Memphis rap legend 8Ball has weighed in on the new generation of hip-hop artists and why rappers like Waka Flocka Flame are vital for helping diversify the urban genre.
In 8Ball’s perspective, artists like Waka Flocka and Future fill a hip-hop void.
“I’m not downplaying nobody when I say whatever I say, it’s just my opinion on what I feel that I’m doing and what the world is doing. But whatever these young cats wanna rap about, whatever kind of music they wanna make, it’s on them because that’s still the shit that’s shaping tomorrow. Like I said, it’s necessary. All of that is necessary. We wouldn’t have the Big K.R.I.T.‘s and the Lupe Fiasco‘s and the Kanye West‘s if we didn’t have the Future’s and the Waka Flocka [Flame’s] and the cats like them.” (HHDX)
The Memphis rapper also pointed out how the music game tends to go through the same cycles with each new generation.
“I been here for a while, and it’s all full circle, man. Cash Money and No Limit [Records] in the ’90s were those cats that people were like, “Why do people like these muthaf*ckas? All these n*ggas talk about is money. These n*ggas can’t rap.” And now look at what that spawned, a whole generation of [rappers with that hustler’s mentality]. These cats aren’t only just rappers; a lot of these dudes is businessmen too. And all of that spawned that.” (HHDX)
A couple weeks ago, Waka Flocka said he deserved credit for his and producer Lex Luger‘s sound influencing established rap stars’ careers.
Waka–who claims to have came up with the word “HAM”–says he felt relieved by the similarities. “What are y’all gonna say now?” he says when asked about these songs. “Jay-Z stupid as hell? My sound is wack? You gonna say that? They love the sound. They can’t run away from it. That sh*t re-sparked n*ggas’ careers. My sound put life into a lot of people’s careers. I feel like my sound changed hip-hop. Period. It’s crazy when I came out with it everybody laughed at it, but the next year everybody’s doing it. They getting credit for the sh*t you started. You be like, ‘D*mn, how is this n*gga a genius for doing something I started?'” (Complex)
Back in 2010, rap veteran Twista spoke to SOHH and killed critics attacking Flocka’s lack of lyricism.
“The connection with a Twista and Waka, people think lyrics,” Twista told SOHH. “So they’re thinking, ‘How did he…?,’ but the connection with me and Waka is the street vibe. Waka Flocka’s vibe and the stuff he talks about reminds me of my hood, the city of Chicago. So my vibe with him is more so on a street level and I kind of vibe with him on a street level. I also understand we’re in different times. I know if an artist picks up a pen and tries to write something, he’s definitely trying to make something. So when I hear music, I feel like I can sometimes hear the artistry in music faster than other people. Some people have to wait for a song to blow up to realize an artist has potential, but when I hear him, I hear a hood n*gga having fun. [laughs] That’s my whole vibe with it. That’s my connection with him, I felt like I connected with him on that street level rather than his rhymes or whether he could rap. I pride myself in being able to make a song with anybody, so we got it in and did what we did.” (SOHH)
Check out some recent Waka Flocka Flame footage below: