Why Waka Flocka Flame Insists His Meme Coin Isn't a Cash Grab

From Jason Derulo to Iggy Azalea and Caitlyn Jenner, there’s been a rush of celebrities flooding the meme coin world—though the initial novelty of this latest wave of celebrity coins may be wearing off on traders, especially amid a rise in scams aiming to capitalize on the craze via hacked social media accounts.

Rapper Waka Flocka Flame (aka Juaquin James Malphurs), is part of that pack of recent celeb entrants into the meme coin world—and in an exclusive interview with Decrypt, he said he remains focused on his FLOCKA community, paying little attention to other coins and what their celebrity backers are doing with them.

Despite his declared commitment to the community, Flame and his team have faced accusations of insider trading following the launch of his FLOCKA meme coin via Solana on June 17.

Concerns arose about a wallet that acquired around 40% of the coin’s supply and then distributed it to multiple wallets quickly after the launch. Flame tells Decrypt that traders “sniped” a majority of the supply ahead of the launch, leaving his team scrambling and feeling unable to properly represent the token.

“I’m gonna be honest. Fuck it. What happened was we first lost the coin. People sniped 60% of the coin, like 70%,” he said. “So I was like, hold the fuck up. No, no, no, shut that coin down, really, because I don’t even have any of it. And this is my coin. Hello? That’s my narrative. That’s not cool.”

Flame had teased the coin for days, even retweeting people who said they’d snap up any token he launched—so even if the launch itself wasn’t formally announced in advance, meme coin traders were on the lookout for a drop. Some traders use sniper bots to snap up large chunks of new tokens before they’re widely announced, though in many cases like this, there’s widespread speculation that insiders got access to the token’s contract address before the announcement tweet.

Despite speculation of insider trading, which Flame has denied, he wasn’t keen on having so many tokens out of his command. Flame told Decrypt that if something has his name on it, he would have to be part of shaping that community. His team was able to acquire a sizable share of the tokens on the market, giving Flame what he sees as a strong base to build from.

“How can I represent something that I don’t have control of?” he said. “That just logically didn’t make no sense. So we got 40% of the market.”

FLOCKA is up 8% over the past week, though like many meme coins, the price action has been volatile—and it’s down 53% from a mid-June peak price, per data from CoinGecko.

When centralized entities launch crypto tokens, there’s often a large portion of the token supply locked into vesting schedules, which ensures that the team can’t dump on holders right out of the gate. In this case, FLOCKA holders are taking Flame’s word for it. But he said that any potential profit-taking ahead would go to support his team.

“I didn’t take a dollar out of it,” he said. “If anything, the only way I’ll take profit is for the people that work with me. We all made this pie together. I didn’t do that all on my own. I wouldn’t want to make no money. I want the platform to flourish first.”

Block Squad Monopoly

When he refers to the platform, he means the expanding community backing his coin. Now, he’s broadening the FLOCKA ecosystem with the launch of a Web3 record label called Block Squad Monopoly.

Block Squad Monopoly is an on-chain record label powered by the FLOCKA token. FLOCKA holders can connect their wallets to a token-gated site, and based on the amount of tokens they hold, they will be given different positions in the community—like musician, producer, manager, tour manager, and others.

To apply for a position, holders must meet a minimum threshold—for example, 1 million FLOCKA (about $1,350 worth) to submit as an artist, and 200,000 FLOCKA ($270 worth) to assume the role of a graphic designer. However, all token holders will be able to vote on talent.

FLOCKA community holders will choose and vote on the team members and work to distribute the music from the label as compressed NFTs. Flame said it’s being designed in an effort to give his community a sense of ownership and to shake up the traditional distribution process.

“It’s only to change how we think and distribute music,” Flame said. “I just wanna create something where the community wins, where the community creates the music with a community narrative, and the community can get paid as well.”

Flame will be releasing a new song called “4th Quarter” on DRiP, a collectibles platform on Solana. When asked why he chose to release the song on Drip instead of via Block Squad Monopoly, Waka Flocka Flame’s team emphasized the importance of collaborating with others in the space.

Collaboration and building together with leaders in the space that are making a difference,” Flame’s business partner Pratheep ‘Stally’ Kanesh said of the strategy. “Vibhu [Norby], the founder [of DRiP] has been very hands-on. Block Squad has its own catalog of unreleased records coming.”

He emphasized the importance of community participation in making significant decisions.

“Let the people that actually listen to the music tell you what it’s worth,” said Kanesh.

On his reputation

Flame admitted that it frustrates him that many people called him a rugger and a scammer, including for allegedly promoting a variety of flimsy crypto projects years back. He blamed his management for past missteps in the space, and perhaps a bit of naivety about crypto as well.

“Man, I believed everyone at face value at first,” he told Decrypt when asked. “My management brought me deals and they looked good on the surface, and I guess they couldn’t finish what they started. But that’s why now I do my due diligence myself, and FLOCKA’s the only token I’m behind.”

Even with that admission, Flame said that as someone who’s been in the spotlight in other industries, he’s used to the negativity. 

“My whole life is built on being judged and misunderstood,” he told Decrypt. “So why would I even focus on it? I just know what I’m doing.”

He says he ultimately separates his true self from the “Waka Flocka” name, and doesn’t consider himself a celebrity, despite his music industry success and his sizable social media followings, including 1.8 million people on Twitter (aka X).

“I understand that people have some celebrities that do rug pulls and things of that nature, but I’m not a celebrity. Only my name is famous,” he added. “I look at Waka Flocka as a business.”

Flame adds that he’s lived through many ups and downs in life, but swears that he would never mess with anyone’s livelihood. “I might play a game of basketball or video games with you, but I would never play with anyone’s pockets,” he said. “Only a lazy person rug pulls.”

Just weeks after the token launch, Flame admits that he checks the floor price “every time I get offstage at night,” but “not like 20 or 100 times a day.” Even with at least some focus on short-term price action, he said he’s more focused on trying to parlay this initial interest into something sustainable.

“What I do now is fix the website,” he said, “make sure the tech is good, ensure our compliance is good, partner with the right people, and stay on the road to where we want to be in the future.”

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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