Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family

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Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family
Studio album by Waka Flocka Flame
Released June 8, 2012
Recorded 2011–12
Genre Southern hip hop
Length 58:09
Label 1017 Brick Squad, Brick Squad Monopoly, Asylum, Warner Bros.
Producer Waka Flocka Flame (exec.), Finis "KY" White (exec.), Southside, Lex Luger, KY Engineering, TM88, ID Labs, Arkatech Beatz, Drumma Boy, Troy Taylor, Skyy Stylez, Jon Redwine
Waka Flocka Flame chronology
Ferrari Boyz
(2011)
Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family
(2012)
Flockaveli 2
(2014)
Singles from Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family
  1. "Round of Applause"
    Released: October 14, 2011
  2. "I Don't Really Care"
    Released: March 20, 2012
  3. "Get Low"
    Released: June 5, 2012

Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family is the second studio album by American rapper Waka Flocka Flame. The album features guest appearances from Drake, Nicki Minaj, B.o.B, Trey Songz, Ludacris, Travis Porter, Meek Mill and production from longtime collaborator Lex Luger, Troy Taylor, Southside, now the main producer on the album since Lex Luger, among others. It was released in the United States on June 8, 2012.[1]

Background[edit]

The album follows the release of Waka Flocka Flame's debut studio album, Flockaveli, which was released in 2010 to largely positive reviews and contained the US top-15 single "No Hands", which was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[2][3][4] Following the success of Flockaveli, Waka Flocka Flame became a central figurehead of his record label, 1017 Bricksquad – a position also owing to the official head of the label, rapper Gucci Mane, becoming involved in many controversies and serving several prison sentences.[5] During 2011, using his increased influence, Waka Flocka Flame expanded the 1017 Bricksquad roster, signing several new rappers to the label including YG Hootie and Kebo Gotti.[5] Waka Flocka Flame also released a collaboration album with Gucci Mane, titled Ferrari Boyz, which charted at number 23 on the US Billboard 200,[6] although the album was criticized by some music critics, who felt the two rappers' vastly contrasting lyrical styles clashed too much.[5]

In an interview with radio presenter Bootleg Kev in January 2011, Waka Flocka Flame revealed the album's title to be Triple F Life: Fans, Friends and Family.[7] He later elaborated on the title's significance in an interview with hip hop magazine XXL, stating that his own fans, friends and family had been the main inspirations towards recording his music since he began rapping.[8] The album took between one-and-a-half to two months to record,[9] and was originally meant to be released during 2011: however, Waka Flocka Flame delayed the album's release to 2012 as he felt it was rushed, revealing in an interview with Billboard magazine column "The Juice" that he "felt like I was trying to please the label and not the people that really listen to the music."[10] He spent the time between the release of Flockaveli and Triple F Life: Fans, Friends and Family identifying the unique aspects of his music and working to improve them, especially the ones that appealed to his fans.[11] He explained this in further detail in a May 2012 interview with music magazine Spin:

I wanted to craft my hustle... I wanted to drop a lot of mixtapes, with no promo, to see what kind of music my fans love. So I figured out what people love me for – ad-libs, the crunk, the energy of my voice! I didn't want to be distracted by people saying, 'Waka's not lyrical.' I didn't want to lose my path by trying to be lyrical. Hell, no. I can't fall off my hustle.[11]

The death of Waka Flocka Flame's close friend and fellow 1017 Brick Squad member Slim Dunkin also delayed the album's release date, as he was too emotionally affected by the death to record any new material at the time.[9] Waka Flocka Flame would later dedicate Triple F Life: Fans, Friends and Family to Dunkin, citing him as having had a special talent.[12]

Singles[edit]

