Waka Flocka Flame has come a long way from being the guy in the background of Gucci Mane videos. He made a name for himself, made some hits, made some money, and established himself as one of the pioneers of the ¨trap¨ wave. Waka’s doing a lot these days. He’s on reality TV and has an EDM album on the way as well, but one gripe that fans have always had with Waka is his lack of technical rapping skills.
Waka has gone on record saying that lyricism isn’t necessarily necessary in rap and I’m sure that most of us look to Waka for the high energy club/trap bangers, but on I Can’t Rap Vol. 1 Waka looks to show us what he can really do with a pen and a series of freestyles over some of your favorite beats. Let’s see how it all came together.
¨Move That Dope¨ (Verse 1)
In a trapping hall of fame
Ima balla hall of league man
I’m calling shots, you calling names
I’ve been rich, homie, some type of way
I’m stove top, y’all microwave
Right off the bat we can see that Waka has a point to prove on i can’t rap. He starts of by stating his status and then tosses in some eye popping wordplay with the Rich Homie (Quan)/Some Type of Way reference.
¨Trap Hop¨ (Verse 1)
Yell Slim Dunk on veteran’s day
That’s a fallen soldier
I’d eat a rapper, spit his body parts to the New York bay
The murder of Waka’s fellow Brick Squad member Slim Dunkin affected him largely. The day that we use to honor fallen soldiers is one that Waka uses to honor one of his own.
¨Love Me No More¨ (Verse 1)
I got real niggas in the jail serving sentences
They just want to know what’s going on, I always send them pics
Always answer all they calls, they just wanna reminisce
And talk about the feeling first time a rollie hit my wrist
Waka paints the picture here. Part of a street guy’s pride is based upon how he treats his people who are locked down. Waka makes sure that he keeps up with the friends that aren’t lucky enough to be with him physically during his success.
¨3 Gold Chains¨ (Verse 2)
Bands in my pocket like Maroon 5
So fuck you 12 dollars, 50 cents an hour
Another instance of Waka using creative to get his point across by alluding to the ¨Moves Like Jagger¨ makers. Then Waka makes a statement regarding why he’s proud of his lifestyle choice. Minimum wage was not in the plans.
¨3 Gold Chains¨ [Troy Ave] (Verse 3)
God was on his side, guess he on mine too
Cuz I ain’t in jail and everything I talk be true
Troy Ave makes a nice showing with his guest verse on 3 Gold Chainz. He sounds better than ever and this line right here was his icing on the cake. While the victim of a violent crime is usually lucky if they survive Troy gives God thanks for not receiving jail time or worse for all the bad he’s done.
¨0-100¨ (Verse 1)
I know niggas never been to a college
They just tryna whip a Benz out a pyrex
At the end of day Waka is still for the streets. While he’s on his ¨I’m going to prove I can rap¨ business with this mixtape, he’s still going to rep for his roots.
¨Slippin’¨ (Verse 1)
Asshole by nature, fuck it I’m trained
Run that chain, nigga like it’s a relay
You really pussy that’s what the streets say
Fuck who you know nigga, you have to pay
¨Slippin’¨ features Waka in his comfort zone – telling you stay your ass away from the streets if you’re aren’t about that life. It’s been a No Flex Zone around the Brick Squad.
¨I Know¨ (Verse 1)
They know Flocka got these streets, fuck this industry
I know he faking, fuck his feature, won’t get shit from me
In case any of you rappers were wondering where that Wake verse you asked for was…
¨I Know¨ (Verse 1)
How you worry ‘bout putting yo money on a nigga books
But you buy a bitch Chanel just to hit the puss
Flocka doesn’t respect these selfish cats. This is for those who forgot about their people in terrible situations and decided to spend their money on material possessions for 20 minutes of pleasure.
¨Draft Day¨ (Verse 1)
I know what it’s like – to get criticized
To say he don’t deserve it, but in my eyes
You see the pain, you see the struggle
You see the grind, you see the hustle
The whole basis for this mixtape was for Waka Flocka to
that he could rap with the best of them. He’s looking to prove those doubters wrong once again.
¨Believe Me¨ (Verse 1)
Don’t ask me ‘bout this rap beef, swear this shit fake as fuck
Run into these cover girls, they just start making up
I’m digging this line here. Waka really did step up his simile/metaphor game on I can’t rap. Here he talks about the backtracking ass rappers who talk tough, but aren’t really about anything when it comes down to it.
Verdict: BOW! BOW! BOW! It seems like Flocka had a chip on his shoulder while recording this mixtape. I Can’t Rap Vol. 1 is a step in the right direction, but for all of the rapping that he does it just feels as if Waka is way more comfortable in his lane of making street-influenced, high energy music – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I was definitely impressed with some of the wordplay and flows he used here as Waka has some eye openers here and there (that Rich Homie Quan line from the first track was dope). Is he my favorite lyricist after this project? No, but things like that take time anyway. We’ll let you listen though.