When he burst onto the scene in 2010, Waka Flocka Flame said something that would kind of shock the hip-hop world. This idea of saying something charged is nothing new, but this was different.
“I’m straight blunt. I ain’t got time for lyrics," Waka admitted in a radio interview months before debut album Flockaveli dropped. "I don’t even care about selling records. As long as I get them shows for $15,000, four to five days out the week, I’m happy.”
Kind of a wild thing to say - but at the time, Waka was certainly courting attention. Born Juaquin Malphurs in Queens, New York, Waka was raised in Atlanta adjacent to some local hip-hop heroes - his mom managed Gucci Mane for a time, and he gave the young emcee the latter two-thirds of his stage name as well as brought him into the 1017 Brick Squad collective.
What Waka may have lacked in deep lyrical messages, he made up for in vocal power; what was really cool was how he said whatever was on his mind. (Take "No Hands," the album's biggest hit: Waka's flow is rumbly, punctuated by rhythmic "BOW"s in the background.) Add to that some killer crunk beats from producer Lex Luger, and it's easy to see why Flockaveli debuted in the Top 10 in that first week of sales.
Though he's been comparatively quiet in recent years - he and Gucci fell out, and he's not put out a full-length record since 2012 - Flockaveli is a fun reminder of a simpler time in fun-time hip-hop.