“From Atlanta, Georgia – by way of Jamaica, Queens, New York – a unique and undeniable talent emerges in the music industry.” Or at least that’s what his bio tell us. In a world seemingly filled with “undeniable talents,” Juaquin Malphurs – AKA Waka Flocka Flame, known also as Waka Flocka, and Waka for short – seems to stand out. Waka was given to him by rapper and So Icey Boyz Chief and mentor Gucci Mane – is an interpolation of his real name, Juaquin (pronounced WAAH-KEEN). Flocka – a nickname given in childhood – is a re-spelling of the Spanish “flaca,” which means thin or skinny. And Flame is an adjective for Waka’s style. He can deliver hot lyrics like fiery flames from the mouth of a dragon.
We asked Waka who the artists of the So Icey movement besides OJ da Juiceman and Waka himself were. “Wooh da Kid, Frenchie, [rock group] Spare Change, and Muffy [aka Muff Mommy],” are the team, and we are featuring the rise of So Icey in our sister-feature.
“O Let’s Do It,” his hard-hitting street anthem proves his point well. Waka brings so much fire to the track, that rap king Lil Wayne even borrows the track (and the delivery) for his No Ceilings mixtape – a long-standing method to compliment another hip-hop artist. “I respect it cause that’s a big-time rapper fa sho,” Flocka noted. “I grew up with my mom listening to Run DMC. I take that influence and blend it with my generational vibe, then lay it over a southern track. That’s how I make ‘Flocka Music.” Indeed, it’s clear Mr. Flame wants to change the game. Exposure to different styles – from Run DMC to Gucci himself – can often help an artist with versatility because they are more likely to become students of the game. Flame clearly benefits from being exposed to hip-hop’s northern roots before moving to Georgia around 10 years of age.
“Y’all don’t deserve an album.” This is what Waka tells Editor-In-Chief Jason “J.Write” Dinsmore. Signed to So Icey Entertainment/1017 Brick Squad since 2004, it could be easy to ask, “What’s the hold up?” But, at 23 years of age, he clearly has time to pick his spot. “I’m not putting out an album. Don’t let nobody tell you different,” exclaims Waka. “I feel like an album is a privilege. Y’all don’t deserve that. The game ain’t ready for me and I ain’t ready for the game!” He has set a “professional goal” to release twenty (yes, 20) street albums (read: mixtapes) by 2011.
Slated for upcoming release are Salute Me or Shoot Me, Volumes 2 and 3. Waka Flocka Flame is managed by Gucci Mane and Debra Antney, of Mizay Entertainment. His completed solo efforts include Salute Me or Shoot Me Vol. 1, Twin Towers, and Shootin’ the Breeze Cookin’ that Fire. He has also appeared on industry DVD’s from Hood Affairs and The Come Up to Smack DVD, Night Life and Raw Report – to name a few.
We asked Waka what artists he rides for. “I don’t really ride with any artists. I listen to them. I like rap. I don’t learn from rap. I listen to everybody.” We pressed him on the issue, “I listen to Drake and straight 808-music mainly,” is his response.
And yes, ladies, Waka is, “single and ready to mingle.” Clearly his team is working towards big things. And those in the know already know that the right attitude will take you places. We asked Flame to comment on Gucci’s incarceration and it’s affect on the team. “Gucci’s album [The State vs Radric Davis] drops DecemBURR 8th, and I’m not giving shine to the negativity.”