known songs along with some freestyles that L released during his time. Join us in paying tribute to one of the best to do it while he was around.
The Team along with you will review Up and Coming MC Kaydensz tonight on the Live In The Cipher Show. Here is what Kaydensz has to say about himself. Taken from Kaydensz site:
What is music? To some, it is simply just a way to gain fame and fortune. To others, it is an entertainment outlet that you can utilize with the simple press of a button. To Kaydensz, however, music is much more. Born Chance McIntosh in Newark (Da Bricks) and raised in East Orange (Illtown), he was brought into a world full of confusion and anguish. Growing up, Chance was a very good student, consistently receiving high grades throughout his youth. Although his mother worked very hard to provide a good life for him, his environment as well as the relationship with his father, caused him to be quick-tempered and confrontational.
His love for music started to surface when he was 11, when he began turning his unfocused energy into poetry. When he was 14 however, his uphill progress suddenly took a turn for the worse when his father suddenly passed away after years of alcohol and drug addiction. That equipped with the pressures of dealing with a new environment (he attended boarding school), caused Chance to fall into a deep depression and also caused his intrinsic personality. Feeling like no one understood him, he began writing poetry again to release his pain. Influenced by the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem, Nas, as well as his oldest brother Ali Armz, Chance started writing raps when he was 15, initially as a means of fun for him and his friends. Chance kept writing, and his skills drastically improved, but it wasn’t until tragedy struck again that Chance fully connected with his music and everything became real. His uncle, who stepped in as a father figure after Chance’s father had died, passed away after a severe battle with cancer.
This devastated Chance, and not only caused him to fall into an even deeper depression but also plunged him to an alcohol and prescription pill binge. Some good did come from this, however, because during this time Chance began writing very introspective and intrinsic lyrics. By writing about his individual pains and personal pressures, he was able to realize that his story was not unique, and that it was his responsibility to tell not only his but the stories of others as well to the world, whether it be good or bad. After cleaning himself up, Chance set his goal on being the best and began writing even more profusely in order to master his craft. Soon after, Kaydensz Tha Savage was born. Kaydensz brings honesty, reality, diversity and respect to the game, with his style emphasizing wit, flow, cleverness, poetic structure, and wordplay. Producer/DJ Ja-Hi noticed his grind and talent and the two began making music together. With his help, Kaydensz will be releasing his first piece of work entitled The Twisted Soul EP, which released March 1st 2011!!!!!!!
So you ask, what is music to Kaydensz? It is a way to show the world the painting him and his peers call reality. Music is life.
Live In The Cipher brings you another up and coming MC for your listening pleasure. Tonight we introduce you to Jersey's own MC Aitch. We will be reviewing his The Umbrella Tape 3 project live along with you the listener. We want to hear from you call in 646-233-1302, if your an MC call in and spit your hot 16, or just call in and let us know how you feel about hip hop in general.
Tonight's Guest: MC Aitch
The son of two Caribbean parents, 22-year-old Aitch has started his own company, The Umbrella Media Group, and is embarking on his journey to creatively bring a fresh breath to hip-hop. Rapping and recording since the 9th grade Aitch has took his time and energy not only start a company but a network filled with everyone from artist, business grads, clothing designers, and graphic artist. The network is better known as "The Umbrella".
Fresh out of high school, Aitch didn't make it to college and felt that it was a sign to pursue his music career and created his first official solo mixtape titled "The Umbrella Tape". Soon after he got himself back in school to major in marketing in order to better understand how to market himself and his soon to be established company. Due to the success of "The Umbrella Tape", Aitch began to write "The Umbrella Tape: Prequel", which was a collection that was meant to give his listeners a background of who he is to give them a better understanding of his material.
Coming from South Orange, a multicultural city in New Jersey, is what Aitch feels gave him such passion to stand out from the norm. Aitch's passion for creativity is what influences him to push the limits of hip-hop through lyrical content and production. Though he is not a "gangster rapper" you can still find him giving his listeners that hard edgy feel that the genre is known for.
After sharing stages with the likes of some of hip-hops most popular veterans and starting his own company with close friend and UMG artist J-Rok Aitch is still producing plenty of music for all us hip-hop heads can enjoy, expect to hear big things from him and the UMG family.