"Round of Applause", a collaboration with fellow rapper Drake, was released as the album's lead single on October 14, 2011 as a digital download: it was later released to American urban contemporary radio on November 1, 2011.[13][14] The song, produced by record producer Lex Luger,[15] was not originally meant to feature Drake: however, after he released the version of the song with his vocals added through his blog, October's Very Own, on September 10, 2011, his version was released as the single.[16] "Round of Applause" peaked at number 86 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 15 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number 16 on the US Hot Rap Songs chart.[2][17][18] On February 26, 2012, the music video was released for "Round of Applause" featuring Drake.[19]

The album's second single, "I Don't Really Care", was sent to urban radio on March 20, 2012,[20] and was released for digital download in the United States on March 23, 2012.[21] The song features guest vocals from American singer and rapper Trey Songz, and is produced by Troy Taylor and Skyy Stylez.[22] "I Don't Really Care" debuted and peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the chart week dating April 14, 2012:[2] it also peaked at number 33 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at number 21 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.[17][18] On May 1, 2012, the music video was released for "I Don't Really Care" featuring Trey Songz.[23]

The album's third single, "Get Low", which features fellow rappers Nicki Minaj, Tyga and Flo Rida, was released for digital download on June 5, 2012.[24] "Rooster in My Rari" was released a promotional single to digital retailers on May 18, 2012.[25] On August 31, 2012, the music video was released for "Get Low" featuring Flo Rida, Nicki Minaj and Tyga.[26]

On June 11, 2012, the music video was released for "Rooster In My Rari".[27] On June 12, 2012, the music video was released for "Let Dem Guns Blam" featuring Meek Mill.[28] On June 13, 2012, the music video was released for "Candy Paint & Gold Teeth" featuring Bun B and Ludacris.[29] On July 30, 2012, the music video was released for "Fist Pump" featuring B.o.B.[30]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[31]
AllHipHop 7/10[32]
The A.V. Club C+[33]
Entertainment Weekly B–[34]
HipHopDX 2.5/5 stars[35]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[36]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[37]
RapReviews 5.5/10[38]
Spin 6/10[39]
XXL 4/5 stars (XL)[40]

Upon its release, Triple F Life: Friends, Fans & Family received generally positive reviews from music critics.[41] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 66, based on 14 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[41] David Jeffries of AllMusic gave the album three and a half stars out of five, saying "Like his Brick Squad brother Gucci Mane, Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame is good with the shouted hook and the drug-induced stumble, plus he's funny, able to drop witty punch lines and cool quips all the way through to verse number three while retaining his tattooed buffoon stance that projects "I couldn't care less, homie." His sophomore effort, Triple F Life, threatens to confuse the issue with its subtitle dedication to "Friends, Fans & Family," but there's way too much strip-club music here to consider this a heartwarming concept album, so spend a solemn moment with the RIP dedication to Slim Dunkin—Waka's friend and cohort who was murdered in late 2011—and then get ready for the expected slam session."[31] Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club gave the album a C+, saying "What Triple F Life lacks in inspiration, it can sometimes compensate for with sheer sweat, and particularly during its many strip-club salvos, Flocka’s shouted enthusiasm and manic ad-libs keep the record animated. If there’s still life in this sound, though, it’s only because Flocka shocks it with a defibrillator every 10 seconds, a strategy that just barely carries him through this sophomore album, but won’t sustain him in the long run."[33] Ian Cohen of Pitchfork Media gave the album a 7.0 out of 10, saying "It's tough to imagine Waka repeating Flockaveli and somehow improving on it, but under the cloak of Triple F's blatant crossover appeals, he slyly exceeds expectations by making a record better than it really needs to be."[36]

