Release Date: Jun 12, 2012
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Gangsta Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
In one of his new album’s more endearing moments, Atlanta MC Waka Flocka Flame eats a bag of chips, punctuating chomps with a zesty burp and a slurred "'scuse me." Consider it artistic growth; 2010's Flockaveli made no 'scuses for its mesmerizingly dumb intensity. Triple F is another set of barked strip-club salvos ("Versace on my ass/Two bands for my underwear/Foreign cars, foreign broads, baller of the year"), over high-hats and slurry synths from producer Lex Luger and a cast of lessers. Drake and Nicki Minaj add style, and one track is called "Power of My Pen," but classing up Waka is like putting a fig leaf over King Kong’s balls.
"No Hands" is the title of Waka Flocka Flame's biggest crossover hit, but it's also the A&R policy that allowed his debut, Flockaveli, to become the single most influential gangsta rap record of the new decade. Untouched by the executive meddling that often results in interminable delays and other clusterfucks when underground rappers transition to major labels, Flockaveli's "Hard in Da Paint" and "O Let's Do It" emphasized the elements that made the album work: Waka's all-hooks-and-ad-libs lyricism, the decimating bombast of Lex Luger's game-changing production, and an OCD-level commitment to unrepentant aggression not seen since the commercial peak of Ruff Ryders and No Limit. Predictably, there are hands all over Flocka's sophomore album, Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family: Goon-rap knuckleheads Kebo Gotti and Uncle Murda are swapped out for bankable stars (Nicki Minaj, B.
Like his Brick Squad brother Gucci Mane, Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame is good with the shouted hook and the drug-induced stumble, plus he's funny, able to drop witty punch lines and cool quips all the way through to verse number three while retaining his tattooed buffoon stance that projects "I couldn't care less, homie. " His sophomore effort, Triple F Life, threatens to confuse the issue with its subtitle dedication to "Friends, Fans & Family," but there's way too much strip-club music here to consider this a heartwarming concept album, so spend a solemn moment with the RIP dedication to Slim Dunkin -- Waka's friend and cohort who was murdered in late 2011 -- and then get ready for the expected slam session. Coming after the convincing street track "Let Dem Guns Blam," a booming Southside production with guest Meek Mill, the woozy, Lex Luger-helmed diamond "Round of Applause" offers glorious highlight number one, spitting "Pimpin' like I'm Dolemite, hos jump in my Caddy/Smoke like I got cataracts, in the strip club throwin' up them stacks" before borrowing a bit of YC's "Racks" because that street hit is so darn good.
Whenever a topline MC has a track in need of a guest-spot adrenaline shot, he asks Siri to summon Waka Flocka, who swoops in like a caffeinated Batman and unleashes his shout-first-ask-questions-later squall. The Queens-born, Atlanta-bred ”No Hands” rapper’s guttural lung-busting is ideal for cameos, but those same traits make for an exhausting album-length presence. Several tracks in, his second disc begins to bow under the weight of its own aggro intensity.
Hate him or love him, Waka Flocka Flame’s energy is hard to ignore. There is his intense delivery, the vigor in his yells and when matched with potent beats, it’s difficult to overlook his penchant for making street/club anthems. However, there is also another element that is hard to ignore. There is his “not into being lyrical” quote and his notion that being lyrical “ain’t finnin’ to get you no money.” As one might expect, all of that is present on his latest effort, but there are also some small surprises to be found on Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family.
Waka Flocka Flame’s sophomore set sounds nothing like its explosive predecessor, Flockaveli. An album that christened the hulking MC as ATL’s newest larger-than-life rap star, Flockaveli welcomed back the decimating aggression that went AWOL following the peak of gangsta rap enthusiasts Ruff Ryders (DMX! The Lox!) G-Unit, Dipset—and produced Waka’s biggest crossover hit to date, “No Hands. ” The question now is, where does that leave Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family, Waka’s second studio album? Dedicated to the three important F‘s in his life: friends, fans and family—and those who doesn’t fit any of the three get a big ‘F—You’ according to a recent tweet from his @WakaFlockaBSM account—Waka’s second effort displays exactly what a sophomore album is supposed to: growth.
THREE years ago Waka Flocka Flame arrived loudly with “O Let’s Do It,” a bumpy burst of rowdy boasts and gunfire onomatopoeia. It was a rough and tumble song in a time when that style was beginning to seem extinct. Not surprisingly, when he recorded it, the goal wasn’t to fit in to the hip-hop of the day. “When I made ‘O Let’s Do It,’ I ain’t have no intentions on being no rapper,” he recently told the Web site Life + Times.
Let's get one thing out of the way up front. The answer to the question you're asking right now is, "no." No, after two studio full-lengths, one collaborative album and more than two-dozen mixtapes, Waka Flocka Flame still can't rap. It's possible that as an MC, Flocka has actually regressed since 2010's Flockavelli, which is kind of impressive, in a twisted way.
Flocka’s latest tunes are sure to fit your local strip club’s set list. Marcus J. Moore 2012 “I’m from the South, where them old folks, they don’t mind their business,” rapper Waka Flocka Flame says on Candy Paint & Gold Teeth, a standout from Triple F Life. “Strip clubs is our culture, we some heavy spenders.” That quote not only captures the focus of Flocka’s new recording, it solidifies his career trek thus far.