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October 24th, 2012 MATTHEW SINGER | Music Stories
 

Primer: Waka Flocka Flame

music_wacka_3851IMAGE: Donna Permell

Born: 1986 in Queens, N.Y.

Sounds like: Club-destroying Southern hip-hop from a streetwise kid smart enough to know deep thoughts just slow down a good party.

For fans of: Lil Jon, Ludacris, Young Jeezy, going to strip clubs strictly for the music. 

Latest release: Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family, a trunk-rattling set of booming synth production and lyrical content best summed up by the line, “What the fuck is you thinking? Better yet, what the fuck is you drinking?”

Why you care: Well, if you’re one of those “empirical lyrical spherical miracle” types—that is, the kind of puritanical hip-hop head who believes rap is only about dense, dexterous rhyme skills—then chances are you’ll never care about Waka Flocka Flame, and you’re probably a drag to hang out with. But for the rest of us, the MC born Juaquin James Malphurs taps into hip-hop’s primal pulse the way the Stooges ripped out the heart of rock ’n’ roll in the late ’60s. Maybe he isn’t doing it in the name of Dionysian art like Iggy Pop was, but the effect is much the same. A dreadlocked, fully inked, transplanted ATLien with a delivery that alternates between a throaty shout and a narcotized drawl, Waka Flocka announced his arrival two years ago by proclaiming, “I go hard in the motherfucking paint,” and he indeed approaches his music with the no-bullshit force of a bruising power forward attacking the glass. It’s not cerebral, but it’s plenty visceral, and as no less an authority than Rakim once said, MC means “move the crowd.” Waka Flocka doesn’t just get crowds moving, he makes them jump, scream and throw ’bows at each other’s heads, and that’s all he needs to do.


SEE IT: Waka Flocka Flame plays Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave., on Tuesday, Oct. 30. 8 pm. $25. All ages.

 
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