FUTURE, ACE HOOD
7:30 p.m. Barton Coliseum. $50-$100.
Last year, you could've seen Future at Revolution for $20. That was before he became the rapper of the moment, though. If anyone not named Jay-Z or Kanye can command $50, he might be it. Like no one since 50 Cent, Future's managed to go pop without entirely alienating folks who like their hip-hop with a harder edge.
What's his formula? An elastic notion of rapping. Sometimes Big Boi-esque speed rap. Sometimes a mumbled slow-roll. Sometimes heavily vocoder-ed T-Pain-style half-crooning. It's a vocal range that allows him to take aesthetic chances. Like on his massive hit, "Turn on the Lights," a half-sung, heavily processed torch song that's just about the sappiest thing you'll hear on the radio today (though I can say from experience, even with lyrics like "And if I get the number, you know I can't wait to dial it/And if we get together, girl, you know we gonna be wylin,' " once you've listened to it a couple of times, it becomes hard to switch stations).
Some credit for the song's success has to go to producer du jour Mike WiLL Made It, who's also behind "Bugatti," the smash single from Florida rapper Ace Hood. Its swelling, synth-driven chorus recalls the wild-out days of Lil Jon, but Future, half-singing and heavily Auto-Tuned, makes it way weirder and druggy than crunk ever was. Also, Ace Hood ("Hustle Hard") murders it. Seeing him and Future do "Bugatti" together on stage might be enough to warrant the ticket price for a lot of fans.