Michael Phelps introduces Future at the VMAs. "There's no rapper more inspiring today than Future."
Tonight's VMAs boasted a spectacular range of performances, including a career-spanning medley from Rihanna and a show-stopping reenactment of the Lemonade narrative from Beyonce. Each of those icons has enjoyed a storied history of performing at the MTV award show, though other artists made their VMA debuts tonight, including Future, who's been at the top of the rap game for a few years now but is just starting to get his due at the industry's biggest showcases. Whereas Beyonce was introduced by Serena and Britney Spears by Kim K., Future Hendrix had the privilege of being welcomed by Michael Phelps, winner of more gold medals than anyone in Olympic history.
Phelps began his intro speech by touching on his love for hip-hop -- the one constant throughout his illustrious career. He then went on to profess his appreciation for Future. "There's no rapper more inspiring today than Future," he said emphatically. He then revealed that the DS2 track "Stick Talk" was an essential motivator at the recent Games in Rio, in which he took home five golds.
Though Phelps suggested that Future would perform "Stick Talk," he actually carried out a rendition of "Commas," which Future himself calls "the song that jumped everything off." The Freebandz boss also thanked Southside, producer of both "Stick Talk" and "Commas," alongside DJ Spinz on the latter. Watch footage of his "Commas" performance below.