This mixtape goes hard in the paint!!! To be honest, I never thought much of Waka Flocka Flame. I heard a couple of his songs and immediately wrote him off as a bad rapper. In retrospect, I never really gave him a fair chance. That’s why I decided that I should listen to this mixtape. I figured that if I listened to at least one of his full releases, my general dislike for him would be justified. I chose this mixtape because I was under the impression that it’s one of his better releases and I was intending to give him as fair of a chance as I could. Little did I know that I would actually like it.
The first thing that should be noted is something that you should have already known: Waka Flocka is, by no means, a good lyricist. His lyrics are all about drugs, crime, hoes, making money, and “keeping it real.” Add that to the fact that he presents these lyrics in a very basic way, the way that countless other mainstream rappers have for years, his chances of being an enjoyable rapper aren’t looking good. However, despite everything that he has going against him, I enjoy his performance on this mixtape. I know it seems crazy, given his clear lack of technical skills, but he raps with so much energy and passion that I can’t help but like him. Just about every line that he comes up with is simplistic, but the way that he says it always sounds dope. He’s the type of rapper that you would play at a party if you want to get things moving. He belts out lines with shocking control of the mic and invigorates me in the process. He may not fit the typical description of a good rapper, but I enjoy listening to him on this mixtape.
Now, I must admit that I’m not particularly well versed in trap rap or the production that’s generally associated with it. I think that I understand what it’s typically supposed to sound like, but to be completely honest, I haven’t heard very much of it. The beats on this mixtape are, more or less, what I assume good trap beats to sound like: bumping bass, fast hi-hats, and a whole lot of energy. These are the type of beats that a close minded hip hop fan would label as “mainstream crap,” but if you toss aside all of your stubborn opinions for a second, you’ll realize that these beats are actually pretty good. I’m not going to lie; they could be better. There could be more variety between beats, too. However, they’re good in their own way and they’re hard enough to be a perfect match for Waka Flocka’s rapping. Overall, I’m completely satisfied with the production on this mixtape.
The rapping and the production on this mixtape are both good, so it should come as no surprise that every song on it is listenable. The songs that I believe to be genuinely good songs are “Stay Hood,” “Can’t Do Golds,” “Murda She Wrote,” “College Girl,” “Fast Forward,” “Shit Where You Sleep,” “Tax Money,” “Anything but Broke,” and “Real Recognize Real.” Out of all of the songs on the mixtape, I would say that my favorite is probably “Fast Forward.” It’s a short song, it doesn’t have any features on it, and it’s nothing but straight up raw energy. None of the other songs quite match that one in my book, but all of the them are easily listenable, making it a mixtape that you can listen to all the way through in one sitting.
Overall, I consider this to be a decent mixtape. In this review, I’ve mainly focused on the positive aspects of the mixtape due to how pleasantly surprised I was with it. However, there are some negative aspects, as well. The main one is the guest features. In my opinion, the only rapper featured on any of these tracks who actually spits a verse that’s worthy of contending with Waka Flocka is Ace Hood on “Shit Where You Sleep.” All of the other guest verses could have been taken off the mixtape to make it much better. Unfortunately, as is the case with just about all mixtapes with any mainstream appeal, there are features on all but four of the actual songs. If they were good rappers, I couldn’t complain, but unfortunately, with the exception of Ace Hood, they’re not good rappers. Pretty much all of them take away from their corresponding songs, which is really tragic because this mixtape could have been really good had it just been Waka Flocka rapping. My other issue with the mixtape is that a lot of the songs sound too similar. This was an issue that I assumed would be present and, even though it’s nowhere near as noticeable as I expected it to be, I was correct in assuming that. The subject matter is practically the same on every song and the beats are, too. I’m not so sure that Waka Flocka has the ability to switch up the topics that he raps about, due to his lack of lyrical skills, but I’m pretty sure that the producers who worked on this mixtape could have done a better job at providing some variety. It’s not as big of an issue as the guest verses, but it’s still a significant part of why I can’t quite give this mixtape 3.5 stars. Regardless of my complaints, I mostly enjoyed this release. I would recommend it to all fans of trap rap, especially to fans of Waka Flocka. Listening to it proved to me that I was too quick to write him off. He proved to me that he can be an enjoyable rapper and that he can make good hip hop. I don’t think that this mixtape lives up to his full potential, but I’m highly anticipating his upcoming album, Flockaveli 2. If he can get more varied production for it, it could potentially be a great album.