This is a rebranding year for Waka. When he isn’t dodging Twitter beef and clumsy lawsuits from Gucci Mane, he’s busy entering the app-based video game world, touring with the EDM crowd, turning 27 and being newly engaged. “It’s time to be a man, start to mature my lyrics and start to upgrade the sound,” he says. Me, I still confidently hold up Waka’s debut album Flockaveli as a trap classic and the best kind of ratchet. And now, three years later, Flocka’s attempting to recreate its success with the release of his third album Flockaveli II. His 2012 effort Triple F Life: Friends Fans and Family didn’t perform as well as his first but still managed to produce bangers like Round of Applause and Rooster in my Rari.
You either love or hate Waka Flocka Flame at this point. It is possible to do both in one lifetime, maybe even in the same night. But his energy will eventually infect any of his haters. Try hearing ‘Grove St. Party’ at an actual party and not turn up.
You’re on tour with Steve Aoki right now. How did you guys link up?
We felt like this would be one turnt-up tour. So Steve and I had our teams connect because the people needed this. It’ll change the course of music.
You’ve been in Europe a lot lately. What is it about your music that gets Europeans so excited?
I think Europeans gravitate towards the energy. There’s something about the music that makes you want to have a great time. It’s just the energy.
You and Steve had Iggy Azalea do a show with you guys. What do you think of her?
I think Iggy is a wonderful artist. She just needs that one record that’ll break her through and hit the airwaves so she can stand on two feet. She’s well on her way to becoming a superstar.
How is Flockaveli II going?
I can officially say I’m done. And I can’t wait to drop this record because I’ve got nothing but classics.
You said somewhere you named it this because you wanted to go back to the sound you had on the original Flockaveli, your debut. What did you mean by that?
In other words, it’s about going back to the essence – how I started. I learned a lot about music in the last three-and-a-half years. It’s time to go back to the hardcore Waka Flocka music because I’ve been dabbling in a lot of other sounds and other people’s genres. Now it’s time to get back to my lane because I feel like my lane is getting crowded. There are too many vehicles driving in my lane, so it’s time for me to conquer it once again.
Are you working with Lex Luger again?
I’ve mostly been working with 808 Mafia.
I heard Drake is on the album.
Drake is not on the album.
What about Amanda Bynes?
Amanda Bynes is not on the album.
Nah… like, stuff came up and I got too busy with my career. Her situation got complicated. So I felt like I had to move on.
So you don’t know where she is? She kinda fell off the radar.
Nah. I don’t know where she is.
Negative! Negative. Only thing Gucci about me is my clothes.
Your mom actually managed Gucci and Nicki Minaj when they blew up. Did she have anything to do with you getting into rap.
No. I went out on my own and started. And it was how the fans responded to my music that got me going.
You’re engaged now. Is life different than it was before?
Right now I’ve got a lot people looking at me who are younger than me. I’m a man now, and I just feel like there’s a lot of stuff I can’t do anymore because I’m just too old to.
Yeah. That was pretty hilarious. There was about 11 poems or something.
Waka Flocka Flame Australian tour
Melbourne – Wednesday 18 December @ Billboard
Perth – Thursday 19 December @ Metropolis Fremantle
Sydney – Friday 20 December @ HiFi
Brisbane – Saturday 21 December @ HiFi