Waka Flocka: The Man behind the Flame
This article was awarded second place in GCPA (Georgia College Press Association) for ‘Best Feature Story’ in 2014.
The night began with rounds of shots, bombs and beers at GATA’s, a local sports bar and grill. In the next room, fangirls screamed in escalating chants of “BRICK SQUAAAD!” Flocka came out to happily greet his excited fans, giving high fives, handshakes and taking selfies with eager fangirls before retreating back into the heavily guarded dining area with his crew.
“Most rappers don’t do it like me, I do whatever I wanna do — like in meetings? Man, we do whatever we wanna do. We have ’em in flip flops and shit, because who gives a shit?”
Happily strutting around and high-fiving his friends, Flocka shared his wealth generously, personally pouring shots of Fireball into empty cups while he shared bits of his rapper knowledge with us.
“There’s two purposes in life: being born and finding your passion,” he said
Flocka and with his body guard, who he called “Fat Jesus,”
then led the way across the street to Club 125, his crew followed closely behind like tipsy little ducklings. As Flocka made his way to the back entrance, thundering bass flooded out of the open door as he was quickly ushered inside to the safe zone of a green room.
Opening acts, Drewski and Ben G, kept the crowd at bay until the man of the hour made his way onstage. Flocka jumped around, growling raps into the microphone, popping explosive bottles of champagne into the crowd and shaking sweaty dreads in faces of starstruck fans for two hours. He then left the stage and made his way out to a black Bentley, where we were finally able to get a word from him.
Elwood: You’re in a college town. Would you ever want to go to college and where would you go?
Flame: I wouldn’t mind. It doesn’t matter, wherever education leads yo’ boy.
Elwood: What kinds of music did you used to listen to that may have influenced you?
Flame: What influenced me was opportunity and money. Music don’t influence me.
Daudier (fellow photographer): You’ve worked with a lot of people. Who did you click with the best?
Flame: Producers, man, I love the producers, especially 808 Mafia.
Elwood: Why 808 Mafia?
Flame: It’s just that bass man, that “kick.” It fucks with yo’ boy.
Elwood: Describe a day in the life of Waka Flocka.
Flame: You might throw up by 3 p.m. By 9 p.m., you be out of your fuckin’ mind, and you in bed by 11 p.m.
It’s a lifestyle that many college party students are envious of.
*Photo credit to Brandon Warnock*