Tonight on the Live In The Cipher show we welcome back Nina Foxx, former co host of the Cipher show, she is delivering us her latest hip hop release Who Is Nina Foxx? If her past work is any indication this will be another banger for your ears. Also tonight we have the legendary Vita, formerly of Murder Inc, she is making her way back into the hip hop world after taking time to act in feature movies, Belly, and handle the business side of the industry. Tune in and hear what this legendary female rapper has to say about the industry and how things have changed since she was part of the rise of Murder Inc.. We also have Danteze our unsigned shine artist for the night. Its going to be a jam packed show full of the real hip hop the world has been waiting for so join us!
Artist Review: Nina Foxx
Some refer to Jersey City, NJ as "Wall Street West" because of its industrial areas. To Nina Foxx its simply home. Born Felicia Pryer, Nina Foxx grew up on the harder side of JC. Being an only child can be pleasurable for some, but for a young Felicia it had its flaws, the biggest being not having anyone to share life's ups and downs. For therapy, she started to amass her thoughts and daily life activities in a journal. This played a major role in what would later make her the H.B.I.C.
At the young age of 11 years old, Felicia relocated to Florida forcing her to start over leaving Jersey City a distant memory...for now. Unaware that she was about to uncover one of the biggest pieces to her life’s puzzle, Nina adapted to her surroundings swiftly. At 13 years of age, not only did she learn to play various instruments but also how to read music, another crucial piece to her puzzle. This would teach her how to transform her daily entries in her journal into a melodic flow.
For Nina Foxx, High school was where she could showcase her talent. Instead of eating food at lunch time, Nina would get full off of the energy of her classmates who would double as her audience. It was in the cafeteria that she and a few friends would spit bars back and forth, entertaining the crowd until the bell sounded off. Her love for music also influenced her to join the varsity marching band for the Dillard High School Panthers as well. As thing were going good, December 1997 would find Nina and her family back in Jersey City. This would open her eyes to a whole new world. The daily entries in her journal would become more candid and vivid. By age 15 the streets would become Nina’s new BFF, labeling her not only a bona fide hustler but also a Gangstress.
Now in her twenties Nina Foxx has accumulated knowledge from both the streets and the industry. She has taken what she’s learned from both to overcome many obstacles. Graduating at the top of her class for Audio Engineering and Production, she not only has the biggest buzz from a female artist in Jersey City which is rapidly spreading across the tri-state, but she continues to make herself relevant through not only her own music but through the music of those she mentors.
Nina Foxx released her long awaited mix tape, NewBreed Of Female: 16 Bars and Hooks!, which is now available on itunes.com and datpiff.com. She has been featured in the 13th issue of Grindahz Magazine www.Grindahz.com and is featured as the only female rap artist on Big 7, one of Jersey’s Elite exec’s, mixtape titled Time2Grind hosted by DJ Kay Slay, which was released in March 2011. Tune in every Wednesday, on BKS1radio.com where Nina Foxx was a co-host of the Hip Hop segment, Live in the Cipher, reviewing the latest hip hop releases as well as covering hip-hop news and related topics. She has since moved on to promote her solo career but still remains part of the bks1 family. For bookings, features, media, music links and audio engineering contact
. Follow on twitter @DAREALHBIC201.
Special Guest: Vita
Vita introduced to the hip hop world as the first lady of Murda Inc Record Label. As she grew as an artist Vita moved on from Murda Inc, and got into acting and refocusing her career. Vita is back with her own thing now VitaBaby Inc. Check out her site www.vitababyinc.com, follow her on twitter @officialvita.
Here is a video of one of Vita hit songs Vita, Vita, Vita.
Unsigned Shine Artist: Danteze
At the vibrant age of 18, the New Jersey artist known as Donteze is turning his dreams to reality. Plainfield born, Piscataway raised, Donteze is currently New Jersey's newest big deal. With influence from his older brother who's a hip hop enthusiast, and popular rap artists like Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Gangstarr, and The Loxx Donteze was quickly exposed to the richness of hip hop music and culture.
By elementary school, he had written and executed his first poem. Poetry soon became a major part of his life and by the end of his high school career,his mixtape "50 Cent Sodas" was released. His fan base instantly expanded throughout his hometown, as he was frequently able to perform.
As a freshman student at Kean University, Union NJ Donteze is climbing new heights. Recently releasing a new mixtape entitled "The Opposite", he is expanding his network, and creating new ways to capitalize on his passion for making good music. Most recently, the single from the mixtape "Goodnight" was featured on 90.3FM and UndeniableTV. Also, Donteze performs locally at popular venues such as The Brownstone in Newark,NJ.
