Waka Flocka Flame (feat. French Montana and Frenchie Montana) - Anything But Broke (Mixtape, 2013)
Last year, after the roughest 12 months of Waka’s career, and presumably one of the hardest years of his life after losing close friend Slim Dunkin, many people assumed Waka had fallen off. His sophomore album, though good, was offset by a number of forced crossover attempts that did nothing to increase his fanbase, only agitating his tried and true fans, the same ones he named a third of the album after. He tried to give back to those same fans with Salute Me Or Shoot Me 4, and even though it didn’t suffer from the problems that Triple F Life did, it also felt incredibly rushed, with most songs sounding almost identical to one another. It didn’t help that Chief Keef emerged from the same gunsmoke that Waka did 3 years earlier, only he brought with him an even more youthful vigor and the murder capitol. Keef was dead-eyed and intimidating upon his initial arrival, almost rendering Flocka’s increasingly cartoonish violence ineffective, and it almost seemed like Waka might sadly move into self parody territory if he kept going down the path he’d set himself on.
Waka wastes no time in 2013 to jump completely out of the slump he found himself in with his best project since the first DuFlocka Rant (10 Toes Down). He is increasingly pissed off, and the light-heartedness that he’s brought to his raps since the mainstream more widely accepted him is all but absent here, with the only real exception being the brilliant, whispered “College Girl.” Maybe the best example of this is on “Anything But Broke,” where Flocka lets loose of a true gem of nihilistic writing. Gangsta rap has always been a nihilistic genre, but Waka’s chorus takes it a step further here with the line “we gonna fight and fucking shoot until our souls disappear.” The same Waka that was riding a segway in a cowboy hat last year is rapping about his very soul ceasing to exist in 2013, and I couldn’t be any more excited about it.
Du Flocka Rant 2 is exactly what we all needed to kick off this sure to be solemn year.