Waka Flocka Flame: The Game Belongs to Me

Whether you love him, or hate him, Waka Flocka Flame’s name has been on the lips of most hip-hop fans for some time now. Often offbeat, strangely compelling and an always energetic flow, Waka already has legions of fans banging his songs—most notably his breakout single “O Let’s Do It,” that song’s remix, which featured Diddy and Rick Ross, and his newest banger “Hard in the Paint.”

For many, Waka’s unique, adrenaline-filled anthems get the party started, others look down at the void that he leaves lyrically, but no one can deny the superb, hit-quality of the records. What the young gun does provide is incredible beat selection (“Hard in the Paint” was a breakout hit for producer Lex Luger), unabashed honesty, and compelling rhyme patterns. All of these qualities combined have made this 23 year-old Georgia representative (by way of Queens, NY) a household hip-hop name. So as he prepares to release his official solo debut, Flockavelli later this year, Waka aims to dispel the critics’ notions that he’s no more than a one-hit wonder. He’s actually three hits in already, but who’s counting, right?

XXLMag.com: Not many people know that you’re a native New Yorker?

Waka Flacka Flame: I was born in New York, raised in Riverdale Plain County, [Georgia]… Jamaica, Queens, Farmers [Blvd.]. I [lived in Atlanta] but I always was coming back. Always!

Did growing up both in NY and ATL influence your style and music?

I think that played a major factor.

When did you realize that you wanted to pursue a career as an entertainer?

About five years ago, when I seen that a lot of people really was drawn into what I say, and really fuck with me as person and what I talk about on tracks, I was really like, Okay, I can’t stop now. [When I made my first song] I was just playin’, and they loved it. Aye, bro, I just made some shit playin’ [around], and Gucci was like, “This shit sounds hard!” So, one day, he was like, “Aye, where’s that CD at? Bring that shit on the road this week.” Man, he made me play that shit at a show. I was being quiet like, Oh, what the fuck goin’ on? Then he got locked up. Then I made a song called “Dreads and Golds,” and then “O Let’s Do It,” and then I just went with a whole mixtape. So, by the time [Gucci] got out, it was circulatin’.

For the record, what really happened between you and Gucci? What’s the beef?

Nothin’ happened! The media took a brotherly argument [and turned it in] to a separation. We was getting so far apart from each other, we was like, “Hold up, boy.” But, nah, there wasn’t no argument. Just brotherly shit, like you argue with your brother, or friend like, “Man, what the fuck? Yeah, aight, shit.” That’s normal human being shit. But they took it like, “Oh, they rappers, aye, they broke up.” There’s nothing wrong. We working on the Brick Squad [album] and all that. We turnin’ it up.

Where did you get the name for your album, Flockaveli?

Flockaveli came from Tupac introducing me to the story of [Niccolò] Machiavelli. Like, I always wanted to know, like, Who’s Machiavelli? Damn, how Tupac come up with that crazy name? I was a kid [at the time] so when I learned Machiavelli, I was into it, but I wasn’t. When I got older like 18, 17, I start reading it. That’s back when I was into 48 Laws of Power, and he used to have examples of Machiavelli. And I think that’s where they got 48 Laws of Power, from Machiavelli. I think Machiavelli, the strategies of war; I say the art of war. ’Cause Machiavelli was a manipulator that played his enemies against each other.

How did that theme relate to the music on the album?

It wasn’t my music, it’s what I was doin’ at the time. I was going through it. Injuries, thefts, like mentally. Physically, I ain’t even gotta touch y’all. Mentally, I make you just wanna jump out your skin like [whispers], “God damn, Waka doin’ that?” Or a lot of people might be like, “Damn, Waka don’t deserve what he got.” But you don’t know what I’m doin’.

Have you seen some of the parodies of you online, like the “#ShawtBusShawty” video on YouTube? Do things like that make you mad?

I like that shit, that shit funny! Upset? For what? I’m a grown ass man. That shit do not make me mad.

People criticize you for your lack of lyricism, do you think about the criticism when you’re writing now?

Oh, yeah, I do. I’m not gon’ lie, that’s what made me make “Hard in the Paint.”

Why do you think that you don’t you get the credit you deserve?

I think I’m gettin’ the credit I deserve. I don’t think I paid enough dues to be the shit. ‘Cause I don’t ever wanna be the shit, I just wanna be in the position to help people, period, point blank, cut! But I’m payin’ my dues. Enough work I put in, I think I’m getting enough respect for.

Speaking of respect, what’s it like working with major artists like Diddy and Rick Ross?

Like a kid watching TV that just jumped inside the TV he was watching. Just excitement!