King Eljay of AllHipHop gave the album a seven out of ten, saying "Waka’s Triple F Life: Friends, Fans, and Family is a grab bag at best, with some songs staying true to what he’s done in the past, and others taking huge risks. Granted, those risks (most notably, “Fist Pump”) could pay off extremely well, but the album as a whole seems to have little to no direction whatsoever. Don’t get it twisted; the album’s not bad, and there are songs present for every type of Flocka fan, but if you’re looking for an album as entertaining as his first, you won’t exactly find it here."[32] Andres Vasquez of HipHopDX gave the album two and half stars out of five, saying "Listening to a Flocka album, one shouldn’t expect moving metaphors, intriguing similes and/or clever punhlines. If that is the listener’s aim, this isn’t the artist or album. Those wanting what can be expected from Waka will get that and a little bit more from Triple F Life. While there are some highlights on the album, they don’t nearly make up for the glaring flaws throughout, the lack of noteworthy lyrics or the redundancy in topics, flows, hooks and beats. That is all far too difficult to ignore."[35] Ralph Bristout of XXL gave the album an XL, saying "Some will say Triple F Life finds Waka trying to do much, reaching too far out of his zone. But the rapper coolly exceeds expectations in his artistic self-awareness and this go-round shines like his diamond-studded Fozzy Bear chain. “I earned my spot,” he boasts on “Power of My Pen.” Indeed, he has."[40] Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B–, saying "Several tracks in, his second disc begins to bow under the weight of its own aggro intensity. That leaves his own bevy of A-list guests — including Nicki Minaj, Drake, and an especially elastic Ludacris — to bring some fresh jujitsu to Waka's flailing fight game, and provide occasional respite from Triple F Life's single-minded mania."[34]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 33,000 copies in the United States.[42] It debuted at number 49 on the Canadian Albums Chart.[43]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Triple F Life" (Intro) Juaquin Malphurs, Joshua Luellen Southside 1:39
2. "Let Dem Guns Blam" (featuring Meek Mill) J. Malphurs, Luellen, Robert Williams Southside 4:23
3. "Round of Applause" (featuring Drake) J. Malphurs, Lexus Lewis, Aubrey Graham Lex Luger 4:25
4. "I Don't Really Care" (featuring Trey Songz) J. Malphurs, Tremaine Neverson, Aaron "Skyy Stylez" Smith Skyy Stylez, Troy Taylor 3:55
5. "Rooster in My Rari"   J. Malphurs, Gary "DJ Spinz" Hill DJ Spinz 2:49
6. "Get Low" (featuring Nicki Minaj, Tyga & Flo Rida) J. Malphurs, Onika Maraj, Michael Stevenson, Tramar Dillard, Harvey "DJ Speedy" Miller, Matthew Samuels DJ Speedy, Boi-1da, Breyan Issac (co.) 4:16
7. "Fist Pump" (featuring B.o.B) J. Malphurs, Luellen, Bobby Simmons, Jr. Southside, B.o.B, Jamieson Jones (co.) 3:48
8. "Candy Paint & Gold Teeth" (featuring Bun B & Ludacris) J. Malphurs, Bernard Freeman, Christopher Bridges, Carlton Mays, Jr., Jon Redwine Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E., REDWINE (co.) 4:37
9. "Cash" (featuring Wooh Da Kid) J. Malphurs, Nyquan "Wooh Da Kid" Malphurs, Luellen Southside 3:18
10. "Lurkin'" (featuring Plies) J. Malphurs, Algernod Washington, Luellen, Bart "TM88" Simmons Southside, TM88 4:42
11. "Clap"   J. Malphurs, Luellen Southside 3:39
12. "U Ain't Bout That Life" (featuring Alley Boy & Slim Thug) J. Malphurs, Stayve Thomas, Luellen Southside 4:39
13. "Power of My Pen"   J. Malphurs, M.W.Dewar, C.A.Dewar Arkatech Beatz 3:58
14. "Flex" (featuring Travis Porter, Slim Dunkin & D-Bo) J. Malphurs, Luellen, Lakeem Matox, Donquez Woods, Harold Duncan, Mario "Slim Dunkin" Hamilton, Derez Lenard Southside 3:39
15. "Triple F Life" (Outro) (featuring Wooh Da Kid) J. Malphurs, N. Malphurs, Miller DJ Speedy 4:34

References[edit]

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