For his first official release of 2015, Waka Flocka Flame has seen fit to release The Turn Up Godz Tour, a mixtape featuring ten songs and hosted by DJ Whoo Kid. This is his first new release since last July’s I Can’t Rap Vol. 1, and we’re now going on a year since Flocka told us “Flockaveli 2 on the way” at the end of “Ain’t No Problems” on his solid gold Re Up mixtape. It now seems as though Flockaveli 2 is actually on the way, with a release date now set for June 1st and album art posted as well. In all likelihood, the album could easily get pushed back to 2016, but thinking that it could be released in just three months is an attractive image.
The Turnup Godz Tour is a mixtape that serves to promote Flocka and Whoo Kid’s upcoming Spring Break tour of the same name. Earlier today, the teaser track “All These Bitches,” featuring Future and produced by Southside and 808 Mafia, premiered on the internet. Shortly afterwards, the mixtape appeared under Datpiff’s upcoming releases section. This does not appear to be a serious entry in the Flocka canon, but rather a source document of his attempt to draw from the exuberant (and highly profitable) world of Spring Break 2015, an event influenced by the post-Gangnam trapocalypse, Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers (in which former mentor Gucci Mane stars as the antagonist), the collapse of the Skrillex/Diplo bubble and a whole new generation of teenagers watching videos on World Star.
Flocka is no stranger to the party set. He has recently worked with a series of electronic producers ranging from Flosstradamus (“Too Turnt Up“) and Diplo (“Techno“) to Steve Aoki (“Rage the Night Away“) and, most surprising, Umek (“Cheezin’“). At the same time, he’s maintained a steady stream of guest spots on hip-hop releases like Chaz Gotti’s Waitin’, Gucci Mane’s 1017 Mafia: Incarcerated, and the peculiar third album from R&B artist Sisqó of Dru Hill titled Last Dragon (released 14 years after its predecessor and vying for worst album art 2015). Time has certainly passed since Flocka’s last substantive release, and this mixtape is just a slat in the wooden bridge over the river separating us from Flockaveli 2 (or, in theory, I Can’t Rap Vol. 2).
The aggressively dubsteppy opening track “Turn Up God (Intro)” sets the stage for this mixtape: blatant references to partying, wubby bass, trapstyle beats and a continuation of the style promoted by DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.” “Turn up god: that’s what they call me,” proclaims Flocka, and his voice contains the youthful energy and vitality I’ve always liked in him. Flocka can shout, yell, and laugh with such force and mirth that it’s hard to deny his presence. Luckily, this mixtape manages to find plenty of places for actual bars, and Flocka delivers some fiery lines over this mixtape’s almost 45 minute length.
Several of the songs and remixes presented here come with production from Neon Dreams. DJ Whoo Kid serves up most of the remaining beats, although the use of Flosstradamus’s “Mosh Pit” beat also varies the overall sound of the mixtape. There’s a fair share of EDM tunes that feature rapping, and a good smattering of actual rap songs, but in both cases the selection seems geared toward high energy tunes suitable for the turning up implied by the title of the release. There are no pauses for conscious reflection or social commentary; rather the tracklist moves from one ode to indulgence and hedonism to another.
My favorites here are “Against All Odds,” a slower track that features a top-notch Gucci Mane verse, “Frosted Leaf,” which sees Tony Yayo delivering material reflective of his reunited G Unit sound, and “Grove St. Party,” which manages to combine excellent trap instrumentation and production with genuinely enjoyable verses from Flocka. For a rapper borne on the backs of electronic hip-hop production luminaries Lex Luger, Southside, Drumma Boy and 808 Mafia, it’s not unusual to hear Flocka’s voice on tracks with this amount of dance music in them. Though this mixtape says little about Waka Flocka Flame at this point in time, it’s amusing enough to warrant a listen. There’s the makings of a party playlist here, but those who seek more intellectual fulfillment will have to wait to be satisfied until the next Waka Flocka Flame release.