Exclusive: Waka Flocka Shot By Terry Richardson For VMAN

Waka Flocka is a hot commodity right now. After landing the cover of Spin, the ATL rapper was photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson in a big feature for VMAN’s summer issue. During his interview Waka chats about his music, mom, and what he hopes to achieve outside of hip-hop.On spending time in Manhattan: “I’ll go to the studio [in the LES] but I hang out in Queens. I always live in Queens. Never ever, ever I leave. (…) I grew up down the street from Murder Inc., down the street from RUN-D.M.C., Russell Simmons, and LL Cool J. The Lost Boyz used to hang out with my family members. Music has always been in my family.”

On his mother, hip-hop momager Debra Antney: “When I started, she didn’t believe in me. She said ‘I ain’t believe in that shit. Yo’ ain’t serious.’ When she saw that I was serious, then she took charge.”

On his music: “I think I put the life into hip-hop again. I revived it by bringing a new sound, 808s and kicks. My producer and my team—I feel we changed the sound of everybody, and I can honestly say that. Before Flockaveli, nothing sounded like it. But when I came out, everything to this day sounds like it. So I can smile a Kool-Aid smile when I say that.”

On his impact on fans: “I see girls cry and faint. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I never knew my music to touch somebody personally but I see guys walk up and talk with passion. That shit blow your mind. I never took my music seriously before another person did. And if people take it seriously, I need to get into this shit.”

On his new album Triple F Life: Friends, Fans, and Family: “If you ain’t neither of the three, fuck off. (…) My goal with this album is to open people’s eyes, and hopefully touch a lot more heads. I just love it and I hope people enjoy it, I’m goin’ hard. You can expect Flockaveli times 10. I used to just party with what I knew how to party with, but when I started rapping I got introduced to every religion, every race, and every culture. Now I know how to make everybody party. From touring, traveling, doing features, photo shoots, video shoots, I get a lot of different personalities, so I dissected that and was able to elevate my style.”

On his goals: “I wanna build a YMCA in my county. My goal is to make sure my family don’t have to worry and don’t have to stress about tomorrow. And we could potentially help another group of families to do the same. I live by that. I overcame every odd that was put against me; I wear that like armor. Appreciate this album for me. I put a lot of pain into this. So I hope you’re ready for it. I’m bringing it to the new world.”