A brand new mixtape, "Martin Little" is underway and will soon be released, which includes a concepts of the late MLK and Malcolm X. Critics compare his style and lyricism to rappers such as Wale, Kanye West, Drake, and Big Sean, however Donteze never fails to keep it fresh and original.
Live In The Cipher brings you another up and coming MC from NYC. Join us as we introduce you to Fokis as we rate and review his latest release A Vintage State of Mind. Here is more about Fokis in his own words from www.fokeezy.com.
An innovative force, Fokis continues to forge his path towards success through the frontier of a technologically advanced world. Born William Heredia to Dominican parents, Fokis was raised on New York City’s Lower East Side of Manhattan. It was during these formative years that Fokis developed a love for music and a work ethic that placed him amongst hip hop’s hardest working entrepreneurs. Fokis began rhyming at an early age and later began to produce beats of his own. Seeking to enhance his career, Fokis pursued formal training as a recording engineer later opening his own recording studio Krystal Clear Recordings. There, Fokis has recorded and mixed records for many artists including Kool G Rap, Trife Diesel, Mic Geranimo, Bubba Sparxx and Rahsaan Patterson.
His passion and commitment to success literally placed him on the “Road to the Riches.” Early in his career, Fokis developed and produced an online reality show based on his own experience as an independent hip hop artist seeking to secure a record deal within a year’s time. Consistent with reality, the “Road to the Riches” did not result in Fokis signing a record deal. Not deterred, Fokis went on to release several albums collaborating with various established artists such as Joe Budden, Olu Dara (Nas' father), Deemi, Joell Ortiz and various producers such as Focus...(Aftermath Ent.) Charlemagne and Dahoud Darien. Through his persistence, Fokis independently distributed over twenty thousand compact discs and digital downloads combined. Projects like the “20/20” EP exclusively produced by Focus of Aftermath and “The Appetizer” LP with Punchline of eMC were well received by his fans.
Fokis has toured the United States, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic and performed as an opening act for Common, Busta Rhymes, M.O.P. the Beatnuts and many more. Through his experiences, Fokis has developed a relevant broad appealing style and sound that remains true to the core foundational elements of Hip Hop with a commercial appeal. Though achieving success distributing his own music, Fokis realized in this era it would take more than pursuing a career as a recording artist to rise to the level of success he sought to achieve. As his experience with the business side of the industry grew, Fokis seized upon the marketing facet of the industry and opened his digital media company Loyalty Digital Corp. Through Loyalty Digital Corp, Fokis has worked with various artists to develop, record and mix musical compositions and successfully market them online. In no time Fokis managed to develop a strong and diverse client base for Loyalty Digital Corp.
Working with that network, Loyalty Digital Corp. successfully produced and released two installations of “A Walk Through MySpace,” a musical collaborative effort of worldwide independent artists banding together to create a stronger market for their careers. Loyalty Digital’s success with its marketing campaigns resulted in multi platinum producer Ty Fyffe reaching out and together they developed an online competition called “Raw N Uncut” which enlisted hundreds of entrants. Fokis and Loyalty Digital’s many achievements have been recognized by not only many established industry members but also featured on various industry websites such as HipHopDX, NahRight, 2DopeBoyz, DubCNN and HipHopGame. In his own words Fokis states that he is “a dreamer, a visionary, and a grinder with a capital G.”
Tonight on the Live In The Cipher show we give you another Up and Coming MC 22 McGraw. McGraw is no stranger to the BKS1 Radio family having blessed the Cipher show with his verbal talents on another occasion with Chad B and Aitch. Join us tonight as we review his latest Mixtape release UpDere: Northern Lights Edition.
Tonight's Guest: 22 McGraw
If you are a hard core Hip Hop fan with concern about the lack of good lyrical content in today’s music, you need not look any further. Fortunately for you, there’s a new kid in town. And he goes by the name of 22 McGraw.
The HardRoc Records recording artist was born and raised in the Baxter Terrace Housing Projects in Newark, NJ. Growing up, he always had a passion for music and was heavily influenced by the styles of Bootsy Collins, 2Pac, Nas, Redman, Snoop Dogg and Max B. With big dreams, a pen and his pad, McGraw began writing lyrics at the age of 12. But there was one small obstacle he had to overcome, stage fright. After a few performances, he kicked his fear of the stage and since then he has been focused on sharing his story with the world.
