Waka Flocka Flame

101.1 The Beat Presents:

Waka Flocka Flame

D.R.A.M., NAWAS

Friday, July 10

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$25.00 - $28.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 18 and over

Absolutely no refunds - no exceptions. Lineups and times are subject to change.
Gov't issued ID required. No re-entry.

Waka Flocka Flame
Waka Flocka Flame
Waka Flocka Flame didn't want to be a rapper when he grew up. He didn't want to write hit songs, perform in front of thousands of people at packed clubs or hear his songs played on radio stations across the country. But more than a year after bursting onto the scene with his debut single, "O Let's Do It," the Atlanta rapper has managed to make more of an impact on the music industry than most rappers who have spent their entire lives trying to do it. And thanks to an influential cosign from fellow ATLien Gucci Mane, and a string of chart-topping singles, including the remix to "O Let's Do It," featuring Rick Ross and Diddy, and his latest hit, "Hard In Da Paint," it doesn't look like Waka Flocka is ready to quit rapping anytime soon.

"I never dreamed I would be doing what I'm doing today," says Waka, who earned his unique nickname from a cousin when he was younger while they were watching an episode of Jim Henson's classic puppet show, The Muppet Show (he later added the "Flocka Flame" to the end of it at the suggestion of Gucci Mane). "I never imagined I'd become a rapper, let alone a successful rapper."

Born Juaquin Malphurs in Queens, N.Y., Waka Flocka certainly had all the connections to forge into music at a young age. He grew up around the corner from Murda Inc. recording artist Ja Rule, lived near LL Cool J's grandmother and even had a cousin who used to hang around the popular group Lost Boyz in the mid-1990s. But when his mother Debra Mizay -- now the CEO of artist management group Mizay Entertainment -- relocated the family to Riverdale, Georgia when Waka was 11, he shied away from music and instead focused on his love for basketball. And after his youngest brother died in automobile accident when Waka was just 14, he moved even further away from it, instead opting to spend his time running the streets of Atlanta with his friends.

"That whole period of my life really messed with my head," says Waka. "I ain't even gonna lie -- it killed me as a man. But it also made me stronger as a man in the future."

At 18, Waka looked on as his mother began managing the career of Gucci Mane, who had established himself as a force to be reckoned with in Atlanta at the time by performing relentlessly throughout the South. Within two years, Waka began messing around with music himself alongside local producer Tay Beatz, who helped him shape his rambunctious personality on the microphone. "I was going through so much at the time," says Waka. "I had so much stress and so many issues. I couldn't release my emotions physically, so releasing them verbally was the only option I had."

The result was Waka's 2008 mixtape, "Salute Me or Shoot Me, Vol. 1," featuring the trap anthem, "O Let's Do It," a song that caught on instantaneously in the A and quickly spread to other parts of the country. It allowed Waka to take his show on the road and also earned him a coveted slot in Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad clique. "Gucci and them were kind of shocked," says Waka, "because nobody really knew I was rapping and then, all of a sudden, I had the biggest song in the South."

But all the sudden success also took its toll on Waka. In January 2010, he was shot several times at a car wash in Atlanta during an alleged robbery attempt. The following month, legendary East Coast artist Method Man was doing an interview on satellite radio and spoke out against Waka, criticizing the lack of lyricism involved in crafting his style of music. He also endured a short rift in his relationship with Gucci Mane recently after the rapper parted ways with his mother's management company in May. The incidents earned Waka a reputation as one of the most controversial artists in the industry -- a reputation that he doesn't feel he deserves.

"People have definitely gotten the wrong impression of me so far," says Waka. "I don't know why they think I'm so controversial. I guess people just don't know the real me yet. It's up to me to change their minds."

He's spent the better part of 2010 doing exactly that. Earlier this summer, he released "Hard In Da Paint," a catchy Lex Luger-produced track that inspired a slew of freestyles by other artists. He also put the finishing touches on his debut album, "Flockaveli" -- the first released through So Icey/Asylum/Warner Bros. Records. Featuring the rowdy intro, "Bustin' At 'Em," the strip club anthem, "No Hands," featuring Roscoe Dash and Wale, and the brutally-honest closing track, "Fuck This Industry," it promises to be one of the most energetic debut albums of the year.

By naming it "Flockaveli," Waka -- who calls 2Pac his favorite rapper of all-time -- is also doing more than just being controversial for the sake of being controversial. "2Pac introduced me to a guy named Machiavelli," says Waka. "His back was always to the wall and people threw sticks and stones at him and he had to keeping blocking them. When I recorded this album, that's how I felt."

And if anyone doesn't like it? "I don't care," says Waka. "I'm just going to keep on making my music."

