The bigger an artist gets, the bigger their fanbase gets. So when I logged onto Twitter a while back to find the online Future fan phenomenon known as #FutureHive flooding my timeline with memes and lyrics, I knew Future Hendrix had reached the upper echelon of fandom. As a day one fan who would get excited for new Rocko videos just to see a Future cameo back in 2008, I figured I would find myself in good company. Instead, I find myself annoyed by the Hive more and more each day.
Hopping on Future’s bandwagon right now makes sense. Who else was able to shake the career kryptonite of dating Ciara and drop three consistently LIT, coherent bodies of work all within a few months? Fire Marshall Future. A good batch of Future Hive found their way into the fold via a love of CiBandz, and their first real opinion of his music came from Honest. The irony of Honest is that it found the rapper pushing the most fraudulent image of his career. Future's appeal has always been in his immoral attitude and street relations. “I know they want the ratchet shit from me,” he said in the new documentary Like I Never Left. There’s a reason records like "Itchin'" find their way to radio and DJ sets without official releases: Future plays to the streets.
It was confusing to see Future go from only worrying about checks to skipping through the sand with House Mother Kanye West singing odes to their women. Does Future Hive understand that frustration? I doubt it. This is the same guy who rapped about “fucking bitches because they look like Ciara” on his Dirty Sprite mixtape and was proud to share a ho on Astronaut Status. I unintentionally roll my eyes when Future Hive goes up for Drake/Future collaborations because us day ones remember when Drake was too good to even show up for the “Tony Montana” video back in 2011. The same fans were impressed when Andre 3000 found his way onto “Benz Friendz (Whatchutola),” like both aren’t from ATL’s Dungeon Family. The Hive is too busy making memes to notice—memes that, I might add, I find entertaining more for the Future lyric attached than the questionable Photoshop jobs. (And can we address the name “Future Hive”? Did “FreeBandz Gang” never make the list? Was “Black Migo Gang” looked over? Why not something Dungeon Family related?)
The new influx of Future fans credit his codeine-fueled recovery from a recent breakup and his undeniable chemistry with Metro Boomin as proof he’s found a new sound. First, homeboy’s been drinking codeine forever, in case you didn’t know what the “dirty” part of Dirty Sprite is. Second, Future’s actually returning to the sound of Astronaut Status, F.B.G: The Movie, and Free Bricks, but you’d have to have heard them to know that. Lastly, if his lane was as new as argued, Rich Homie Quan, Migos, and Young Thug couldn’t have cruised it to their own fame.
With Nayvadius’s newest street classic Dirty Sprite 2 dropping on Friday, you’d think day one fans would be excited to see Future Hive throwing their full support behind the ATlien. Nah, bruh, we’re good. “Future has only sold 477,000 copies of Pluto, Pluto 3D, and Honest”? Plenty of rappers who are gassed online have sold less records. We’ve supported Future enough that he’s been able to co-headline tours in different regions and countries for years. Day ones understand that if Future never dropped another album, he would still pop because that’s what he has been doing since “Racks.” His latest smash, “Commas,” is off a mixtape that dropped last Halloween. If we are being technical, most of Future’s hits have come off of mixtapes.
The main thing the Hive tends to miss about Future Wonder is that he is a street dude about his money, women, and family. To quote "Jordan Diddy”: "I'm just a street nigga from Atlanta… / They saying, ‘Future you gon cross over?’ I'm a hundred millionaire, I went a little over." Back when he lived at the Dungeon Family headquarters he was more concerned with finding plugs then making songs. He’s said in numerous interviews that he didn’t grow up writing rhymes and has never had a rap battle in his life. We’re okay with that. So while Future Hive is off arguing about how Future can outrap whoever the buzz rapper of the day is, they are actually doing a disservice. If you are one of those Future Hive members waiting to see if Dirty Sprite 2 will outsell Meek Mill’s latest album, just know I have a Future Hendrix middle finger meme waiting for you.
Christian Emiliano co-hosts the Neck of the Woods podcast. Follow him on Twitter.