Brick Squad’s Waka Flocka Flame was supposed to have retired years ago. He made that proclamation after the success of his debut LP, Flockaveli in 2010. Hip Hop heads were wringing their hands in anticipation of his rap departure, but much to the chagrin of purists everywhere, he never put down the mic. Call it resilience or outright determination but Waka has proven himself willing and able to drop multiple club bangers every year since. Though his lyrics are rarely profound, his fanbase has found their own connection and has grown tremendously within two years. Even the toughest Rap critics have to admit that some of his biggest tracks are infectiously fun to bounce to.

With the release of Triple F Life: Friends, Fans and Family and the more recent Salute Me Or Shoot Me 4 mixtape, Waka Flocka Flame is not only sticking around but effectively holding steadfast as the rapper  elitists love to hate. Every sub-genre has its place and Waka is carving out his corner in this increasingly diverse culture of Hip Hop. There’s more than enough room.

HipHopDX had a moment to speak with Waka Flocka Flame late last week after his recent listening session for his Salute Me project. He spoke briefly about Slim Dunkin’s death, Waka’s maturity as a special delivery and the waning urge to quit.

HipHopDX: What was your mindset while putting Salute Me Or Shoot Me together?

Waka Flocka Flame: I felt like mentally I was in labor. Like, I was delivering something a grown men would. I feel like the structure of my attitude, delivery of the words, the pitch of the songs is just different and I ain’t outta control so I just put it all on one CD, hurried up and threw it out. You know, an album don’t mean shit to me, that’s just like a developing stage, but a mixtape is serious, so now I know what the fuck I am, so I’ma just start dropping tapes like hotcakes.

DX: So what’s the vibe of Salute Me? Was it specifically something you had to do or did you have your fans in mind?

Waka Flocka Flame: The vibe for this tape was just fun. When I made it, I was just having fun.

DX: Who was with you in the studio everyday?

Waka Flocka Flame: My boys, that’s it. Crazy! Wild!

Waka Flocka Flame Discusses Considering Retirement

DX: A couple years ago, you were talking about quitting- now, you’re more present than ever. Do you still think about retiring from time to time?

Waka Flocka Flame: Who… Who don’t feel like they wanna quit? [I] wake up everyday like “I don’t wanna get the fuck up.” Yanahmean? That’s just how it felt. It’s just that I’m in the public eye, so everything I say and feel, a person gon’ feel the same way when they hear it.

DX: Since your debut, you’ve worked with quite a few notables from every corner of the industry. Who would you like to get on a track with that you haven’t yet?

Waka Flocka Flame: Yes! The new artist that everybody just found yesterday.

DX: Who’s that?

Waka Flocka Flame: I don’t know but tell him to holler at me. Squad. I like new folks. I don’t like old people. I like new money. If you got old money, you already got it, when you spend it, it’s gone.

Waka Flocka Flame Explains Death Of Slim Dunkin Affecting Him

DX: Would you say that Slim Dunkin’s death influenced your music on Triple F or Salute Me in any way?

Waka Flocka Flame: I don’t think my boy’s death influenced me in no way. I think it hurt me though, mentally, like, the whole team too. We just now getting over it. I just dropped the tape and I feel like now we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. It’s good though.

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Listen to Salute Me Or Shoot Me 4 by Waka Flocka Flame