Waka Flocka Flame & French Montana - Lock Out

A new mixtape from Waka Flocka Flame is the sort of thing that makes me want to smash slabs of concrete to dust with my bare hands, and since he releases another one every couple of months, the sidewalk outside my apartment is looking pretty rough. He’s now followed up October’s triumphant Lebron Flocka James 3, probably his best 2011 tape, by teaming up with the smooth, monotonal Bronx tough guy French Montana, who plays the sleepy-eyed yin to Flocka’s growling-lunatic yang on the brand new Lock Out. They make a good pair, and it’s fun to hear the Queens-born, Atlanta-based Flocka attacking beats that sound more New York than his usual fare, getting even more emotional in the process. Download the tape for free here.

Comments (19)
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    • Snorting about “sambo rap” is WAAAY more problematic than enjoying the music of Waka Flocka Flame. And if you’re shaking your head at him, you’re missing out on some extraordinarily vital and visceral stuff. That’s your problem, not mine.

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        • This sort of haughty superiority — believing that you understand exactly who listens to some piece of music and why they like it, rather than admitting you don’t understand it or that it just doesn’t appeal to you — is my single least-favorite music-fan tendency. Why would I ever give a single fuck if something paints a “positive image” of anything?

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          • I don’t like you just because of your use of “Ahh” and “exactly” and “my friend.”

            Also, we have gotten quite far away from your original claim of “no one likes this crap except for the author.” You’re causing shit for the sake of causing shit.

        • If I can just continue to entertain this lunacy for a minute, Radiohead’s music paints a negative image of early-middle-aged white men. Their music depicts them as absolute neurotics, crippled by anxiety at encroaching technology, only occasionally able to express simple interpersonal love. This in no way affects the quality of their music. Nobody expects them to display their demographic in a positive light. Why should Waka have to play by different rules? It’s art. Relax.

          • Right. It’s also a shame Morrissey ever started making music with The Smiths. He makes all vegetarians seem like self-loathing, miserable wimps. It’s really not fair how he depicts vegetarians.

          • OK, now see, again with this superiority. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. I mean, I guess you know that I’m white and I like Gucci Mane. But this idea that I don’t live with the implications of the music I like is extremely goddam arrogant and ignorant. You don’t know about the bullet that came through my window when my daughter was nine months old, or the friends I’ve lost in Baltimore over the years.

            Gucci Mane, when he’s on, is a playfully inventive and evocative lyricist with an absurdly strong sense of melody and meter. Waka Flocka Flame is a brutally direct rapper with an exposed-nerve emotional streak. The negativity that you hear in their music is not the cause of any sort of societal ill. If anything, that negativity and those societal ills are symptoms of the same diseases, and your blame is severely misplaced. If you don’t like them, fine. But you are horribly, gallingly wrong to dismiss their work as Stepin Fetchit routines, and your dismissal says much more about you than it does about them.

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    • Yeah most of the stuff that gets posted here is probably based on the author’s tastes. But that’s the case with most blogs so you really can’t complain. Although, it is unfortunate when some good indie bands go ignored here, and stuff like Waka Flocka Flame gets posted. I love all types of music (hip hop was my first love), but Waka is… just, ugh.

      At least he’s “retiring”. Speaking of that, I blame Jay-Z for starting that trend. Don’t announce that shit, just stop making music. Announcing it is just a cry for attention.

    • Fuck that. Waka Flocka is awesome. Tom, please keep posting all the awesome rap you’ve been posting, and don’t let the haterz discourage you.

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  3. This is no place to discuss race. This is a place solely for annoying college students to complain about year-end lists. Get it straight!

  4. It’s nice to have something brash and insane to listen to while driving. I get my cerebral fix elsewhere. Go Tom. Go Waka.

  5. As a black dude (or, well, a mixed dude; black dad, white mom), I think that most of the points being made by Bobby Barlett are more or less valid. The argument might be getting made in a condescending and/or overly-presumptive manner, but they echo a lot of the feelings I’ve had regarding the trumpeting of this sort of, uhh, let’s say “post-lyrical” trap rap on sites like Stereogum and Pitchfork that (pardon my presumptions) aren’t being widely trafficked by rugged street soldiers.

    Now, as someone who loves hip-hop and, by default, has a high-tolerance for nihilistic ignorance (pre-Infamy Mobb Deep is probably my favorite group, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have Flockaveli on my iPod), I’ve always rejected the idea that black artists have some overriding responsibility to be “positive”. There’s plenty of bad to be found in the “black experience”, and white-washing the unsavory aspects of that don’t make it any better. You could even make the argument that rappers from the southern trap scene, or stuff like Pill’s infamous “Trap Goin Ham” video, actually do a service of showing how brutal the living conditions are for literally millions of our fellow citizens, people who have essentially no voice and even less power.

    However, being brown in this country forces you to be astutely aware of how you’re perceived, and how little of that is based on your own individual actions or demeanor. It’s difficult as a black person to look at somebody like Waka as an individual artist making individual music when you know that the image presented and statement being made jibe so cleanly with many, many people’s preconceptions about who we as a people are. In turn, there’s a natural tendency to wonder if white listeners find this music engaging from the perspective of it being a unique, individual artist documenting their own experience, or if they perceive it to be a more “authentic” black voice because they see it as NOT unique, but widely representative. It’s not a matter of screaming “HURR white hipsters are racists”, but simply a blunt recognition of the fact that the very most well-meaning or “open minded” people can be the ones most guided by paternalistic attitudes towards minorities.

    But, whatever. This is an eternally thorny issue in popular music that doesn’t have clear answers or obvious villains. My goal isn’t to say that people shouldn’t be allowed to listen to what they want, or deserve finger wagging for not championing “Cosby rap”. I’ve been reading Tom’s stuff for years, since his “Status Ain’t Hood” days, and respect for his writing is the only reason I’m even wasting my time commenting on a white hipster devil music site like Stereogum. But, it bothered me to see a valid argument buried underneath defensive “I’m not ignorant, YOU’RE ignorant” fist-fighting.

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  6. waka wakka flacka HEY! Bobby Barlett gets pissed yup

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