For a guy who claims he never wanted to be a rapper, he's certainly come around to the idea.
NAWAS
NAWAS
On their debut EP Trouble, NAWAS approach pop music with both immaculate songcraft and rule-breaking originality. Brilliantly mashing up elements of electronic music, hip-hop, and R&B, the Louisiana-bred trio build their sound around frontman Jake Nawas’ shapeshifting vocals, Ben McDaniel’s crystalline guitar work, and Joey Gonzales’ powerful yet minimalist drumming. Along with bringing focused experimentation to their sleek production, NAWAS push the limits of pop with daring and darkly charged lyrics that lend each track an unforgettable depth.

Trouble arrives on the heels of NAWAS’ breakthrough single “Wrong”—a 2016 release praised by SPIN for “find[ing] the medium between Prince’s androgynous melodies and Calvin Harris’s euphoric bangers.” Recording the EP mostly in their adopted hometown of Nashville, the band joined forces with leftfield producers like the Grammy Award-nominated Sainte to expand their sound with more intricate textures and undeniably massive hooks.

Throughout Trouble, NAWAS bring a layered complexity to their lyrics, a dynamic embodied in the soulful and shimmering title track. “There’s a line in that song that goes ‘Trouble always follows me,’ which is a theme that runs across all of the EP,” says Nawas. “There’s a dark side to it but there’s something deeper there too—and sometimes trouble can be a good thing.”

Built on stark guitar tones, heavy beats, and a fuzzed-out groove, “Who Are You” kicks off Trouble with a candid reflection on infidelity and responsibility. “That song’s about what’s going on under the surface when someone’s cheated on you,” says Nawas. “A lot of the time there’s something bad happening on the other side, and maybe you start to realize how your own wrongdoings might have played a part in the whole situation.” On “Running,” with its eerie intensity and hypnotic vocal flow, the EP twists what first feels like a story of romantic obsession into a frenzied portrait of mental unraveling. “I wanted the bridge to take the song into a different place, where you’re going deeper into this person’s mind as they’re experiencing a manic episode,” explains Nawas, who co-wrote “Running” with longtime Jack White collaborator Ruby Amanfu.

Though the urgency of Trouble never lessens, NAWAS also deliver more carefree songs like the giddy and lovesick “White Hot” and the sweetly seductive, blissed-out “Waves.” And on “Galaxy,” a track woven with delicate guitar work and dreamlike effects, joy and desperation get gorgeously tangled together. “‘Galaxy’ is a song about being almost too much in love—those relationships where the person is your whole world but in a crazy, destructive kind of way,” Nawas points out.

From track to track, NAWAS instill the EP with an infectious energy that reveals the raw, unrestrained instincts at the core of the band. “Both of my bandmates have this very deep musical knowledge, but I personally don’t have that kind of skill set—I don’t even have an understanding of that kind of skill set,” says Nawas. “I can’t play guitar well or get on the drumset and kill it, but I do have this ability to feel out where the songs should go next.” As the band’s chief songwriter, he partly credits his upbringing with helping to hone his strong musical intuition. “Growing up, my dad was always playing me Prince and Michael Jackson, and my grandfather was into a lot of old soul and R&B stuff like Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding,” recalls Nawas, who also names the pop ingenuity of Justin Timberlake among his main inspirations.

Soon after getting his start by singing in church at age 16, Nawas joined a band with McDaniel, one of his closest friends since pre-school. Once the two formed their musical partnership, they continued playing together and, in early 2015, headed to Nashville to take their collaboration to the next level. Within a few months they enlisted Gonzales as their drummer, and quickly began working on a batch of songs that included their debut single “So Low.” Upon its release in April 2016, the track was hailed as “beautifully produced” by The Fader, who also made note of Nawas’s “bewitchingly androgynous falsetto.” By the end of the year, NAWAS had landed on Spotify’s most coveted playlists (including New Music Friday, Weekly Buzz, Discover Weekly, and Fresh Finds) and inked their deal with Harvest Records.

As they set to work on Trouble, NAWAS made a point of preserving their decidedly instinct-driven approach to pop. “I like to feel out the melodies and feel out the rhythm, and then figure out what I’m going to write about from there,” says Nawas. “Then as soon as we get to a place where the music feels good, I’ll go off alone and just write out lyrics over and over.” In the songwriting for Trouble, that soul-baring process allowed for a vulnerability that NAWAS hope might ultimately inspire others. “I’m not the kind of person who tends to share everything—I’m usually very guarded,” says Nawas. “But with our songs, I see the lyrics as my opportunity to be completely truthful. I want everyone to take away whatever they can from that,” he continues. “But if they end up feeling more okay about their own truth, and feel like they can be more honest about things they’ve felt uncomfortable about in the past, that would be amazing to me.”