Waka Flocka Flame

Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family

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Like his Brick Squad brother Gucci Mane, Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame is good with the shouted hook and the drug-induced stumble, plus he's funny, able to drop witty punch lines and cool quips all the way through to verse number three while retaining his tattooed buffoon stance that projects "I couldn't care less, homie." His sophomore effort, Triple F Life, threatens to confuse the issue with its subtitle dedication to "Friends, Fans & Family," but there's way too much strip-club music here to consider this a heartwarming concept album, so spend a solemn moment with the RIP dedication to Slim Dunkin -- Waka's friend and cohort who was murdered in late 2011 -- and then get ready for the expected slam session. Coming after the convincing street track "Let Dem Guns Blam," a booming Southside production with guest Meek Mill, the woozy, Lex Luger-helmed diamond "Round of Applause" offers glorious highlight number one, spitting "Pimpin' like I'm Dolemite, hos jump in my Caddy/Smoke like I got cataracts, in the strip club throwin' up them stacks" before borrowing a bit of YC's "Racks" because that street hit is so darn good. This "why not?" attitude is the charm behind banger number two, "I Don't Really Care," which goes for the simple hook and lyrics that could have come from the Lonely Island crew ("Throwin' money in the air like I don't really care, yeah/Standin' on a chair like I don't really care"). Complaining about redundancy and frivolity seems like sour grapes once "Get Low" comes around with its million dollar guest list (Nicki Minaj, Tyga, and Flo Rida) plus vibrant attitude, and as the latter half of the album goes back to his roots with forceful, Southern-fried tracks (check the block party rocker "Candy Paint & Gold Teeth" with Ludacris and Bun B, or Plies and Waka doin' their own "The Ski Mask Way" on "Lurkin"), the layout becomes admirable, managing its endless supply of party rap in a surprisingly sensible manner. There's the bad feeling that all this Xanax chewing and gun throwing might be bad for the health and/or soul, but Triple F Life moves fast and rocks hard, making it hard to dwell on its shortcomings.

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