Album Review: Waka Flocka Flame—”DuRant Pt. 2 / DuRant Halftime”

By Adam Piotrowicz

Since the release of his breakout 2010 album Flockaveli, Waka Flocka Flame (real name Juaquin James Malphurs) has effectively taken the hip-hop world by storm with his signature brand of stripped-down gangster rap. There are no esoteric references or fancy wordplay cluttering the music to distract from the true meaning of survivalism on the street. Waka Flocka Flame delivers this in the form of earth-shattering bass and hi-hat trills, adorned with aggressive yet simplistic lyrics that depict the ultra-masculine, ultra-violent, and drug-laden world of gangsterdom in the American South. He gives us nothing but the raw, ugly truth.

As of 2013, Waka has become a household name in hip-hop music, and his latest mixtapes, namely DuFlocka Rant Pt. 2 and DuFlocka Rant Halftime, serve to continue this lineage. The street slang and sub-808 bass that made Flockaveli a hit is as present as ever, offering satisfaction to longtime fans as well as neophytes to the sound of “purple hop”. Waka introduces DuFlocka Rant Pt. 2 by reassuring us that he is doing what he loves, dismissing any negative criticism or elements of the music industry that “…don’t like to see what [he is] doing”. He does this before dropping right into the trap with “Stay Hood”, which also features celebrated New Orleans heartthrob Lil Wayne.

While the mixtape does not offer much innovation in instrumental composition, the sole-exception being the speedy-banger track “Fast Forward”, some of the lyrics are a significant deviation from Waka’s usual fare of bling, misogyny, and narcotic vapours. Poetic firsts on DuFlocka Rant Pt. 2 range from romance on the college campus (“College Girl”) to how selling drugs from your grandmother’s house is unacceptable in the world of organized crime (“Sh*t Where You Sleep”). Waka’s vocal delivery is more aggressive than ever, delivering hooks in the form of bellowed screams on a handful of the tracks. The mixtape also features appearances from prominent 1017 Bricksquad collaborators French Montana and Gucci Mane.

DuFlocka Rant Halftime features more new sounds, but falls short of the high-quality consistency that made DuFlocka Rant Pt. 2 so enjoyable. Standout opening track “Whole Wide World” features a bombastic, Rock-a-Fella-esque instrumental, providing some significant instrumental freshness to the overwhelmingly positive lyrical content of the track. Waka declares he is a “…product of [his] environment” – confirming his self-awareness to those who previously doubted it, along with another fantastic line that dismisses the need for intellectual elitism in order to attain happiness and success in life

If there is one thing instantly admirable about Waka Flocka Flame, it is that he is unabashedly honest. He gives you the goods without trying to hypocritically mask the rap world for what it is. . Stop thinking about this review and go download both of these mixtapes right now. If there is a binding theme concerning all things Waka, it is lack of guilt, and both are available absolutely guilt and payment-free via Datpiff.com.

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