Allow Deen to bloviate a bit.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m an expert on foreign or French rap. I’m not. That said, I’ve listened to a ton of MC Solaar, because it’s the cultured (read: bougie) equivalent of listening to an AZ album (well, AZ’s debut album): the most buttery and gawdly of flows layered over the dopest beats. Simple equation, excellent results. Listening to MC Solaar albums basically makes me feel classier than I really am and I think we’ve already established that I’m not a classy individual – except on a soccer field when I’m healthy, but we’ll talk about that later.
I suppose all that means is that “French AZ” is kinda where I stopped with my forays into French rap. Don’t be mad at me garcons – you muthafuckas let Tony Parker cook. Booba always struck me as more of a Mobb Deep/QB facsimile and the gully shit doesn’t quite hit for me when I don’t understand the lyrics. You can’t shudder at a muthafucka being stabbed in the brain with his nosebone if you don’t understand the words. On the other hand, I find it easy and soothing to just sit back and listen to MC Solaar ramble about whatever the fuck he’s yapping about. Not so much with the less technically adept foreigners (that includes The Streets, even though he ostensibly spoke English – what the fuck was that shit about? You blog niggas will pay for that shit one day. I promise).
Whichever brand of foreign shit you prefer (to ignore), Waka Flocka Flame going in over Booba’s early-2000s classic “Repose en Paix (Rest In Peace)” is the aural equivalent of Inception. “What does that even mean” you ask? I really don’t know, but it felt like the provocative thing to write. But here goes: Waka is rapping over a beat from used by a guy from across that water that’s obviously influenced by some shit from this side of the ocean, even though Waka generally doesn’t rap over shit that sounds like this, despite having access to this shit. Did that make any sense to you? No? Whatever.
Long story short, this shit is so dope to me. I won’t overdo it and call it the best shit I’ve ever heard from Sir Flocka, but it immediately vaults into my top 5 Waka songs. Top 2, if we neglect all the Lex Luger beats. The best part is that Waka is like really rapping too! I mean, he does this on occasion, but it sounds so much better over this monster of a beat. For the record, French hip-hop has had us beat as far as NY style-production is concerned for a long time now – those guys are nice behind the boards. The best NY beats are in the Paris ‘burbs and it’s all topped off with the little Booba sample they left in near the end of the song, along with Waka’s acknowledgment that he’s the “dreadhead Booba.” Works better than an actual Booba cameo since most of us don’t care who he is anyway.
The single with Trey Songz is the lamest Waka single yet, but I understand why it exists. “Foreign Shit” more than makes up for it though. I don’t see Waka surpassing what he did on Flockaveli, but he and Triple F Life definitely have my attention and possibly, my dollars.
What can I say?
I luh dem gun sounds…