Waka Flocka Flame burst onto the scene more than a decade ago with a chaotic trap anthem in “Hard In Da Paint” and a high-powered chest thump in “O Let’s Do It.” Now a decade wiser and more mature, Waka can admit how his life choices became fuel for his music and, in turn, crafted troublesome energy in Hip Hop with the rappers who came after him.
Speaking with Akademiks for his Off The Record Podcast, the Georgia native says he’s guilty of “bringing the lifestyle” into the genre.
“I was bringing the lifestyle into rap; I wasn’t supposed to do that,” Waka says. “Put it like this, I got electric wire – I’m from where electricity hang at, right? But then I finally found out I can swim in water without getting shocked. So I started swimming, ‘Oh this shit is cool, it’s happy!’ But one day I drop a plug in that muthafucka and everybody get electrocuted. So is swimming dangerous, or is what you did made me dangerous? Meaning, that people are bringing danger into a lifestyle that pulled them out of danger. So it makes it dangerous.
“So you can’t tiptoe in one and walk in the other. You gotta put two legs, two arms and ya head forward. You can’t do this and this. I can’t do it. I can’t just trust a n-gga trying to play balance street or music. Ain’t no balance, either you’re street or you’re music. That’s it.”
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Arguments regarding the intersection of street life and Hip Hop culture have been prevalent in the last few years, particularly regarding rappers losing their lives to gun violence and promoting such violence in songs and music videos.
Some even argue rap music is a cause for violence, a point Cleveland rapper Doe Boy was quick to dismiss during a recent visit to the The Joe Budden Podcast. He insists rappers can’t be blamed for what happens in the streets.
“It’s real shit going on,” he said. “You gotta think, n-ggas’ friends is getting killed — this shit going on. The music just adding [to it]. That shit gonna happen anyway, that’s another thing muthafuckas gotta understand. Even with us making gangsta music, you can’t blame us because no matter what, that shit gonna go on.”
He continued, “If I stop rapping right now n-ggas still gonna kill a n-gga around the corner because he an opp, because he killed me homie or he killed my brother. You can’t blame us for that shit.”