This feature is a part of Complex's "Triple F Life" Week.
Every few years a new rapper comes out whose music pisses off the status quo so badly that they get blamed for completely ruining hip-hop. It happened to Soulja Boy years ago, but now the rapper folks love to hate is Waka Flocka Flame (whose sophomore album, Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family, drops today and you can buy it here on iTunes). This is ironic for a couple of reasons. First of all he actually makes great music—in fact Waka and Lex Luger changed the sonic landscape of hip-hop, as he so eloquently explained in our cover story.
Secondly, most people don't realize that Waka's life is deep-rooted in rap. As a child growing up in Queens, he had family working at Def Jam, his birthday parties were attended by Run-D.M.C., and he was convinced that Big Daddy Kane was his father. When he got a little older he moved down South and soaked up game by listening to Southern players like Juvenile, UGK, and Master P while still maintaining a love for East Coast rappers like Jay-Z, Nas, and DMX. So say whatever you want about Waka ruining hip-hop, but there's no denying that he knows the culture better than most.
"Yeah, but don’t tell nobody that though," said Waka with a laugh. "You know how I am, I don’t know shit about rap." Sure, Waka's got jokes, but when asked about his favorite albums he didn't stop at the standard Complex 25—instead he listed his 50 Favorite Albums. Maybe this will help dispell the perception that Waka is a rap ignoramus. But even if it doesn't, he doesn't seem to care.
So what does Waka think of all people who question his hip-hop IQ? "They stuck on stupid and parked on dumb." We couldn't agree more.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)