One of the hottest rappers of the year has cancelled his first New Zealand performance after suffering a personal tragedy.

Future, who released two No. 1 albums in February and has one of the year's biggest singles in Mask Off to his name, was set to perform at Spark Arena on Thursday.

But Future - real name Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn - has cancelled the show and the rest of his Australian dates after the death of a close friend, engineer Seth Firkins.

The rapper had already kicked off his first Australian tour with shows in Perth and Melbourne but has returned home to attend Firkins' funeral.

Advertisement

Live Nation issued a statement that read: "We regret to advise that a very close friend of Future's has passed away, as a result he is rushing back to the USA to attend the funeral."

Future posted a tribute to Ferkins on Instagram expressing disbelief at his death.

Firkins has worked with Jay Z, Young Thug, and Rihanna, and has credits on Future's two No. 1 albums - Future and Hndrxx - from February.

Live Nation offered refunds to fans and support to Future, saying: "Live Nation wish to offer Future their condolences at this difficult time and we know his fans will too."