Love and hip-hop are not two words generally spoken within the same sentence, unless of course you’re a fan of the long-running, scripted reality series. While there are plenty of rappers who have stood the test of time with their spouses, there are still dozens more who enjoy playing the field and keeping their options open. As most of us know, Waka Flocka Flame used to be that guy, but after locking it down with his wife, singer and entrepreneur Tammy Rivera-Malphurs, the “Trap My Ass Off” rapper’s life has significantly changed for the better.

“I used to be one of those people that say, ‘Yo, fuck these bitches,'” Waka tells XXL. "'I don’t need no bitch.’ When I got a woman, I was like, ‘You right. It’s fuck these bitches.’”

The happily wedded partners began dating in 2010, and proceeded to elope on Jan. 21, 2014. Today marks Waka and Tammy's four-year wedding anniversary. Throughout the years, fans of the two have watched their relationship play out on both Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and social media—even the not-so-good moments, like when the two temporarily split in 2016, due to Waka cheating.

Nevertheless, Waka enjoys every minute of his marriage with Tammy since their reunion. When it comes to what he appreciates most about his wife, it's the little things. “Having that significant other at the moments when you really need somebody to just to talk to," the 31-year-old shares. "It’s them hugs. I don’t know, man. It’s like, when that lil' lady hug me, man, I just turn into a toddler. And just to have somebody next to you that can do that, that shit feel amazing.”

Since Waka's been through both the good and the bad in his marriage, he's got some pointers for newly-engaged couples like Offset and Cardi B, whose highly-publicized relationship took a turbulent turn towards the end of 2017. “My advice for them is keep your house strong," Waka advises. "Don’t let nobody get inside your household and change your opinions and the way you feel about your spouse or your significant other. I think y’all should always have an understanding and have a ground; y’all should always talk about things, like, ‘Baby, if this happened,’ or ‘What if this happened?’ I think it should always be y’all two agreeing on whatever happens next, before anybody else put words in y’all mouth or ideas in your mind.”

For couples who jumped the broom years ago and are still holding strong—or not—the rhymer believes the key to marital longevity is keeping things fresh. “Y’all gotta keep going out, y’all gotta do different shit," suggests Waka, whose Flockaveli 2 album arrives this year. "Y’all can’t just sit home, watch TV, fuck, eat food, go to family events; y’all gotta travel.”

Waka, who uses his sky miles to travel with Tammy quite frequently, believes a lot of marriages fail because of work and partners distancing themselves from one another over time. “You have to experience shit together, for the first time,” he adds before admitting awareness is another crucial factor.

“You gotta be cautious and you have to think when you make moves, because you’re representing another person,” the humbled husband admits. “So you have to approach things from a perspective of being a married man; on top of being an artist; on top of being a celebrity. You have to stand for damn-near the same things she stands for. So if somebody ask me a question, I damn-near gotta answer it how both of us feel, not just how I feel. How would she look at it? It’s always ‘How would Tammy look at this?’ or ‘What does Tammy think?’ So it’s like that.”

As Waka and Tammy enter their fourth year of marital bliss today, which will likely be full of celebration, the Atlanta native has this to say about their union: "That shit so right, and it can never be wrong no matter how wrong the situation might be or how it should look. The energy and the vibe is always there; it never left."

Now that's something to celebrate.

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