After being shot at an Atlanta car wash and hospitalized on the morning of January 19, Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame was released and returned to his home on Sunday. MTV News spoke with the MC on Tuesday in his first sit-down interview since the incident.
The New York-born MC (real name: Juaquin Malphurs) was shot in the arm in what he said was an attempt on his life, not a random burglary as police initially said.
As he sat in his home outside Atlanta on Tuesday, Flocka seemed to be coming to grips with the ramifications of the incident, but also inserted humor into the conversation.
"How I feel?" he responded when asked, taking a long pause to find his words. "I probably feel like this is like my first day of school. You know how you go to school and you're insecure about your clothes? I'm insecure about how a person will take [the story of] what happened — the truth. I'm excited, though. I'm trying to get right but the arm and back is killing me. The [prescribed] pills ain't working right."
Flocka said that on the night before his shooting, he enjoyed a night out, performing at a local club and partying with DJs Drama and Holiday.
He said he chose to check into a hotel rather than drive home. The following morning, he intended to get an oil change for his car but wanted it washed first. The shooting took place at the Bubble Bath car wash.
Waka admitted not being very cognizant of his surroundings at the time. He first called his mother and manager, Debra Antney, who also manages Gucci Mane, Nicki Minaj and OJ Da Juiceman through her Mizay Entertainment business — and then made another call. Flame put his phone down and turned to talk to his friend B.C., who was in the passenger seat. With his window rolled down and his head turned, Flocka said a man ran up to the car and stuck what looked like a Glock 19 handgun in his face.
"I [was] like, 'Good night.' I ain't know what to do," he recalled. "At first I thought it was a joke — I thought it was one of my friends playing, like, 'Boy, you slippin'.' Then [the gunman] said, 'Boy, you already know what it is. You slipped.' I was like, damn!"
Immediately, the rapper started thinking of ways to escape the predicament.
"I had three alternatives," he said. "Back [the car] up. I thought, 'He would probably shoot me in my face. I ain't trying to go out.' I'd rather fight for my life, get shot fighting. Or I could hit him with the car on some crazy Tom Cruise-type stuff. He probably would have shot my partner, then shot the car.
"I'm thinking like, 'I don't feel like paying for this car's damage. I ain't got time for that,' " he added with a smile. "A third alternative was my jewelry: Why not hand him my jewelry and try to get out of the car so I could have some defense. I had a ring on, a watch, my chain on and my bracelet. I took my ring and was like, 'You can get it, man.' I started getting the quick stuff off, making him feel like he's the winner. So I took my ring off, took my bracelet off, gave it to him, took my chain off slow."
Waka recalled that when he started to pretend he was having trouble taking off his chain and watch, the assailant let his guard down and allowed him to get out of the car. The last item to come off was a Breitling watch. Waka hung the watch on his fingertip and when the gunman reached for it, the MC grappled with him and reached for the firearm.
When he leapt forward, the assailant shot him. The bullet hit Flocka's right arm and traveled into his torso. Pain coursed through the right side of his body.
"He took off. I wanted to chase him so bad," Flocka told. "It's like taking your pride, your dignity, but it's nothing I could do. My friend, mind you, I don't know what he was thinking. I wish he would have got out and fought with me. But sh--, it's over with."
The police have not announced a suspect in the shooting.
MTV News will have much more from our exclusive interview with Waka Flocka Flame in the coming days.