You’re fame and popularity is growing daily, do you ever feel any pressure to keep up?

I felt pressure when I got shot. I felt pressure like, Damn, man, what if people think I just gave up like I was a sucka, man? I really… I went out with some heart. Like real talk. That’s why I never made stupid interviews about it, ‘cause I’m like, Bro, for what? I said what I had to say, it’s out, shit gone! It was a stress relief. It was a relief.

Word is you want to release 20 mixtapes by next year?

Yup! I would just be giving over 100 people opportunities. It’s basically something I wanna do, like a goal for yourself. I don’t wanna be the best lyrical person, none of that. Wait, I take that back. I don’t wanna be the best “rapper,” best verse, best none of that, I just wanna make some money and give people opportunities.

You definitely rap from your heart, though. What do you think has been your most meaningful lyric to date?

From “Fuck Dis Industry” I said: “Lord take my back, the devil entered me/Fuck this industry, bitch I’m in these streets/They say, ‘Tears is pain’, I call that bullshit/’Cause when I’m finished crying, I’m back to this bullshit.” That was just… That’s my favorite. — Jonathan Bonanno

  • caino

    Like with Nikki Minaj l’ll give the dudes music a quick listen, but l’m still waiting to hear somthing l like or somthing to justify the hype!!

    • change

      Wacka Flacka is a fake, joke, he ain’t no MC or real hip hop artist. People please wake up & realize he has no vocabulary or hot bars. He is lame & stop wasting your money & downloading time on this dude. I mean he’s from Gucci Manes crew I know ya’ll wasn’t expecting greatness, I KNOW I Wasn’T.

      • Marlon

        Hell Nawl U Tweakin

      • waka wifey

        ok see first of all “change” you need 2 stop waistin time hatin on waka he is a real hip hop artist u jus dont kno wat u r sayin and aint nun wrong wit gucci crew dey sum beast and dont try 2 come at waka head jus cuz u aint got nun betta 2 do and dont act like if u tell people 2 stop listenin 2 him dont mean they are cuz u aint nobody u need 2 get yo mind right cuz waka is da shit bitch!

        • Dummy Slappa

          You sound dumb as fuck with that comment. But I’mma cut you some slack, you probably some 16yr old girl who thinks Flocka is a “sexy ass nigga”. SMFH.

  • Q461

    Nah. Homey’s garbage. That Flockaveli album title is straight blasphemy too.

    • joe p

      THIS NIGGA IS HORRIBLE …. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO FUCKING BUM

      • DA1&ONLY

        ALL YALL DUMB AS BITCHES COULD SHUT THE FUCK UP COMIN @ WAKA LIKE DAT LIL DICK ASS BASTARDS!!!

        • Dummy Slappa

          How exactly DOES Flocka’s dick taste?

  • matty21

    REAL SHIT… i think people r gonna stop hating more and more, n da ones dat keep hating, might as well kill demselves, cuz it dont look like its gonna stop(and waka has room 2 grow too, like he said he’s paying his dues, he understands growth as an artist and what u gotta go through as an artist, dats really important 2 understand i think, BUTT sum people r gonna hate no matter what)…n when u got dat good in your heart like dat(“i just wanna help people and give people opportunities), u CANNOT BE STOPPED, only death n yourself can stop u, n real gonna ride with it, or at least respect it… n: “They say, ‘Tears is pain’, I call that bullshit/’Cause when I’m finished crying, I’m back to this bullshit.”

  • Mr. Redz

    This nigga is str8 trash!!! He can’t spit at all,
    stop with the bullshit and show real emcee’s not these fake ass non rhyming ass niggas who can’t out rap yo gabba gabba.

  • swype-matic

    “Hatin” and constructive criticism are 2 different things. Dumb motherfuckers (like Waka Flocka) need to realize that.

    • the1987kid

      That is the absolute truth my man, niggas don’t know the difference they are ignorant.

  • sATaLyte

    please save this gah-bage nigga shit for ozone magazine.

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  • Black Shady

    call me hater, i dont give a fuck. this nigga is GARBAGE!

  • fredd

    waka waka waka. u da man flocka keep doin it and dont let anyone get u down. some people just dont like slaps they like book rap. all big words and dictionaries no good flows. GET YOUR NOSES OUTTA BOOKS!

    • swype-matic

      I hope you were tryin to be funny with the ‘get your noses outta books’ line, cause if not, you are the dumbest man alive to ever post on a message board.

    • Da Illest

      Nah man, Ill never stop reading books. I actually want to be smart and hold a decent conversation with my employers

    • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

      “some people just dont like slaps they like book rap. all big words and dictionaries no good flows. GET YOUR NOSES OUTTA BOOKS!”

