waka flocka flying
Recently engaged and on the brink of releasing his fourth studio album to date, Flockavelli 2, featuring the king of crunk, Busta Rhymes, Brick squad Boyz member Waka Flocka Flame has come of age.
Partying with Rocky, Tyler and Kendrick, representing realness as opposed to promoting a fake luxe rapper lifestyle, 27 year old Juaquin James Malphurs is the world famous MC, Waka Flocka Flame. Recording with Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz, name checked in Eminem's epic, 101 words in 16 seconds, album track Rap God, collaborating with Steve Aoki and Pharrell Williams on his live show, this dreadlocked, 6ft 7 inch, fully tatted rapstar is the artist that hip hop and EDM producers alike are desperate to feature on their next record. Big lipped, gentle natured and wickedly humoured, Waka has been managed by his mum since day one and prioritises family and friends over success and fame. Releasing the first album, the original Flockaveli back in 2010, Waka has since found global fame and is now settling down with his fiancé, fashion designer Tammy Rivera, hoping to soon become her baby daddy. Inspired by how much fun he is having day to day, partying the world over, the Atlanta native believes Flockavelli 2 will be the most accomplished release of his career.
Openly discussing his very public disrepute with fellow label MC, Gucci Mane, much has been made of Waka's personal life throughout his career. His main weakness is a tendency towards being overly genuine and compassionate, characteristics usually a-typical of hip hop artists. More deservedly recognised for his feverant rap delivery and deep, throaty flow, Waka fills stadiums the world over. A crazy favourite with ladies, standing intimidating and tall, formidably handsome, Waka takes his self founded Brick Squad Monopoly record label crew and brothers on tour with him when he travels. Catching a spare moment to locate him alone, whilst checking in through customs at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, i-D chats to the ass-clapping curator of Shoot Me or Salute Me about bringing the rage, his forthcoming release and good style.
Where are you travelling to?
I'm on my way to Boston, Massachusetts in America. I'm coming from Canada, I'm in the airport. I just came from doing a show in Montreal and I have a show in Boston.
Who are you doing the show with?
Me, Steve Aoki and Borgore.
Where are you based at the moment?
I'm living in Atlanta, Georgia. Right now l've been working full on the new Flockaveli 2 album. I can't wait to put the music out. It's done now, all I gotta do is get it mixed now.
Who are the producers that you've been working with on the album?
I've been mixing with 808 Mafia, I've got beats from Rico Love, Jim Johnson, a lot of people.
How have you kind of progressed your sound with this new album? How do you think it will be challenging your audiences and your fans?
I know my audience will say my music has got clearer, my music's going to be clear. I'm sorry, I gotta go through security.
Did you get patted down?
Nah, they never bother me. The people in security know me so they know I'm not remotely dangerous.
Do you enjoy flying?
I love flying because of being around the people. I'd never fly private, it's just boring when you don't get to see nobody.
What are you going to do on this flight? What are you going to listen to or read?
I might listen to my new mix tape, just to see the areas I come in through New Orleans, I'm really liking studying what I've done, I'm in gangster mode now.
Do you enjoy listening to it back or is it quite a critical process for you?
I would say it's critical, it's critical right now.
How does Flockaveli 2 distinguish itself from the original Flockaveli mix tape?
I would say Flockaveli 2 will be so different to Flockaveli 1 because mostly because of the delivery, the concepts of the sounds, I think the sounds are more mature, more personal. My first album was a great amount of fun, like I'm having a lot of fun on my second album but I feel like I've matured a lot as an artist. Right now l'm just having fun.
How are you having fun at the moment?
I'm in Toronto, I'm in Montreal, I'm in London, I'm in France, I'm in Barcelona, I'm in Belgium, I'm in Russia, and that's fun. I love Europe, I love Barcelona, I love Belgium and I love South Italy.
Where did you write most of this new material?
I wrote most of it in Georgia. I wrote some records when I was going through Europe too. When I was in London I wrote a lot of music, when I was in London and France.
Where do you go when you're in London?
I like Nandos. I go everywhere, literally. I go everywhere.
What do you order when you go to Nandos?
Half chicken, dirty rice, fried cheese. And it's like this corn they got, some kind of corn.
Hold on, hold on I have to go through customs.
You made it through again? So can we chat about Busta Rhymes? You worked with him on the new album.
That's a possibility; Busta Rhymes is on the new album. I feel like Busta Rhymes is one of the kings of crunk. Busta Rhymes is a great friend of mine. The first time we ever met, after I had a gig on the BET awards, I got in to an argument with someone and Busta Rhymes gave me like a pep talk, like the do's, the don'ts of the industry. He just really gave me a lot of game, how to play the market and not go against the industry.
Were you intimidated to meet one of your heroes?
Nah, I don't look at Busta Rhymes like a hero, I just look at Busta Rhymes like an OG rapper. And I've never been intimidated by nobody, I'm never shy.
You've never been intimidated by anybody in the world?
Never in my life.
Do you consider yourself an intimidating person?
I hope not. I was told I am. When people see me all they wanna do is like tear it up, have fun, they wanna party. The impression I give off on people is turn up, it's Waka Flacka, let's turn up.
What happens at one of your parties?
My parties, they normally be a sweat box. When I play any records then things change, the atmosphere changes.
What kind of girls do you like having at your parties?
I don't have no specific type, I just want women.
You just got engaged, how did you propose?
I wanna keep that a secret, I don't want nobody else stealing my proposals. It was different; mine was not a normal proposal.
How did you know that she was the one?
It's something that I didn't know before, it was a feeling that I had, it's the impression she left on me.
Have you decided what suit you're going to wear to get married?
I'm still trying to figure that out. I don't have a wedding date yet.
What does your girl do?
She stays home and look pretty. No, I'm joking. Right now she's been working on a clothing line, she's been working on it for like a year and a half now and I feel like she's ready to present it right now. We're in the stage of getting all the samples right now, it's very high fashion. She doesn't even want me promoting the label. She doesn't want me to tell everybody. She wants to introduce the line, she doesn't want to use her fiance's name. In the beginning I wasn't a big fan of the idea for the label because I was like 'every girl wants to do a clothing line.' I was the first hater she ever got until I saw her being super serious, she had sketches, she's got a seamstress, she's going to get the materials herself. I thought "wow, this woman is very serious about this, I think I'm going to have to get behind her and really help her out."
Can you see yourself moving in to fashion? Would you like your own brand?
It's a possibility, it's a possibility, it's a possibility.
What are you wearing today?
I'm wearing black Converse, some all black jeans and a suede and leather hoodie. My favourite jeans are PRPS, Nudie Jeans, J Brand, 7s and I like Timberland and Nike.
And, aside from you, who do you think is the best-dressed hip hop artist out there?
Nah, I'm not the best dressed, I don't take it serious enough.
Who do you think is?
It's gotta be either Rico Love or Kanye.
Do you think Yeezus is Kanyes best album to date?
Yeah, I like that New Slaves record, it's super hard.
And is Flockaveli 2 your best record?
Oh yeah, Flockaveli 2 will be my best album I ever put out.
Text Milly McMahon