Future hit the main stage at Meadows Music & Arts Festival on Saturday night (Sept. 16) intending to make his presence felt beyond the norm — and he delivered, bringing out Nicki Minaj and Yo Gotti, as well as Young Thug for an extended cameo, in the middle of an otherwise-turnt set that would have sufficed on its own. The special guests — in particular, the Queens-bred Minaj — were icing on the cake.
After a 15-minute wait beyond his start time, Future and his partner in crime DJ Esco — accompanied by a few live musicians — began what would be a relentless set, starting with Ty Dolla $ign‘s “Blase Blase,” a semi-surprise hit last year.
“We in New York, so we gotta go to a new level!” Future said, before launching into A$AP Ferg‘s “New Level,” delighting the New York crowd. He then hit a few relatively older cuts — “Same Damn Time,” “Shit” and Ace Hood‘s “Buggati” — before settling into his set.
Once he hit “Stick Talk,” one of the standouts from his third album, DS2, followed by album opener “Thought It Was a Drought,” the crowd was locked in, and Future barely took a break in between tracks. The energy was through the roof for his Drake collaboration “Where Ya At” and more focused for his run through 21 Savage‘s “X,” but the ATLien had much more to come.
After “Too Much Sauce,” Future brought Yo Gotti to the stage for his latest Billboard 100 top 10 hit “Rake It Up,” but the crowd erupted when Nicki Minaj, who is also featured on the track and is a proud Queens native, came out in a fur to hit her verse on the track.
After LL Cool J brought out A Tribe Called Quest and DMC for <a href=”/articles/columns/hip-hop/7965924/ll-cool-j-surprise-guests-meadows-festival-tribe-called-quest-grandmaster-flash-dmc”>his set earlier in the evening</a>, Minaj’s presence landed with a bang, and things took off from there.
After “Rake It Up,” Future — who seemed so pleased with the crowd’s reaction that he was visibly laughing with delight onstage — introduced Young Thug, who ran through a mini-set of his own, with Future as his hype man. “Pick Up the Phone” bled into his Rich Gang collaboration “Lifestyle” — at this point, a classic in and of itself — before Thugger closed things up with his <a href=”/artist/277486/ti/chart”>T.I.</a> cut “About the Money” and “Relationship,” the Future-assisted track from his Beautiful Thugger Girls release earlier this year.
But Future wasn’t going to let his guests overshadow his own set: After giving it up for Thug, he hit his two collabs with The Weeknd — “Comin Out Strong” and an admittedly scattered “Low Life” — before turning up as only he can with the final trio of “Mask Off,” “March Madness” and “Commas.” With this type of momentum, he seems destined for a final headlining slot next year.