In a interview with BKS1 Radio, McGraw explained, “I was raised in a middle class home. The things I talk about in my rhymes aren’t all things I have necessarily done. But everything that I talk about is real or something that I have witnessed first hand. When I rap, I speak for those who don’t have the ability to tell their story. Through me, we will all be heard.”
The self-proclaimed “hooktician’s” latest contribution to Hip Hop, “Up Dere: The Northern Lights Edition”, appropriately released on 4/20/2011, is an ode to one of his favorite past times. Songs like “Bali Run” and “We Have Fun” featuring Chad B are up tempo classics with bass knocking beats. While tracks like “Background Boy”, “So Smart” and “Let’s Get Right” featuring Skeemz take listeners on a mellow “futuristic” journey. 22 has also been featured on “Nov. 24th”, a mix-tape in which he collaborated on with friend and fellow label mate, Chad B.
Humble, hungry and ready to take the industry by storm, 22 McGraw is well on his way. Fans and potential fans, stay tuned. He’s on the come up.
For music and more information on 22 McGraw, please log-on to http://www.hardrocrecords.com or follow him on Twitter @22_McGraw.
Tonight the Live In The Cipher crew brings you a couple of up and coming MC's. We are rating and reviewing MC N1S mixtape release Empty Space. Join us tonight and as we get back to what made BKS1 Radio known around the industry. We bring you another Best Kept Secret. Also we have MC Beyond Belief tonight on the Live In The Cipher Show.
Guest: MC N1S:
A lot of people have been saying "Hip Hop/Rap Is Dead". I find that hard to believe. There's a great number of talent out there, especially in the heart of Jersey and N1S is one of them.
Born and raised in the streets of Newark/Elizabeth, Erik Britt, also known as N1S or ‘The Prince of the City‘, would be the first to let you know that where you're from doesn't determine your level of success. It's your talent that's going to take you to where you need to be. And I must admit his talent is going to take him to places beyond Jersey.
"It's not where you come from or what your buzz is, it's about your talent level."
N1S has been practicing his craft for over 16 years. He first began rapping when he was in the 4th. Grade. To be more precise it was September 1994. It all began in a lunch room in Plainfield, New Jersey. As he stood in line and heard the group of guys freestyling behind him. Being caught off guard N1S was approached by one of the boys and was put on blast to spit a freestyle. Unaware of his talents, due to the fact that he believed he could sing, he spit the first line that came to mind.
“I see Tupac coming around the corner with a boom box”
The line may seem like nothing to others but to him it was a door-opener. Once he said that line and heard how the rest of the kids reacted he went home and wrote his first rap called “The Realest Mack”. According to N1S, that was probably the last day he did homework. He dropped his books to pick up a pen and write rhymes just as some his influences: Naughty-by-Nature, Redman, Kriss Kross, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Biggie Smalls and Tupac. The list doesn’t stop there, those are just a few that he shared.
“Anybody who took this seriously and wrote their own rhymes and could perform was an inspiration to me”
With the help of his mother, he created his rap name from a nickname she gave him. She would always tell him he was the “Number 1 Son. So he took that concept and began to think of different ways to make it sound good. Once he originated his unique name he then gave it a unique meaning.
“The main meaning for N1S is: No one says what I says. No one sees what I sees. That’s why no one that sounds just like me. Then I can say no one’s seeing cause there‘s no one out there that‘s rocking on a track like I do. Then I can say I‘m the nicest one still cause at the end of the day that‘s what I am. Then I can sit up here and say I‘m no one special but I‘m good at what I do. It has a lot of meanings to it”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the music that N1S creates is a picture that tells a story you will never forget. Rap may have been his first love, but over time he evolved and branched out to writing R&B. His music has been inspired by his own life experiences or the experiences of those around him. To N1S the best part of this business is the reaction from the fans. To be able to grasp their attention by either the lyrics or the beat of the song is a fulfillment for him. The worst part of this business for N1S is not being signed. To have people approach him and tell him how much they enjoy his music, tell him how good he is at what he does and to bluntly tell him oppose to other underground artist getting signed he should have a deal is not just a compliment; it’s also an indirect reminder that even with him taking two steps forward the worst rapper getting a deal sends him four steps back. As a result of this being humble is something N1S admits he needs to work on. According to him, why should he be humble when he knows he’s better then his competition.
Me: If you could be signed where would you go? N1S: At first I said I wanted to go to Young Money but then someone made me think about it, if you go to Young Money you’ll be sitting on the shelf for a while. So I would say something like Interscope, Universal. I wanted to go to Grand Hustle because I’m a big T.I. fan so I would love to go to Grand Hustle. Or Ludacris’ label. And that would probably be it.
