Waka Flocka Flame has embarked on something of a spiritual journey since breaking onto the scene with the rowdy, riot-starting Flockaveli over a decade ago, and his evolution continues as he joins gospel singer James Fortune on his latest single, “Voyage.”
Arriving just in time for summer, the unlikely yet uplifting collaboration blends radiant, island-flavored production with Fortune’s traditional gospel sensibilities into a sunny ode to the healing power of the Most High.
“Blessings overflow, you’ve unchained my soul/ Whenever I feel lonely, that’s impossible/ When they drag me low, you cut loose my ropes/ It’s impossible to thank you for my overflow/ I keep on thanking you/ You keep on coming through,” Fortune sings on the hook alongside a female backing vocalist.
Gracing the pulpit to close out the musical sermon, Waka Flocka delivers a heartfelt guest verse in which he reflects on the loss and heartbreak he’s endured in life while showing gratitude for God’s unconditional love.
“I was going hard in the paint for a breakthrough/ Lost brothers but I never lost you/ Lost but I’m found now, the wild boy calmed down/ You know I owe it all to you/ Jesus wept, mama cried too/ I live to tell the stories about how you/ Been through the fire, left with the flame/ Carried the torch, Waka Flocka Flame,” he raps before yelling out his signature “squad!” ad-lib.
“I hopped on James Fortune’s record because of how I feel today — this is where I’m vibrating at and this is what makes me happy,” the Atlanta rapper told HipHopDX. “Gospel music feeds my soul and reminds me of my little brother that passed away.”
Fortune added: “I was blown away by Waka’s testimony and to hear of his own personal journey to freedom. I was honored to have him as a part of this new single. I hope listeners understand that God has set us all free from the bondage of guilt, shame, sin, and condemnation.”
Listen to “Voyage” below:
“Voyage” serves as Waka Flocka Flame’s first musical offering of 2023 and ends something of a drought for the once prolific rapper. Aside from a handful of guest appearances, the former Brick Squad bully has remained quiet on the music front in recent years, with his last full-length release being 2020’s Salute Me or Shoot Me 7.
Despite seemingly stepping away from music, Flocka has been making major moves in other areas while continuing to grow as a person. Last year alone, the “Hard In Da Paint” hitmaker became an honorary professor of Humanitarianism and Philanthropy at the Bible Institute of America while also re-adopting a vegan lifestyle.
James Fortune, meanwhile, has carved out an almost 20-year career as a gospel artist, during which time he’s released nine albums and collaborated with the likes of Monica, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell and Fred Hammond.
The Houston, Texas native received two nominations at the 2013 Grammy Awards for Best Gospel Album (Identity) and Best Gospel Song (“Hold On.”)