Connor Harlan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Love him or hate him, Waka Flocka Flame was certainly a game-changing artist when he shot onto the hip-hop scene with 2010’s absolutely primal “Flockaveli.” Under the tutelage of trap godfather Gucci Mane, Flocka combined rattling hi-hats and booming bass with an animalistic rapping style that can only be bested by fellow freak rapper MC Ride. “Flockaveli” was certainly a polarizing release to many, but I was immediately hooked on tracks like “Hard In Da Paint” and “Bustin’ At Em.’” Sadly, this release also created a swarm of imitators as well as critics, leading to dissolution Flocka found himself experiencing with his second studio album, “Triple F,” and while it wasn’t bad by any means, it showed Flocka gravitating away from his trademark sound. This time around, Waka is back to basics, giving us his most intense release yet, “Flockaveli 1.5”

To gain hype for his upcoming studio album, Flocka has released this mixtape, and it has certainly gotten me hyped. Starting out with an anthem about simply shooting guns, the track “Shootin’” gives us wails and aggressive grunts over some familiar instrumentals, displaying a beautiful return to form. It’s primal, it’s aggressive, and it’s ridiculously entertaining. Some other winners from the album are tracks like the hilarious “Birthday” and “Blue or Red,” the former being a track dedicated to Waka celebrating because it’s his birthday, y’all, and the latter being a gang anthem in which Flocka pledges his unity to his respective gang.

Flockaveli 1.5 captures the essence of the original with surgical precision, but also packs more of a punch with a bit more substance added in the tunes. It’s a must have mixtape.