UPDATE: Waka Flocka released the entire Flockaveli 1.5 mixtape on his Soundcloud page this morning. Here it is:
When you roll out of the pregame with your homies on a Friday night and tag your last Instagram #squad, it’s because of Waka Flocka Flame. His battle cry of “Bricksquaaaaad” has influenced a generation, and he just churned out a powerful street-inspired turn up collection with Flockaveli 1.5. Arriving five years after his debut album, Flockaveli, 1.5 is available for free, as of today, in order to circumvent a dispute with Waka’s label, Atlantic Records. Rest assured, 1.5 is merely a precursor to the much anticipated Flockaveli 2, scheduled for release by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can get a taste of 1.5 below with the first single, “Blue and Red,” a rowdy trap tune produced by 808 Mafia’s Southside and Metro Boomin.
While he was riding through Atlanta, Waka took a call from Playboy.com to discuss his latest political antics, his quest for “rapping reality” and his tips for rolling a good blunt.
In April, you made an announcement that you were running for President on the basis of legalizing marijuana, aka “gas.” A few days later, MTV released an interview where you endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. In May, you retweeted Bernie Sanders, the only candidate who supports legalization, stating, “You’re the man, bro.” Are you holding on to your Hillary endorsement?
Bernie Sanders is the man. I love Bernie. But honestly, I always say Hillary because how many men have we had that were awesome but couldn’t do the job? At home, the woman always runs the house the best, correct? So give a woman a shot at getting her house corrected. We’re at a point right now where we need someone to hold it all together.
In light of the events in Paris, and as a victim of gun violence, do you agree with [NRA head] Wayne LaPierre’s statement, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”?
That’s it. There’s no other way.
Is there any situation where open carry is inappropriate?
I think, like, a bar. They’re drinking alcohol there. That isn’t cool.
In the case of the Paris attack, they were at a concert venue, where alcohol was served.
A gun isn’t gonna stop a killer from killing. In Europe, they ain’t got no guns, and they already have about 130 murders. A gun can’t stop a killer. A killer’s gonna kill. Only thing that can stop a killer is a good guy. Stay strapped is the motto, man.
How have you grown since the first Flockaveli, and how does 1.5 reflect that?
The only thing that’s changed in 1.5 is that my words got better — how I’m putting my words together, my confidence in my words. The content is still the same. Flockaveli 2 is all about my fans and my homeboys. I ain’t going for content, I ain’t going for album sales. I’m not going for singles. I’m going for the street. I ain’t doin’ it for no corporate America. I’m doing this shit for the trap. If you love trap music, you’re gonna love the album. That’s just how it is. My music is street music. I ain’t got no hip-hop; I got street music. If you don’t like street music, you’re not gonna like Flockaveli. I just like turning the fuck up, so Flockaveli 1.5 is turn-up music for the people that love me.
There’s a big difference between hip-hop based trap music and EDM trap. Mainly the former is identified by its lyrics and the latter is instrumental and defined by its drops. As a hip-hop trap musician, do you think EDM trap is inauthentic?
You could look at it that way, but how I took it is they’re acknowledging that they love trap music. So it’s a difference of trap music coming from our culture and our surroundings. And trap EDM was influenced by it, but they’re just bringing it to their culture, so their culture is called trap EDM and not trap music.
Considering you’re giving out 1.5 for free, how do you feel about free music streaming like Spotify? Is it inhibiting artists?
It ain’t hurting me; I’m a great artist. That shit helped me. If you are a person dependent on pulling money off people’s pockets, then yeah it hurts you. But if you’re a person that just loves what you do and you enjoy it, then you’re gonna get the money. The people that are against [free] streaming are just dinosaurs. That’s it. They need to get with the program.
So how are the disputes going on between you and Atlantic Records? Are you still in the middle or is it almost over?
We’re in the final stage of it. Just know that I’m about to be a free agent. That’s all I can say. We gotta end right now. Everybody’s gonna know everything. Ain’t gonna be no secrets. The only secret about me is my recipe. I can’t tell you how I make my oatmeal.
So how would you describe your recipe?
I can’t give you no answer, man. The only hint you’re gonna get is the smell of the aroma of the cooking. People get the aroma of Waka Flocka.
The few times I’ve been to hip-hop shows in Atlanta, I noticed they resembled ’80s punk shows. Kids were dressed in skinny jeans with patches on leather jackets. Mohawks and mosh pits were rampant. Performers were stagediving. Is hip-hop the new punk rock?
It’s punk rock hip-hop. They’re all students of Flocka school. Flocka University.
As you were coming up, did you have any rock influences?
In my time with 808 Mafia, we started like rock stars. I never did a beat without guitars and loud, distorted bass.
As Juaquin, the real you, give one piece of advice to Waka, the performer.
I used to have this problem where I had to be the realest rapper ever. I gotta show my boys. I gotta take care of everybody. But then one day I woke up, and I was just crippling myself. Like I had to keep it gangsta, I gotta walk around with a pistol everywhere, I gotta fuck n@#$^s up every time they say something to me. Like I just wanted to be that ultimate gangster. But I already was a G, so I was going beside myself in Hollywood and the whole image of a hip-hop artist. It got to me. So I was like, Yo. Open up and be yourself. Really become great. So then I wanted to do something different from every other artist in my generation. That’s why I took a trip overseas and just put myself on tour. I put together a $1.2 million budget together with my team, and I’m like, “Yo. I’m not looking for money back. I’m just looking for new ideas.”
As a musician, what is your area of expertise? What skill do you feel that you’re best at?
Energy. I feel most confident on stage. Point. Blank. Period. Energy.
Where does that come from?
I’ve always been this way. Whenever there were times for me to handle my business, I’ve always been this way. I’ve always been excited. I’ve always been happy. I’ve always been ready to fucking sweat. That was my motto, man: “If we ain’t sweating, we ain’t having fun.”
Where would you like to improve?
I always want to rap reality. That’s what I called it: rapping reality. And I never knew how to rap reality because I never took the time out to understand reality. To learn the laws. To learn the history. To learn my heritage. To learn the games that labels play. To learn people as a person. So once I learned all of that, and I got back reading heavily, then I just went into a meditation, and that right there elevated me. It elevated my mind. Elevated everything with me as a business man and how I conducted myself. It changed my whole spirit of music.
It looks like marijuana might be legal in the United States sooner than later. Can you give the noobies some blunt rolling tips?
They don’t know that they’re supposed to wet the blunt and clean it off. I’m talking about [cigar brand] Backwoods. You wet the blunt fully and dap it. Like put it in a napkin and fold it and wash all the residue. All that shit that gets on your lips. You gotta clean the blunt. Before you roll it, you grab it, fold it together from both ends so you can have a complete blunt. And you have to have more than fucking three grams. That’s the only way you can twist it.