Waka Flocka Flame doesn't give a fuck about what you think. The riotous rapper, who penned hits like "O Let's Do It" and "No Hands," has undergone an artistic transformation since his 2010 bombastic debut "Flockaveli." He's experimented with his sound but always with the focus on growing as a rapper.
The Queens-bred, Atlanta-based MC is always thinking outside of the box on wax. When you hear Waka's scratchy voice over electro beats by Neon Dreams or Steve Aoki, it's his way of showing that trap music isn't his only trick. "I'm trying to open people's brains up," Waka says. "You don't have to be stuck in a fucking bubble. You don't have to do this kind of music because people say you are this kind of artist. I do electronic music just to get out the bubble."
Born Juaquin James Malphurs, the 28-year-old rapper rose to prominence as Gucci Mane's protégé and his flagship artist of 1017 Brick Squad. In 2009, Waka put trap back on the map, dropping the first volume of his street classic "Salute Me or Shoot Me" that caught fire with songs, "We On The Way, "Dreads N Gold" and his breakout single "O Let's Do it." The mixtape's buzz allowed Waka to release his proper debut "Flockaveli" in October, which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 100. Here, Waka's authenticity was a major selling point. None of Waka's stories about his struggle were fabricated. "When I was making 'Flockaveli,' I just didn't give a fuck," he says. "I didn't give a fuck about the awards. I didn't give a fuck about how people felt. I just didn't give a fuck 'cause I didn't know. I never knew the outcome of these words."
Together with Southside and Lex Luger's thunderous production, Waka helped revive street raps and his sound began to blow up. Following his sudden popularity, hip-hop's mainstream elite like T.I., Drake and B.o.B wanted to collaborate with him while he spread his influence to a host of new rappers like Wooh Da Kid and Frenchie. On Waka and Gucci's 2011 collaborative effort "Ferrar