Spend a few minutes on the phone with Beau Young Prince and it becomes clear that the D.C. native was born with the gab-gift necessary for rap success — the kind of magnetic blab that flows cool and steady onstage, inside a recording booth or over a phone line.
Or at a coffee shop. A couple of years back, Beau was in a Brooklyn cafe when he spotted a headphoned dude pecking on a laptop. He walked up and introduced himself to Futura, a producer from France who had worked with Trey Songz, Kylie Minogue, Raekwon and others. "Whenever I see someone making beats, I try to talk to them," Beau says. "Within an hour, we were in a studio making 'Gypsy Woman.' "
The track would be the duo's first as Young Futura, and its neo-hip-house gleam made a direct nod to the 1991 breakout hit from Washington's own Crystal Waters. So even though Young Futura existed for only an afternoon, the duo had already forged a connection to the past while cooking up a template for the future. "At first, I'd hear people say things like, 'Dance music and rap music? That's cheesy,' " Beau says. "But when we combine it in this pure way, people are like, 'Oh, I can groove to this.' And it's because the rap fits."
Exactly. Growing up on go-go music, Beau knows how to thread his voice through a rhythm, how to sink his rhymes into the pocket, even when a song is moving at high speeds. Unlike all the cut-and-paste dance tracks floating around out there, Young Futura's music feels coherent and composed. "You always need something to sit inside that beat," Beau says. "I have to be able to get into the pocket. I'm from D.C.!"
Show: Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the All Things Go Fall Classic festival (Friday-Sunday) at Union Market. allthingsgofallclassic.com. $74 a day; $169 for three-day general-admission pass.