Trouble and Waka Flocka

One of the cooler songs from 2011.  Trouble is an interesting rapper that probably deserves a ‘thinkpiece’ to describe his ‘anti-rap’ style.  It’s a lot easier to write about a group like Clipse bucking rap motifs (“And I leave it to y’all, to freestyle and battle and shit“) because they still adhere to general rap writing principles.  Pusha T and Malice rhyme at the end of their bars and they have clever metaphors so it’s cool that they hates rappers and consider the word ‘rapper’ a pejorative.  There is some good writing about Trouble though and the author of that piece does a good job of putting Trouble’s work into some sort of historical context.

Stylistically, from an ‘anti-rap’ perspective, Waka and Trouble are a lot alike. Flocka has managed to cross over to the mainstream on the back of some great singles, one classic album and a few great mixtapes.  Obviously, making good music is the most important thing but I think that the two fanbases, of Trouble and Waka, are quite different because Waka is so ubiquitous.  We can measure this by looking at how people are discussing each of their works on the internet.

We can do this by measuring how ‘street’ the comments are versus how ‘backpacker’ the comments are.  I introduced this in the last post.  It would make sense that Waka’s latest efforts would be a lot less ‘street’ than Trouble.  We can do this by simply looking at their respective Youtube pages and getting the data we need.

Artist Street Score
Trouble 48.14
Waka Flocka 4.00

Waka’s score, because it’s so low relative to Trouble indicates that Waka has crossed over more so into the mainstream.  It’s not fair to compare Trouble’s debut mixtape to Flocka 4 years into his career as an established artist.  A fair comparison would be to see how Flocka’s debut mixtape Salute Me or Shoot Me compares to Trouble’s December 17th.

It turns out that Salute Me or Shoot Me has a ‘street score’ of 31.79 which is a lot closer to Trouble’s score of 48.14 and says that the path to mainstream, for guys like Trouble and Flocka, goes through capturing the ‘streets’.  Or at least the people who post Youtube comments from the streets.

It’s like Jay-Z said:

first I snatched the streets, then I snatched the charts. First I had they ear, now I have they heart.

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