Monday, October 11, 2010


Waka Flocka Flame's wonderfully named Flockaveli

The bad:
Most of the guest appearances by the less-known rappers are pretty forgettable, and there are a lot of them. The Wale verse in the middle of the otherwise excellent "No Hands" is such that I'm probably going to make an edit of the song without it ("I'ma put her on the train/little engine could" is the actual closing line of his verse) and the Gudda Gudda verse is a typically embarrassing affair.

The good:
Pretty much everything else. Driving from NY to Chicago and back in July, I told fellow traveller Molly (who loves Waka) that I didn't know if I could take a whole tape's worth of Waka at once but this album proves me about 100% wrong. He's not a bad rapper, but he's a great performer. If you think that ad-libs and yelling can only take a rapper so far, I think this might be the album to prove you wrong (listen to the last minute of "Bustin' At Em" to start. The mostly Lex Luger produced tracks are busy and jarring and loud-as-hell and they combine with Waka's energy as well as any producer-rapper tandem have in a while, and when Drumma Boy stops by with a Roscoe Dash hook for "No Hands", Wacka kills it as well. I'm still trying to figure out how this doesn't get boring for me over 72 minutes, but it's just such great high-energy rap that I keep putting it on. WAKA WAKA WAKA WAKA FLOCKA FLOCKA FLOCKA FIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT! (oh, also, there's a song with Pastor Troy called "Fuck the Club Up" so you should listen to this now).


Alex said...

aww, why the wale knock? he tosses out lines that no other rapper would think of. i mean, turning a children's book reference into a hardcore sexual metaphor..that's way more original than anything wakka says in his verse.

when i listen to wale, i often think, "wow i've never heard it put like that before."

when i listen to wakka, i think, "standard southern formula + charisma = very much done before"

Maciej said...

Your writing about Wale presents a disconnect for me, man, cuz, scout's honor, I've tried, and every time I hear him I think we're listening to two different rappers.

That line in particular, well, I haven't heard it put like that before, but I don't like it. That style of punchline (one thing->pause with no linking "like" or whatever->punchline) that has come into vogue in the last year and a half generally sounds really forced to me (Luda and Nikki kinda pull it off once in a while when they do funny voices), and this one specifically is a huge stretch as a pun besides.

Wacka is not a great lyricist, obviously, but the specific way he applies his energy (the absolutely ridiculous yelling, taking OJ's thing where he's yelling something in the background after every single line but making it hype instead of just kinda earwormy) is to me worth much more than anything I've ever heard from Wale.

Alex said...

yeah, wale's definitely a polarizing force. i realize a lot of people really don't like him. i'll admit that many of his rhymes can be super stretched, but as you can prob guess, i'm into originality, and that formula allows him to say somewhat novel things.

also his subject matter can be refreshing. did you check out his "more about nothing" mixtape? the song from the perspective of tiger woods is really telling. who else would think to write that? that mixtape as a whole is really strong. great sampling of seinfeld and solid production.

you're right that the "sentence. punchline" thing is getting tiresome. drake really forced it into the limelight, especially on that "forever" remix with ye, wayne & em. but now everyone's throwing it out there with varying levels of success.

that's what's great about the genre, though. eventually, that will fade out to be replaced by some new metaphoric trend.