“I feel like I’m a great entertainer. I’m a hip hop rock star, I can’t explain it.” Even Waka Flocka Flame admits he’s hard to define, though the Atlanta artist is one of the most electrifying rappers to emerge in recent times. When it comes to technical skill and lyrical dexterity, Flocka is not exactly proficient. But that’s not what we’ve come to expect from him. The energy he brings to the mic is unrivalled, as showcased in the hood anthem ‘Hard In Da Paint’, produced by steady collaborator Lex Luger.
That track still stands as one of the hardest trap anthems out there. Since its 2010 release, the trend of marrying trap and EDM has taken off; the two genres’ unbridled hype capabilities proving a more than potent complementary force. As such, I find Flocka in typical circumstances. He’s speaking on the phone while on tour with EDM heavyweights Steve Aoki and Borgore, and the potential for studio collaborations with the DJs is a distinct possibility in the near future. “Honestly, this is one of the best tours I’ve even been on,” says Flocka. “The energy on this tour is amazing, it’s so positive with the party vibe. Everything so turnt and everyone just wanna party, party, party. I feel like it’s all one big-ass party. Everything I do.”
Showing his thirst for smashing through genre barriers, Flocka has teased the prospect of touring with metal titans Lamb Of God. As of now, Flocka is scarce on details on his future plans, but his excitement is palpable. “I can’t wait, it’s looking good,” he says in his trademark gravelly cadence.
Last year saw the release of Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family, Flocka’s second commercially released album, with guest spots from artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Trey Songz, Ludacris, Meek Mill and more. The diverse offering of tracks on the album saw experimentation with a broader range of styles to varying levels of success. Triple F Life will be followed up by the recently delayed Flockaveli 2, the sequel to Flocka’s debut album. “All my vocals are done, just working on my mixes,” he says. “It’s gon’ be crazy, man, I can’t wait.” As for dividing time between the studio and the road, Flocka is philosophical. “It’s a balance, man, know what I’m sayin’? Doing shows, it’s all music.”
I ask what Flocka does in his downtime to unwind, but he says there isn’t really a downtime at this stage in his life. “It’s not about me right now. I might have a couple of massages, then I’m back workin’. It’s not about me right now,” he reiterates. “It’s all work.”
Not limiting his pursuits to purely musical media, Flocka is the star of the recently released WakaVille, a zombie-slaying video game for mobile platforms. It’s indicative of his grander vision for legacy-building. “It’s amazing, man, it’s like the start, the start of a dynasty right now. The whole business is more than just music. This right here is my baby steps. We just keep moving forward and keep making history.”
As for what Australian audiences can expect for Flocka’s debut tour, chances are we’re in store for a rap show like we’ve never seen before. “I’m just gonna come do what the hell I do.” Simple as that.
BY LACHLAN KANONIUK