Wanna know the funny thing? This guy was actually born in New York. How's that for irony?
On top of all that, the singles "Hard in Da Paint" and "No Hands," from his debut LP Flockaveli (released October 5), garnered him enough buzz and attention to be voted the #8 Hottest MC in the Game, his first time making the list.
While Atlanta has been a hotbed of hip-hop talent for many years, a lot of artists who make a name for themselves off club records disappear as fast as they arrive. Right now, though, Waka isn't just hot in the clubs; he practically owns them.
"[Waka] put out three consistent records in a row," MTV senior producer Rahman Dukes said during the Hottest MCs roundtable. "He's coming out a region that's known for putting out one great record."
Still, there are many in hip-hop who question the upstart's talent. Critics have derided him, claiming he's more flash and rowdiness (witness his shouted ad lib "Waka! Flocka! Waka! Flocka!") than lyrical substance.
"He's not the most lyrical dude," MTV News senior writer Jayson Rodriguez admitted, defending Waka's place on the list. "But these joints, they're ubiquitous. You can't go places without hearing 'O Let's Do It.' You hear it everywhere."
"There's always been a lane for different artists who just control that 'get drunk, get crunk, just go hard' ... and those artists usually haven't always been the most lyrical," said MTV News supervising producer Sean Lee. "Right now, he's owning that lane."