Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN sit down with rap veteran Waka Flocka. Born and raised in Queens, New York; Waka and his family uprooted to Clayton County, Georgia during his teens. The son of Debra Antney, a power player in the rap game who helped guide the careers of Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj, French Montana and others; Waka learned the ropes behind the scenes before stepping to the forefront with his breakout single “O Let’s Do It” in 2010. From there, he emerged as one of the hottest young stars in rap and has gone on to become one of the more business-savvy artists of his generation.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from Waka Flocka’s “Drink Champs” episode. Take a look at them below.
1. On His Relationship With Gucci Mane
Waka’s history with Gucci Mane dates back prior to his own ascent as an artist, and has had its fair share of ups and downs. However, when asked of the status of their relationship, he makes it clear that all is well between the 1017 Bricksquad reps. “We ain’t never been off, it’s just when people in the media get it.... it’s similar to your situation,” Waka explains to N.O.R.E. “But, it’s just like when the media get it, n**gas feed into it. He said [and] did some foul s**t, I return more s**t, and you know how it go.”
2. On His Role In Helping Turn Gucci Mane Into A Star
In addition to being a rapper, Waka has worn many hats behind the scenes over the years, particularly while pounding the pavement during Gucci Mane’s rise to prominence. “I came in the game and I left the same way I came in,” he shares. “I came in as, like, a manager, an exec. I was on the road with Guuc. I played security, shooter, road manager, assistant, best friend, little brother, assistant to manager for my moms. It was everything. I did whatever it took to win ‘cause I know if he’s out the hood, I’m out the hood.”
3. On His First Time Meeting French Montana
French Montana evolved from an underground maven on the rap DVD circuit to one of the more charismatic stars in rap today. When asked of the origins of their working relationship, Waka points back to an instance where Gucci flaked on French for a recording session. “French came, he did a feature with Guuc,” Waka remembers. “I think he was paying Guuc eight or ten thousand for a feature. Guuc did four bars and bounced out with a girl, left him in there. French [with] mad n**gas, and it’s just me and a gun. I call Guuc like, ‘Yo, where you at?’ French like, ‘Yo, where Guuc at?’ I’m like, ‘He in the booth.’ He like, ‘He left.’ I’m like, ‘He left?’ And I’m my head, like, ‘N**ga, you left me? How the f**k you leave me with niggas.’ But, that’s how it built. It came from that relationship, buttering up basically, like, ‘We’ll get it done.’ We in Patchwerk, and that s**t just came to, ‘N**ga, come down here, I’ll help you with your s**t. N**ga, jump on my s**t, I’ll do a CD with you.’”
4. N.O.R.E. On Being Embarrassed To Tell Waka Flocka He Was Vegan
With a reputation for being rap’s resident “Super Thug,” the shift in N.O.R.E.’s lifestyle can take fans and peers for a loop, at times, which he admittedly is conscious of. One example is the time he was hesitant to admit to Waka that he was a vegan during a trip abroad. “I’m in Canada, my whole crew leaves,” N.O.R.E. recalls. “I was a vegan at the time, but I wanted to try a different type of vegan food. It was called raw vegan — it’s horrible by the way. So mind you, I got a show, but Flocka’s coming in the next day. So, I wanna see Flocka, but I didn’t wanna tell him I’m a vegan at the time. I didn’t wanna tell you. So, I meet Waka at the bar and I’m doing whatever I gotta do to not say that I wanna go to this vegan raw s**t. So Flocka looking at me, like, you know he a real n**ga. So, he like, ‘N**ga, I’m not letting you go to no restaurant by yourself in Canada, I’m rolling with you.’ So I’m like, ‘Aight, cool,’ but I didn’t wanna tell him this is beyond vegan. This is raw.”
