Waka Flocka Flame has his detractors but through force of personality and a raw, childlike charisma, he has managed to win over support in a way that his homey OJ Da Juiceman never could. Waka made fight music and his virulent unabashed energy was one of the forces that made the riotous Flockaveli a relative success. His new album, Triple F Life: Fans , Friends & Family features a more smooth style of production; far more sophisticated than his debut. Unfortunately it also exposes him as the weak rapper he is and removes the sting from what made him different from his mentor Gucci Mane.
There are a few highlights of the album, with the litany of guest supplying most of the firepower. Meek Mill blasts off on the heavy bottomed “Let Them Guns Blam.” The track is that hard shit you turn up in your whip on your way to the club to get you hype. “Round of Applause” is notable for the Drizzy appearance and the slow bounce, but Flock sounds like a fake Gucci Mane in tone and delivery.
The electric guitars and some star power from cosigner emeritus Bun B and Ludacris even force Flocka to attempt lyrical device, incorporating both of their name sin his bars. Alley Boy steals the show with some tough bars on “U Ain’t Bout That Life,” a track dedicated to fake ass gangsters. Alley shits on cats that claim gangs but throwing the wrong sets up. “Power Of My Pen” is perhaps Waka’s tour de force as a solo rapper on the album. His flow is solid and he remains on beat while putting all of his defiance on display. His second verse goes particularly hard and lyrically coherent.
On the flipside there is some really bad music on the tape. The synthy pop of Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Flo-Rida-guested “Get Low” is so bad that if the single was on fire I wouldn’t piss the flame out. We could flood Afghanistan with singles and our troops could come home in a week. Also riding the pop train is the B.O.B. collaboration, “Fist Pump” which not only borrows a Jersey Shore lame ass aesthetic but is trash on every level, including a mailed in Bobby Ray verse. The crappy “I Don’t Really Care” is hood strip club song x with no distinguishing characteristic. Meh.
Slim Dunkin makes two posthumous appearances on the album and it’s almost surreal to hear him tough talk, knowing that same animus led to his unfortunate demise. Artistically though he had good presence and laid a nice couple verses. It would have been interesting to see how he was going to evolve as an artist as he was one of the few Brick Squad dudes with enough talent to actually drop an album.
This time around, Waka Flocka Flame flaunts a more sophisticated sound production wise and it is ultimately the reason why this album is not good. His only saving grace beforehand was the incredible energy that came from songs like “Hard In The Paint” which packed the kind of loveable ignorance that pumped the listener up. Without that, Flocka is a weak rapper with poor lyrics tough talking on wax; something we have the misfortune of listening to every day. The multitude of guests cannot save Fans, Friends & Family. Even with onions mashed potatoes and garnish a piece of shit on a plate is still a piece of shit. Less Polish, more bang or Waka could soon end up like OJ. The juicer, not the Simpson.
2.25 out of 5
Follow Us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/planetill
Become a citizen of Planet Ill. Join our Forums
Join Us on the Planet Ill Facebook Group for more discussion
Follow us on Networked Blogs