Just short of his thirty-seventh birthday, Future is on top of the world in terms of his musical career. Having made music alongside the most famous recording artists and songwriters of the time, such as Drake, Ciara, and Kendrick Lamar, Future is not only prolific in terms of the amount of material he has produced, but he also has a knack for creating catchy recordings. While this thirty-six-year-old rapper has had a fairly successful music career, his love and family life, however, has been less than rosy. Not quite yet forty-years-old, the rapper has six children for certain (with six different partners) and two additional paternity suits that have been launched with his name. So how did this famous rapper have as many hits as he’s had, children and partners? We have all the juicy details here.
A Young Future
In 1983, a young Future – whose real name is Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn – was born on November 20, 1983, in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. While Future would not use his stage moniker for the first time until he began performing with his performance collective, The Dungeon Family, there was no question that as a child, he had a love of music and culture. Future, who grew up in Atlanta’s Zone 6 section, was given his stage name by his first cousin Rico Wade who was also a record producer for Dungeon Family. It was Wade who would help mentor Future along in his career – among his advice was encouraging Future to sharpen his writing skills as a rapper. Being a part of Dungeon Family was instrumental in Future’s life – not only did his participation anticipate his fame and help nourish his artistic interests, but it also kept him away from street life and out of trouble in high school. After working with Wade, Future would be mentored by Rocko, an Atlanta rapper and member of the label A1 Recordings.
By age 27, Future began releasing a number of mixtapes for the public some of which included
1000, Dirty Sprite and True Story. As he began to partner with fellow rappers on collaborative albums, as in the case of his work with Gucci Mane, Future began gaining a greater fan following for his work. Perhaps one of the greatest boosts to his local visibility was when DJ Esco began playing his music at Magic City – an Atlanta-based strip club where a great many artists got their first big break. By 2011, at age twenty-eight, Future watched as his first commercially successful recording raced up Atlanta’s Billboard charts. The recording? “Racks” by artist YC. Six years later, Future had claimed a total of 32 Top Ten R&B/hip-hop hits to his name. In that short time frame, Future had released a total of six studio albums – Pluto (2012),
Honest (2014), DS2 (2015), Evol (2016), Future (2017), Hndrxx (2017) – and three collaborative mixtapes – 2015’s Beast Mode with artist Zaytoven, 2015’s What a Time to Be Alive with Rap phenomenon Drake, and 2017’s Super Slimy with rapper Young Thug. He was even able in that time frame to release one EP – Free Bricks 2: Zone 6 Edition that he co-authored with Gucci Mane. Future has also been tremendously successful as a collaborator and guest artist on recordings produced by his peers. Some of these gems include Lil Wayne’s “Love Me,” Ty Dolla $ign’s “Don’t Judge Me,” Ciara’s “Body Party” remix, Ace Hood’s “Bugatti,” Rich Gang’s “Tapout,” and his long-time mentor Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.”
Aside from his own album work, Future has also had the opportunity to contribute to film music, as in the case of his work on the soundtrack for the feature-length superhero film Black Panther.
On the album, Future is matched alongside Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and James Blake on one of the leading singles, “King’s Dead.” He and his collaborators would eventually win a Grammy for Best Rap Performance for “King’s Dead.” A few months later, he was asked to contribute to Director X’s second film Superfly with the recording “No Shame.” His work on the film was not only relegated to contributing to the soundtrack efforts, but he is also listed as one of the film’s co-producers.
The word is that by 2020, at the young age of thirty-six, Future shows no signs of slowing down in terms of his musical contributions. According to the press, Future is currently working on his next studio album, which some estimate will be titled High Off Life. At the top of the year, Future collaborated yet again with mainstream music superstar Drake on the recording “Life Is Good,” which reached quadruple platinum status by the midpoint of the year.
Despite Future’s success, he has been criticized for his musical style by none other than fellow rapper T-Pain. Pain, who, like Future, also uses an audio processor to create his signature sound, has claimed that Future uses the processor in unconventional ways. In 2014, while Future was thirty-one years old, he responded to Pain’s critique by explaining that his use of auto-tune was not meant to record vocals. In essence, Future claimed that he had never intended to use the tool in the same ways that Pain was. Instead, he claimed to be employing the tool to make his rap voice sound grittier on Trap music records.
The Future of Love
Aside from his success in the music business, Future has also occupied his time with love and family. At the age of thirty-six, Future has a total of six children – each with different women.
While one of the baby mamas is unidentified, the other women are predominantly unknown to the public: Jessica Smith, Brittni Mealy, India J, and Joie Chavis. The most famous and high-profile of his partners (and mothers of his children) is R&B sensation, singer Ciara.
Future and Ciara began dating when the rapper was thirty years old – Ciara was two-years younger at the time. The rapper confirmed in an interview with XXL Magazine that he felt like the two performers most definitely had chemistry with one another.
The two would announce their engagement shortly thereafter, identifying as a couple in 2013. By May 19, 2014, the two announced the birth of Ciara and Future’s baby, Future Zahir Wilburn. Unfortunately, the couple would not last much longer after that. By August 2014, Ciara would make public that she was calling off the engagement as a result of Future’s infidelity.
Despite Future’s growing family, things between him and his many partners – particularly those he shares children with – have been quite rocky. For example, in 2016, at age thirty-three, two of Future’s former partners (and mothers of his children) decided to sue him. The first, Jessica Smith, claimed that she was suing the rapper for failing to pay child support towards the child that they shared together.
She told the press that as a result of Future’s neglect, her son suffered from both emotional and behavioral issues. In that same year, Future’s former fiancée Ciara also decided to sue the rapper. Ciara (now married to NFL player Russell Wilson) claimed that she was suing the rapper for defamation, slander, and libel after Future published a number of tweets on Twitter that criticized the singer.
As a result of the case, a judge ruled in October 2016 did not relate to the same issues that Ciara was raising – and therefore the $15 million dollars she was asking for in damages. After having his fifth child – Hendrix – in December 2018, two other women (Eliza Reign from Florida, the other woman living in Texas) filed paternity suits in 2019.
The women claimed that Future had fathered two additional children – a young boy and girl. While the details are not yet clear as to whether he is the father in these remaining two cases, if he were, this would mean that Future has fathered a total of eight children. Two years after both of the suits were filed, the woman from the first child-related suit decided to drop her case. Despite all of this, the rapper Future took to social media on Mother’s Day to pay tribute to each of his baby mamas.
The future of Future looks bright, filled with new music, fans to satisfy, and children to take the pleasure in raising.