5. On What Inspired Waka To Change His Diet And Way Of Life
In an era where rap artists and fans are more in tune with their health and wellness than ever, the stigma surrounding alternative diets are being diminished. During his time with the “Drink Champs,” Waka, who’s also altered his diet, reveals the catalyst behind his decision to eat with a purpose. “I ate what I call conscious eating because I was going through so much s**t,” he explains. “My little brother committed suicide. That’s what got me to eat different. That s**t f**ked me all the way up. So, I was just like, ‘Damn, I gotta change.’ The fact [that] I’m that busy that I ain’t check on my little brother? He live right up the street from me. Four houses up. I’m that busy, n**ga? And I missed the phone call when he killed himself, so I’m like, ‘I gotta change. I’m gonna change everything.’”
6. On His Cognac Brand
Waka Flocka seems to be breaking the mold with his first cognac brand. “This the family cognac,” Waka says of his company, Premis Cognac. “We own 100 percent. The only African-Americans in the world that own our own cognac, like, we own the chemistry behind it. No disrespect to everybody. This ain’t no white label s**t. Ain’t no n**ga just come give me his vodka and I gotta slap a Waka label on it. It’s not even, like, about my s**t. It’s about my whole family eating off of it — the nieces and nephews — you know what I’m saying? I just don’t wanna be a sandwich. You get what a sandwich is though, right? A sandwich is when n**gas like us gotta take care of the old and the young generations in our family.”
7. On His Marriage With Tammy Rivera
Waka’s relationship with Tammy Rivera has become public knowledge due to the couples’ appearances on “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and “Marriage Bootcamp.” The rapper touches on how Rivera has added to his life, his reasoning for marrying, and his motivation to help empower her. “One thing she taught me is how to zone people out cause she do s**t that’ll make me like... just zone humans out,” he says. “Your girl, your wife, they can be the most irritating motherf**ker on earth. But then, it shows you, if you can deal with this, you really love her. For a n**ga like me, I just didn’t wanna be single. I don’t give a f**k about prenups or this s**t ‘cause I don’t feel like I need an exit strategy. I’m just talking bro talk. ‘B**ch, you ain’t going nowhere. It’s not gonna happen.’ But, it’s not about that. I’m so real with Tammy, I was like, ‘Yo, let me make you a millionaire, so god forbid if something happen to me, you don’t gotta be with me ‘cause you need me financially. Let me take that out [of] your mind and everybody else’s mind around you.”
8. On His Feelings About 6ix9ine
One topic that’s become a recurring one is members of the culture sharing their thoughts on rapper 6ix9ine in light of his cooperation with the federal government in their case against the Nine Trey Bloods. For Waka, while he makes it clear he’s not in agreement with 6ix9ine’s actions and will not support his music moving forward, he has no plans to publicly shame him. “It’s like a 6ix9ine situation,” he says in reference to how one’s point-of-view can be subjective. “Like, a real n**ga ain’t f**king with that. But, a n**ga in his shoes, like them game playing computer n**gas? Man, he was right. A n**ga fucked my girl, tried to kill me, rob me, steal my money, and I took you out the hood? And you want me to sit in jail for you? F**k you boy, I’m out. He was real to who he is...”
9. On His Admiration Of Big K.R.I.T.
Waka isn’t one to fixate on the intricacies of lyricism in his own music. But, that hasn’t stopped him from appreciating other artists who take the utmost pride in their pen, particularly Big K.R.I.T., whose praises he sings during his conversation with N.O.R.E., DJ EFN and the rest of the gang. “Yo K.R.I.T. is literally — of my generation — the most underrated rapper,” he proclaims. “And I’ma tell you, if I had to pick one artist to go against any artist, there’s not one n**ga in hip hop today that I can think about — young — that can out rap Big K.R.I.T. With substance, title, understanding, a complete body of an album, Krit is the illest. Yo, if God asked me, ‘How do you wanna rap?’ I’d be like, ‘Let me rap like Big K.R.I.T. but put some entertainment, how to entertain with it.’ K.R.I.T. that nigga, yo. He one of the most powerfulest young n**gas, bro.”