So for the past couple of weeks I have been putting together an article about the inner-workings of the BeyHive for Idolator. The reaction has been amazing and I'm really proud of how it turned out. It was important for me to get it just right because these are my soul siblings. Anyone who worships at the alter of Beyoncé has a friend in me. I interviewed a lot of fans for the article but decided to focus on the American contingent. Unfortunately this meant I couldn't use the sublime musings of @Tha_Phoenix. But that's the great thing about having my own blog. I can post the Brit's interview in full! Enjoy our highly intellectual conversation about King B below.
What makes the Hive different from other fan armies?
Different? Well, the Hive is arguably the most vicious stanbase spawned in the last twenty years. Let’s look at it this way: many Hive members were/are Michael Jackson stans (myself included) – and we all know about how they are... I like to think that they inherited their vicious nature from that particular stanbase. The way the Hive chooses to handle certain situations is definitely reminiscent of how the MJ stans do/did it.
Contrary to what people might think, stanning for B is both a gift and a curse. A gift, because the Hive stans for one of the best performers to ever do it. A curse, because – due to that fact – those who stan for less famous and able artists always think that attacking B will make their fave more relevant or explain away their numerous deficiencies.
It doesn’t, but that brings us to my major point. First, the Hive does not allow any slight (perceived or otherwise) to go unpunished. Second, unlike many other fan armies, they walk their talk. One only has to look at the box office receipts for events like Revel and I Am… Yours (where ticket prices were in the hundreds) to see this.
Which act has the worst stans?
Christina Aguilera. Her stans are arguably the most delusional stanbase I have come across. Many of them have little to no musical knowledge, attack those that attack Christina with painful home truths and favor fiction over fact. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they insist Christina is the "voice of our Generation", yet have no explanation for any performances post 2009.
How do you deal with people that come for Bey’s wig on Twitter?
Back in 2010, I would pick and choose my victims carefully – dragging only when called upon or a disrespectful, misinformed individual entered my mentions. Those of us who were around back then remember Summer 2010 with affection as the Summer of Dragging. After 2010, I felt I’d earned my stripes – no pun intended – and left that to the newer members.
Still, every now and then, a misguided soul will enter my mentions or an irrelevant artist will utter the Queen’s name with disrespect lingering on their tongue, and I will address each and every single one of their flaws, while simultaneously reminding them of B’s superiority.
Why can Bey’s wig never be snatched?
A wig is synonymous with one’s self-respect, importance and stature in the industry. Having it snatched, therefore, means that you have been stripped of all three. B’s wig can’t be snatched because, quite simply, she is the best performer since Michael Jackson, has been around (and relevant) for over fifteen years, has become one of the most respected and best-selling artists in the industry, and – best of all – everyone knows it.
Essentially, when you’re as good as B is, you don’t even have a wig. Your hair grows straight from your roots. It would take the Lord himself to snatch it, and it is clear that she is in His good graces.
Have you ever stepped over the line on Twitter and regretted it?
Never. As all my followers know, I have yet to apologise for or rescind a tweet (and have never deleted one either). I always say what I mean, and mean what I say, and if feelings are hurt (as they often are), so be it. The truth hurts like a bitch with a sore puss newly ridden with chlamydia.
Is anything off limits if someone crosses Bey?
If a stan from an inferior stanbase attacks B, I don’t attack them personally – I attack their fave. For whatever reason, I’ve found that that tends to get people more upset. Also, I don’t see the point in personal attacks - they rarely require wit or skill (and effective shade is all about skill).
If an artist attacks B, I’ll attack their lack of a career, receipts, respect etc. Family, friends, etc are all off limits. I also don’t discuss their personal lives, because to be quite honest, I couldn’t give half a shit about celebrities’ personal lives.
Which artists are common enemies of the Hive? Why?
That thing… what’s its name again? God, I can’t quite remember. Something to do with Hilton wildlife. We don’t claim it. Many Hive members don’t claim Ne-yo, because of his allegedly messy comments vis-à-vis the writing of "Irreplaceable". Ashanti. Her mother thought that it would be wise to talk slick about a certain Ms Knowles-Carter, and the Hive didn’t take too kindly to that. It didn’t do much for her daughter’s career, either.
Christina. But no stanbase (in general) other than her own really cares for her. Taylor Swift. The 2009 VMA for Best Female Video went to her rather than B (which still puzzles everyone this side of Swift’s latest boyfriend), and no one has quite moved past that yet. Rihanna. I’d recount the last 8 years, but we don’t have time for that. Suffice it to say, the Hive is not here for Ms. Fenty, generally speaking.
Does the Hive have any allies?
The Monsters. I’d argue that B and Gaga made an incredibly wise decision the day they collaborated together. Can you imagine what Twitter would look like if they hadn’t? Also the Lambs. Many Hive members tend to be fans of Mariah Carey, and many Lambs tend to like B.
How much time do you spend stanning for Bey on average per day?
Depends on the day. Also, if you count listening to music as stanning, you could say 30-40 minutes a day. I always have music playing when I study, and her albums are always on the playlist. Twitter also accounts for some stanning, though it would depend on what I was discussing on a particular hour/day etc.
How do you respond to claims that the Hive is full of broke, uneducated troublemakers?
Broke? Check B’s box office receipts. Uneducated? Unlike many (lesser) artists, B’s strong positive image attracts those with self-worth and something to show for themselves. We can count Michelle Obama among us. What other stanbase can say that? And as for troublemakers… Well, if you stanned for someone that was attacked and vilified as much as B is on a regular basis, you would understand just why the Hive is the way it is. Can you imagine what would happen if we let the constant disrespect from the inferiors slide?
Do you think Beyonce would approve of the Hive’s online activities?
She’s said in the past that she knows what we get up to. She thinks we go a little too far sometimes (I agree), but overall she appreciates how the Hive handles the disrespectful, uneducated, and uninformed.
Oh and just for shits and giggles, here's the Queen Bey being a complete boss at the Superbowl press conference. "Any questions?" is the ultimate diva moment of the new millennium!