Waka Flaka Flame Performance Analysis

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On Wednesday, April 20th, I attended a small formal concert at Webster Hall. It was the annual Hunter College USG Spring Fling event; last year featured a performance by Fetty Wap, A very popular up and coming hip-hop artist. This year, Hunter students had the pleasure of seeing Oxymorons, the opening act and Waka Flaka Flame, the main performer. Waka Flaka Flame is a hip-hop artist who has been active in the scene since 2008. He is known for his popular hits “No hands”, “Round of Applause” and “Hard in the Paint”. Waka Flaka Flame is from Atlanta, Georgia where the ‘Dirty South’ style of Hip Hop was born. The main characteristics of Dirty South style (a subgenre of hip hop) are lyrics that are straightforward with a heavy use of slang. The …show more content…
There was no doubt that what you were experiencing was the hip-hop genre. For instance, his lyrics were poetic. They may not have been of his struggles from where he grew up but they described his lavish lifestyle as well as the partying one, which are traits in Dirty South Hip-Hop. Secondly, The rhythm was the driving force in each one of his songs. Though the lyrics were catchy, and held no substance (that’s up for opinion), the rhythm was what locked everyone into the performance and made everyone dance. Without a strong rhythm the performance would mean nothing, it would lack substance. Waka Flaka Flame’s performance included both a DJ and an MC, which are also major cues to the genre. Waka Flaka Flame was the center of the group but his DJ and MC were there to be his hype men. The people who made sure the audience were having a good time. Another important characteristic of hip-hop that was clearly evident in Waka Flaka Flame’s performance was the various amounts of rhymed couplets within his lyrics. Rhymed couplets are a set of lines where at least two of the last words within each line rhyme. An example of this comes from his song ‘No Hands’ where he raps: “Long hair she don 't care, when she walks, she gets stares.” The last two words of the lines, care and stare, rhyme. This method is used a lot in rapping, or in hip-hop in …show more content…
He did not improvise his beats but he did improvise his lyrics. At some points in some of his songs, the music would get cut off and Waka Flaka would begin to freestyle, sometimes acapella and sometimes over his music. Something that radio DJs used to do back in the day, where they would freestyle over beats in a poetic way. During his improvisations, Waka Flaka will speak on the corruption of America, the struggles facing black people today as well as subjects that were more luxurious in nature (dancing, women, partying, drugs etc.). He also played around with Toasts, a form of Black music that isn’t recognized much today, but extremely effective. He told a story towards the end of his performance about the upcoming election. It seemed like the audience were really into it but others seemed a little too confused about his approach. Nevertheless, no matter what his music was about, Waka Flaka Flame used this opportunity to bring awareness to more serious matters effecting Black people today. Every single moment of his performance screamed hip-hop and Black

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