Now that he's in the spotlight the Prince is shinning brighter then ever. His mixtape ‘Rise And Fall Of An Empire” dropped on August 26, 2010. He described the process of putting it together as being fun but stressful. For seven years N1S was a part of a group but felt that their big break was taking too long to come. He decided to take his talent and become a solo artist. Even though he wasn’t used to being a one man band, he’s loving his time in the lime light.
Now that his creative control was in his own hands N1S was able to say what he wanted to say on any beat of his choice. The creative process for his latest mixtape took a year to complete. His release date was significant because his mixtape was released on the anniversary which he left the group. This album was an expression of everything that was on his mind and everything that he was feeling during that entire year. So you can say his first solo mixtape was a “musical diary”.
The mixtape consist of 13 tracks which included artist such as, Kortini and Su. Out of the 13 tracks N1S chose “I’m The Shhhh” as his favorite song. The song portrays him as his fans see him. When you hear him on the track you would say he’s “stuck-up”, “cocky” or “conceited” but he hasn’t been able to see that in himself.
“People always tell me, you’re so arrogant with your rap, you’re so arrogant with your attitude but if you really knew me I’m the shyest person in the world. I‘m a very shy person but people tell me when I do music I‘m cocky as hell”
He’s currently in the studio working on his next mixtape which is called “Top Floor” which is scheduled to drop February 2011. The concept of the mixtape is a metaphor of what it takes to succeed. For N1S, his goal is to make it in the music business but for others this could be applied to any and every aspect of succeeding. Everyone has to start at the bottom in order to make it to the top.
N1S is creating one mixtape with three sections. The first section of the mix tap is going to be the “Lobby Section”. It will consist of upbeat songs which shows that he’s ‘starving’, ‘hungry’ and ready for success. Then there’s “Elevator Music” which geared more towards his female fans. This is going to be his collaboration section. The songs will have a mellow vide which gives you the impression that success is a slow process. No one makes it over night. Next you have the “Penthouse Suite” which is the “I’ve made it, I’m successful, they know me, I’m here” music. You could consider this section of the mixtape the party tracks. The first song off the mixtape is called “Talk Dirty” which features Savoy and let’s just say it’s a track that can’t be described, it can only be felt.
Although the road to success seemed lonely, which is why N1S referred to himself as a “one man gang”, he wasn’t walking the road alone. As the saying goes, “behind every great man there is a strong woman pushing him to succeed” for N1S that woman was his mother. Just as she gave him life, N1S received an opportunity to return the favor. On July 28, 2011, he underwent surgery and gave his mother a kidney. The transplant was a success and the road to recovery was what inspired his newest project “Empty Space”. The first single off his mixtape, "The Recovery" ft. TeNeil Nicole, shows you the growth of N1S. Not only as a person but also as an artist.
Since the surgery N1S has pushed himself to exceed beyond his own expectations. Not only has he dropped one of the hottest mixtapes, but he's also taken the crown as the "Remix King". He's remixed songs from artist such as Usher, Rhianna, Big Sean and Ella Varner.
Special Guest: Beyond Belief:
It all started back in 1994, when Beyond Belief first got his hands on Biggie’s debut album Ready to Die. After hearing the record, he was immediately hooked, and began writing rhymes in the basement of his parents’ Rockaway Park home.
Later influenced by artists such as Kool G Rap, Big Pun, Nas and Run DMC, it was through a high school classmate that the Rockaway emcee met rapper-turned-producer Kwame, who he credits for teaching him the art of songwriting.
Kwame, who is most notably known for starting the polka-dot trend in hip hop in the late 80s, as well as his production on the number one records “Switch” (Will Smith) and “On Fire” (Lloyd Banks), saw Beyond Belief‘s potential, and quickly signed him to his boutique production company, Make Noise.
While completing a full-time bachelor’s degree program at the University of Miami, Beyond Belief still managed to release two mixtapes (Bobby J From Rockaway and Beyond Your Reach), as well as a full-length album (What About BOB?) under the Make Noise imprint, and is currently working on his second full-length project, the bulk of which will be produced by Kwame.
With this next offering, as with his previous projects, Beyond Belief strives to bridge the gap between the conflicting worlds of commercial music and underground hip hop, proving that it’s possible to make commercially accepted tracks, while still maintaining artistic integrity, and upholding the roots of hip hop: true lyricismand self expression.
