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Waka Flocka Flame Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family Review

Album. Released 2012.  

BBC Review

Flocka’s latest tunes are sure to fit your local strip club’s set list.

Marcus J. Moore 2012

“I’m from the South, where them old folks, they don’t mind their business,” rapper Waka Flocka Flame says on Candy Paint & Gold Teeth, a standout from Triple F Life. “Strip clubs is our culture, we some heavy spenders.” That quote not only captures the focus of Flocka’s new recording, it solidifies his career trek thus far.

The Georgia MC won’t wow you with overly insightful wordplay or pause-worthy one-liners; instead, he slathers digestible rhymes over booming basslines and methodical drum slaps. The results are best suited for the strip clubs he acknowledges, its seedy concoction a bit lowbrow and explicitly strident.

On Triple F Life, Flocka’s focus is apparent, even if brief moments of clarity drift into the album’s bookends. “Where y’all was when we was eatin’ dollar menus?” he ponders on the album’s intro. On the outro: “I don’t know who to trust or who to believe / A couple of friends, a couple of fans, and my family.”

Those moments of clarity are few and far between; by the second track, Flocka’s back to his old tricks. “Gangbanging, selling weed, shootouts and some ecstasy,” he rhymes on Let Dem Guns Blam, a straightforward tune about getting tipsy in public. From there, this album bumps like the raucous set list of your favourite gentleman’s establishment; every beat is crafted to shatter your windows and increase your adrenaline to risky levels.

But like much of today’s popular trap music, these songs never stray from their sonic centres: if you’ve heard one track, you’ve heard them all. But there are a few standouts. While Round of Applause exhausts the stripper motif, woozy synths and an inspired Drake verse make it an interesting listen. The same goes for the aforementioned Candy Paint: rousing guest appearances from Bun B and Ludacris add to the song’s gritty Southern aesthetic.

The laziest moments can’t be excused, though. The beats for Cash and Lurkin’ are essentially the same, except the chimes are a bit lower on the latter. Clap, another strip club song, drips in monotonous haze: “Slap ‘er in the booty,” Flocka says, “wit some money.”

All told, Flocka continues the path of his 2011 debut with mind-numbing consequences. There’s nothing wrong with living it up, but some artistic variation might work.

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