Same Damn Time

by Emma Overton

Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2013.

Nayvadius Wilburn Cash, better know by his stage name, Future, was signed to Epic Records in September 2011 and has made huge waves in the rap scene ever since. Many have heard Future’s 2012 hit “Same Damn Time,” however few know the dramatic story behind the writing of the song. Our journalists unearthed the inside story on the pain-staking re-writes of “Same Damn Time.”

Here are the lyrics of the first verse as they are now:

I wear Gucci I wear Prada at the same damn time

On the phone cooking dope at the same damn time

Selling white selling mid at the same damn time

Fucking two bad bitches at the same damn time

At the same damn time, at the same damn time

At the same damn time, at the same damn time

I’m at Pluto I’m at Mars at the same damn time

On the sofa popping bottles at the same damn time

However, back in 2010, when Future was first conceiving of the song. It was a different story. Here’s what the rapper had to say about his first draft of the song: “It’s a dangerous world out there. Future knows that better than anyone. When I was growing up, my Mom gave me a lot of pretty serious talks about being safe and prudent. Actually, my rap name was originally going to be Prudency. Did you know that you can get a third degree burn from just forty-five minutes of direct exposure to UV rays? This was the first version of the song I wrote in 2010”:

I wear shinguards, I wear kneepads at the same damn time

On the beach, wearing sunscreen at the same damn time

Drinking water, playing sports at the same damn time

Helping two old ladies at the same damn time

at the same damn time at the same damn time

at the same damn time at the same damn time

I’ve got vision, I’ve got dental at the same damn time

On vacation, careful spending at the same damn time

Unfortunately, the top executives at Epic Records were less than enthused with the tone of the original draft of the song. They wanted something harder, edgier. So, Future came back with a second draft. He explained, “I learned about the concept of mutual exclusivity in a physics course I was taking at Stanford at the time and it really influenced my writing. The producers wanted something edgier, so I figured, what could be edgier than sticking it to mutual exclusivity? There are no two things that Future can’t do at the same damn time.” Here are a few lines of the second draft of “Same Damn Time” from later in 2010:

Turning left, turning right at the same damn time

Getting heads, getting tails at the same damn time

Rolling six, rolling five at the same damn time

The song was yet again rejected by the record label execs. C.E.O., L.A. Reid, commented, “I really had no idea what was going on. When I signed him, I thought he was a drug dealer, not an aspiring physicist.” Future had one last chance to impress the label execs. He commented, “I was under a lot of pressure at the time, and so I turned to spirituality. I started getting into Eastern religion and philosophy. In particular, I spent a lot of time reading the Tao de Ching, the most important text in Daoism. It really put things into perspective for me. I finally understood the duality of existence and it was liberating. I came back to the execs with this third and final draft of the song:”

I am living, I am dying at the same damn time

One is whole, one is fragments at the same damn time

Time is ceaseless, time is finite at the same damn time

Life is order, life is chaos at the same damn time

I am one, I am all at the same damn time

Sources close to him said that L.A. Reid literally vomited on himself after reading this draft. Reid commented, “I had no choice, I had to cut him from the label. The problem was, we already had half an album recorded and finished under the name Future. We needed a track. I’ll be perfectly honest with you: we offered Gucci Mane $50 and a club sandwich to come up with three verses and that is the song as you know it today.” Future was not available for comment at the time of press. Sources close to him say he is seeking spiritual enlightenment at the Jokhang monastery in Tibet.

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