Having completed a certificate program at the New York Film Academy, Beyond Belief not only writes and records his own music, but also shoots, directs, and edits all of his own videos.
Be sure to check out his new music video series, Breaking Beyond, which airs every Wednesday on his website: www.beyondbeliefonline.com.
Live in the cipher team brings you a legendary hip hop group for your review. New York's own De La Soul delivers another hip hop project for the masses to enjoy. First Serve is De La's 8 th studio release, lets see if they can continue to deliver the same hip hop they have been known.
De La Soul is an American hip hop trio formed in 1987 on Long Island, New York. The band is best known for their eclectic sampling, quirky lyrics, and their contributions to the evolution of the jazz rap and alternative hip hop subgenres. The members are Kelvin Mercer, David Jude Jolicoeur and Vincent Mason, known under a variety of nicknames. The three formed the group in high school and caught the attention of producer Prince Paul with a demo tape of the song "Plug Tunin'".
With its playful wordplay, innovative sampling, and witty skits, the band's debut album, 3 Feet High and Rising, is considered a hip hop masterpiece. It is the band's biggest commercial success to date, with their subsequent albums selling progressively less, despite receiving high praise from critics. A measure of 3 Feet High and Rising's cross-over appeal was the fact that it was voted Album of the Year by NME, a title better known for its taste in guitar-based music. De La Soul have influenced numerous other hip hop artists such as Camp Lo, The Black Eyed Peas, and Digable Planets. They were influential in the early stages of rapper/actor Mos Def's career, and are a core part of the Spitkicker collective. They are the second longest standing Native Tongues Posse group, after the Jungle Brothers.
In 2006, the group won a Grammy for their collaboration with Gorillaz on the single "Feel Good Inc."
Live In The Cipher team reviews Future's new release Pluto. Future has been making some noise in the hip hop world with his hit single Tony Montana and he followed that up with another successful release of Magic ft T.I.. Join us tonight as we see if he can continue the roll of his previous successful releases. Take part in our interactive rating and review process, Your opinion counts on BKS1 Radio! Join the experience.
Artist Review: Future
Future (born Navyvadius Cash), is an African-American rapper from Decatur, Georgia.He was given the moniker "The Future of Rap" by his local crew, the famous Atanta hip hop collective, Dungeon Family. His cousin, producer Rico Wade of Dungeon Family, encouraged him to sharpen his writing skills and pursue music. From 2010 to early 2011, Future released a series of mixtapes including 1000, Dirty Sprite and True Story. The latter included the single "Tony Montana", on which he raps under the influence of codeine and promethazine syrup with a fake Cuban accent in an attempt to approximate the voice of the main character from the Scarface film. During this time, Future also partnered with Gucci Mane on the Free Bricks collaborative album and was the featured artist on YC's single "Racks".
Future signed a major label deal with Epic Label Group in September 2011, days before the release of his next mixtape, Streetz Calling. The mixtape was described by XXL magazine as ranging from "simple and soundly executed boasts" to "futuristic drinking and drugging jams" to "tales of the grind." Jordan Sargent of Pitchfork Media remarked that on the mixtape, Future comes "as close as anyone to perfecting this thread of ringtone pop, where singing and rapping are practically the same thing, and conversing 100% through Auto-Tune doesn't mean you still can't talk about how you used to sell drugs. It would almost feel antiquated if Future weren't amassing hits, or if he weren't bringing some subtle new dimensions to the micro-genre."
Though Future had told MTV that Streetz Calling would be his final mixtape prior to the release of his debut studio album, another mixtape, Astronaut Status, was released in January 2012. Before his album being released in April 2012. XXL's Troy Mathews wrote, "While Astronaut Status is up and down and never really hits the highs like 'Racks', 'Tony Montana', and 'Magic' that fans have come to expect from Future, it’s apparent that he’s poised to continue the buzz of 2011 humming right along into 2012."
Future was selected to the annual XXL Freshmen list in early 2012. His debut album Pluto, originally planned for January, is scheduled to be released on April 17. It will include remixes of "Tony Montana" featuring Drake and "Magic" featuring T.I.. According to Future, "'Magic' was the first record T.I. jumped on when he came outta jail. Like, he was out of jail a day and he jumped straight on the 'Magic' record without me even knowing about it." The track became Future's first single to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Other collaborators on the album include R Kelly, Snoop Dogg and Trae Tha Truth.