Drake + Waka Flocka Flame at FMBA | Concert preview
The two star rappers make for one odd yet entertaining pairing.
A few years ago, former teen TV star and Lil Wayne protégé Drake and blunt-force instrument and Gucci Mane protégé Waka Flocka Flame seemed like your little brother’s rap stars—the actor and the knucklehead, each destined for fleeting commercial fame and little long-term respect.
An odd thing happened on the way to whatever the digital version of the cutout bin is, however. Drake released 2011’s best hip-hop record, the introspective and lush Take Care, while Waka began to slowly spin critical consensus over his debut, Flockaveli, from critiques of its brutal simplicity to praise for its brutal intensity.
The two are an odd pairing, to be sure. Yet they’ve teamed for a tour, with breakout mix-tape artist Meek Mill and rising Def Jam signee 2 Chainz in tow. The resulting quartet provides a broad, varied look at the current state of crossover hip-hop, geographically diverse and stylistically omnivorous. There’s a pair of the biggest rap newcomers in recent years and two guys positioned to soon be hitmakers. There are a couple of ferocious rappers known primarily for angry bangers and a couple of them known for anything but.
Drake and Flocka have little in common other than bucking the odds and selling a lot of records. One croons, the other barks. Both are willing to stay in a lane and be true to themselves rather than be pushed and pulled in different directions with every fresh round of criticism. They are calling this tour Club Paradise. A better name: the Last Laugh.