Common and Waka Flocka Flame aren’t exactly cut from the same cloth, but it doesn’t mean the veteran Chi-Town MC can’t appreciate the riotous rapper. Long considered an MC’s MC, Com didn’t take offense to Waka mocking lyricism when he first stepped on the scene. The rapper/actor recently jumped on stage with Flocka as the Clayton County rep performed at Kanye West’s show during Paris Fashion Week. Here, he tells XXL what he likes about the magazine’s June cover star. As told to Carl Chery (@cchery)
I think [Waka] brings a certain energy, a warrior energy to hip-hop that is really rooted in what Atlanta has been, but it’s still can touch all over the country and the world now. Basically, I just think he brings a high energy to hip-hop. I was already nice [at Paris Fashion Week]. I’d been drinkin’ and then, what I’m sayin’ about his music, it creates an energy that make you wanna move and make you wanna go and just get charged and get that energy goin’. I got up there. I wanted to get up there. I had been hangin’ with Waka for some of the day. We had just been hangin’ out, just trippin’ out. He came up and when I first got to Paris, we was stayin’ at the same hotel and he came up. I was about to go to some shop and he came up and said, “Man, I really respect you. I was like, “Damn, that’s Waka Flocka. What’s up, man? We started talkin’ and I hooked back up with him and we kicked it for the night. I just was like, “Yo, this is my guy.” I like the guy. I like him as a person. I felt like I’m charged off his music. The same way you get the feelin’ in a club, you watchin’ him perform, you feel like, man this is a good energy. He’s a really smart dude, a smart guy that is really a good dude and he knows… To me one of the most important things about being an artist is being aware and he’s aware. He’s like, “Man, I just started doin’ this, really so I got a long way to go. I wanna learn and go on to do different things. That says a lot to me. It’s a certain confidence he got, but a certain humility he got in knowin’ that he’s still growin’ too. It’s just freedom in that, to be able to just say what you feel, say who you are. That’s what real is, when you talk about real. You want the truth, people to come out and just speak they mind. The things that, you know, some people are embarrassed to say, they say. I respect those guys and artists and women the most, the people that just speak they mind. I love that he came out and said what he felt ’cause, I mean, who are we to judge what that meant. We ain’t the gatekeepers of hip-hop. We love the music. We love the culture. But, I mean, that’s his experience and that’s what he felt. And it’s somethin’ about him that … he got a soul to him that’s like, that I feel I see why people respond to his music. You gotta have somethin’ to make that many people respond record after record, even deliverin’ them songs that’s been movin’ an audience, man. Like, movin’ people as far as gettin’ people to move and dance and get charged and stuff.