      ^ comment fail of the century

      • Notorious AGC

        @ $yk

        i believe he was dissin Nas,Jay-z,Em,Biggie,pac,krs-one,ice cube,wu-tang clan, and any other rapper that aint from the south or him LMAO

        • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

          I thought “slap” was an E-40 term?

          Regardless, anyone telling the next one to put the books down is a strictly automatic fail. And I bet homie thought he was being real gully and street with it too.

    • Kasim Allah

      You are an idiot squared.

    • http://www.myspace.com/slotchmusic ms_spittuh

      If my doctor never kept her nose in her books I’d have ovarian cancer… get tha fuck out of here with that shit. You don’t even deserve pussy with that dumb ass shit X-(

    • http://twitter.com/JETSNTAYLORS Taylor

      Fredd? did yo ignorant ass really say get your noses outta books sheesh no more faith in humanity

  • El Tico Loco

    For one, you don’t need big words and dictionaries to have a nice flow, Biggie and Big L didn’t so limited vocabulary is a bad excuse to be wack on the mic, just be clever with your shit, he’s not even attempting to be clever or trying to make a point. I’m surprised this dude came from NY thinking like he does, I thought he was a straight up Clayco nigga (Clayton not Plain), now I can’t even defend him anymore.

    Homey step it up, I may be considered a hater tho I’m not, but your enablers aren’t your friends either. Because friends don’t let friends rhyme wack.

    • King Joffy Joe

      “Friends don’t let friends rhyme wack.” I swear, that comment needs to be on a bilboard right next to the drunk driving ad!

  • Money Mitch

    Homey step it up, I may be considered a hater tho I’m not, but your enablers aren’t your friends either. Because friends don’t let friends rhyme wack. LOL FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS RHYME WHACK!! Very well put my friend!! This man is Garbage someone get a dumpster!!

  • http://yahoo BigOklahgoma Smoke

    Most of yall nigga is straight haters. This dude is makin real crunk shit. Thats it he’s not sayin he no lil wayne he jus trying to make some cool get the party started shit. So fa all the mops heads (nigga wit dreads) out there keep swangin em an waka keep the hits comin.

    IN Plus my self being True LOC i still bang that flocka. He comin wit hood real nigga shit dont no color get in the way of that. So quit hatin or critizin the nigga an let make money. YOUNG FRESH from OKC OK come fuc wit Waka

    • Mr. Redz

      Look here homie that nigga is flat out trash!!!! You only care about that crunk beat.
      Nobody hating on him but we do hate that dumb shit coming out his mouth.

  • HU

    He should stick to singles and not release an album. People who actually go to stores and purchase CD’s will not buy Waka(read White people and educated people). Waka appeals to the lowest common denominator, the dumbest of the dumb and the hoodest of the hood. These people do not spend 14 bucks on cd’s.

    Accordingly, due to a number of societal reasons which I won’t go into “rappers” like Waka will continue to flourish. Poverty and ignorance continue to grow and Waka’s success reflects that.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com clarkie246

    it’s funny how we have embraced the ignorance that some rappers protray,SLAVERY really has worked

  • KoolAid Dick

    @^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Shut the fuck up before I put the world’s biggest dick inside all of you niggas’ orifices. Then I’ll blast a shitload of cum into your faces and make you pansy bitches kiss each other with it in your face. I’m on the prowl for some boy pussy, so I wish one of you niggas would.

    • Kasim Allah

      You are a straight up dick-in-the-booty-ass nigga. You shut the fuck up, and suckle your momma’s titty like a good inbred boy.

      • KoolAid Dick

        i’ll stretch armstrong your asshole, BITCH!!!!!!!!

  • http://babyfacemonster.blogspot.com babyfacemonster

    he even sounds dumb in regular conversation….damn

  • http://www.bboycult.com $yk

    I would like to add on, that for the cats out there calling others “haters”, you gave no type of debatable proof, songs or any type of sustenance that would even change one’s mind about Waka.

    matty’s the only one who drew it up in a different light.

  • Anonymous

    those were some of the greatest comments ever god bless us

  • balaramesh

    @HU,

    that was classic. much success to that dude anyway.

  • Notorious AGC

    we was like, “Hold up, boy.” But, nah, there wasn’t no argument. Just brotherly shit, like you argue with your brother, or friend like, “Man, what the fuck? Yeah, aight, shit.” That’s normal human being shit”

    THOSE ARE STRAIGHT QUOTES and reasons why I don’t respect most or (any) of these new rappers coming out….i HATE how xxl is giving these stupid ass idiots with “good” beats article space…fuckin amazin’.

