When Future dropped his fire-starting mixtape, 56 Nights, in March, the ATL native was on a trajectory most rappers would kill to experience. Freebie mixtapes Beast Mode and Monster were already heating up the e-streets, Future’s name was swirling in the gossip mill following his breakup with Ciara and DJs had his records in a constant spin cycle, especially his Billboard-charting single “Commas,” an earsore for grammar teachers but undisputed hit to just about everyone else.
Since, anticipation has steadily climbed for his third studio LP, Dirty Sprite 2 (available today). It’s all that Rap Twitter can talk about since last Friday (July 10), when Future posted the iTunes pre-order link. Now it’s here and his loyal fans are bursting with enthusiasm like a shaken soda can.
These aren’t just your casual music listeners. There are really levels when it comes to fandom, and the Future Hive (as they’ve affectionately been dubbed) is a rabid bunch. In April, these superfans coined their solidarity for Nayvadius Wilburn with the same designation as Beyoncé’s worshipers, and they just might rival the BeyHive in intensity.
The Future Hive may be new in name, but the fan club has always orbited Future, thriving off his every win and quoting all his ratchet lyrics with hilarious memes that superimpose his face on super-athletes like Usain Bolt and Kobe Bryant. The allegiance has given him nicknames — Future Vandross, Future Hendrix, etc. — that liken him to immortal music royalty. Jesus Christ comparisons aren’t rare.
The Future Hive is mainly an online community. There haven’t been newsworthy sightings of superfans showing their love and affection for Future at concerts. No fans are decked out in ponchos or his Pharrell-like hat. Folks aren’t dyeing their hair blonde like him either.
At Governor’s Ball in New York City in June, where this writer attended his hit-after-hit set that doubled as the last stop on Drake’s Jungle Tour, it was a mix of the hip hop stan and the person who came to see Charli XCX. Most of them braved through the rain and waited patiently until Future hit the stage, running through so many bangers that it felt like he was the headliner. If you haven’t been to a concert of his, imagine 2,000 fans screaming the lyrics of “Same Damn Time” and jumping in unison with him. Some of these fans are newer than, say, those who can recite every word to “Itchin,” but each one comprises the Future Hive. Because seriously, that hour wasn’t enough time. It was too turnt up.
King Future hasn’t formally acknowledged the Future Hive for riding so hard for him. However, their recent track record is worthy of attention that’ll hopefully lead to Future one day shouting them out at a Grammy acceptance speech or something. After those memes went viral in April and the hashtag #FutureHive was born, there was a shift in Twitter fan appreciation. The hashtag was used more frequently. A Twitter fan page is now up and running — an Atlanta-based account that reps both #FutureHive and #FBG. The domain name FutureHive.com was quickly snatched and it’s actually a site with quotables for instant tweets and Instagram captions under the banner “56 Nights of Trapadan.” As of late, the lead-up to Dirty Sprite 2 has been entertaining to watch — the Vines will make you laugh ’til you cry.
People care about Future’s succeeding because it’s inspiring to see how far he’s gone from his Meathead days, back when he was writing songs for other people as a member of the Dungeon Family. All of those Billboard charting hits — “Real and True,” “Move That Dope,” “S**t” — have proven he has inspired people to hit that iTunes purchase button. He’s done little to change his formula, having the Atlanta streets in the palm of his hand since 2011’s Dirty Spite with DJ Esco. Now, he’s internationally known with a legion of followers watching his every move. Similar to the BeyHive’s unwavering affection for their Queen, Future fans stand together if their celestial hero gets into trouble. These are the same fans who supposedly hacked OG Maco’s personal website earlier this month after he called out Future about making music about drugs and destroying lives in the process.
The end result? The website is made into a mockery, asking visitors if they want to purchase the domain name and telling them to guess the price through the rapper’s catchphrase. It now re-directs to purchasing DS2 on Amazon. In short, the Future Hive doesn’t mess around.
OG Maco did land a solid point about Future’s bandwagon fans during his mini Twitter rant. He wrote: “And yall fake a** Future fans. Yall haven't been listening to him since Rocko tapes. Since ‘1000’ Probably not even Dirty Spite. Fuck n****s.” Sure, Future’s highly publicized relationship with Ciara and collaborations with Drake have helped him climb to a higher echelon of mainstream popularity. Most fans on Twitter will follow what’s hot and jump into the conversation just to have their voice heard, but Future's fanbase really is behind him. In another instance, when Ciara threw shade at him on Twitter after he spoke about their relationship and recording music together with veteran hip hop journalist Elliott Wilson, the Future Hive clapped back in the toughest way all over Instagram.
The question remains if Internet hype can translate to real album sales for DS2. Future’s Honest sold 53,000 copies its first week before the Hive was officially buzzing, so he’s still in a show-and-prove situation to win everybody over again. It doesn’t matter if they are labeled as bandwagonners or day ones; Future Hive shares the same love for Future. It’s up to Future’s committed followers to purchase DS2 so they can all celebrate another victory by f**king up some commas with their street motivator.
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