  • Gotta Wonder

    Worst case of( if you want to call this music)I ever heard. No time , no thought, No craftsmen ship at All Not a bit of respect for the Artform . What Hits?! I know he ain’t referring to that fly by bullshit single. This nigga drop a album, it would sell about a 100 copies. His Mama, need to stop managing him, and manage to put his No vocab Ass back to school. You know this nigga is str8 dumb, when you say on national TV ” I’mma go back to school to study Geometry ” What da fuck?!!!, You was suppose to learn that in Public school, you fuckin shit for brains! Stay da fuck away from mics period. You making the Hood look bad, stead of uplifting them.

  • nicholasdelorejo

    See this is my problem with Wacka Flocka. It’s not that he makes club/Crunk music. Shit Lil Jon has built his career off it and nobody really complains about it. But the thing is even though artists like Nelly, FLo-rida, Lil Jon, ect… weren’t the best lyricists, the overall quality of their music (production, lyrics, hooks, ect) was still much better than Flocka’s music. I don’t mind rappers making club, dance, or even “kiddie” music. Just try to make music and not make chants over a shitty drum beat. That’s what annoys me about Wacka and a lot of the artists on the radio. Their music isn’t exeptional and it comes off as some half-ass shit that anyone can make. The bar for making quality music is so low for these dudes. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland can’t rap for shit but their still commited to making quality music. Wacka just does enough to make a tipsy folks suffle to his music.

  • Anonymous

    Im coppin it, feelin the name Flockavelli. Nigga got nuts 4 that 1. That album is gonna b hard.

  • sevdemy

    I just want to point out that Waka’s comment board brought out a broad throwing up her ovarian cancer like Wesside and a fucktard denouncing books.

    This should be an article itself.

  • 6 100

    “I think Machiavelli. . . I say the art of war. ”

    Flocka read the wrong book.

    Sun Tzu wrote “The Art of War,” a book on war strategy

    Machiavelli wrote “The Prince,” a pamphlet on how an ideal ruler should rule his kingdom. Mind you, the kingdom was a city-state(very small), and many scholars believe “the Prince” is a satire making fun of the King of Florence.

    For a book that most historians believe makes Machiavelli look like a childrens book, try “Arthashastra,” pretty much how to be an emperor

  • to 6 100

    Do your online research son, Sun Tzu wrote Art of War. And Machiavvelli did wrote a different book with the same name. Stop hating son. Flocka all these haters online gonna cop your album son, it should be better than ashton martin muzic (ROZAY) (LOL)

    • 6 100

      True, but Machiavelli’s “Art of War” is just tactical bullshit. He pretty much says to fight a war how ancient civilizations did i.e run into the line of gun fire with pikes.

      You think thats a sound tactic?

  • ^^^TYPO

    did wrote a different = (did write a different) fuk u online reader for correcting me in your mind, nah im fukin witchu.

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  • http://www.myspace.com/cmatamoros Cory M

    I FUCK WITH FLACKA ALL DAY BUT THAT LIL B SHIT NEED 2 GO.SEE PEOPLE DONT UNDERSTAND FLOCKA AND GUCCI AND OJ AND THEM GUYS..BECAUSE HOW THAY REP THE GEHTTO AND THE HOODS AND SETS AND ALL DAT. PEOPLE DONT LIKE DAT.CUZ THAT DONT NO WHAT ITS LIKE 2 BE THERE.THAY NEVER SEEN A DOPE MAN OR A CRACK HEAD WAKEIN AROUND.WHERE THAY STAY AND FOR GUys LIKE OJ/GUCCI/WAKA RAPPIN ABOUT REAL SHIT THAY DONT LIKE DAT!!THAY LIKE GUYS LIKE lil wayne/JAY-Z/ t-pain OR SHOULD I SAY RADIO MUISC..IM NOT SAYING THE BAD RAPPERS OR NOTHING BUT THATS WHAT THAY PLAY THE MOST IS THES GYS SO WHEN REAL STREET MUISC HIT THE RADIO PEOPLE DONT LIKR DAT AT ALL…

  • YUNG HOTBOY

    wats the point of ppl hatin on a man thats just tryna provide for his fam he dont have to know how to rap sumbody gon like it regardless n hes doin a hell of a job at it so i haterz kan hate all dey want waka not goin nowhere n u kant stop his grind by sayin negative shit u not payin him nor n his position while he gettin money u at the house leaving hella comments about em now whos doin betta wit they life??? HATERZ KILL YASELF STR8 FROM YUNGN twitter.com/yungnonline

  • KiNGPiN

    this nigga pretty much the new version of lil jon he plays that head bangin shit not really lyrical