Warner Bros. recording artist Waka Flocka Flame has had a love for dogs for as long as he can recall. From the time and care invested in his very first dogs as a child to posing nude for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on two separate animal rights campaigns, the Billboard chart-topping rapper has had a lifelong devotion to his four-legged friends.
So when he’s not rocking shows and violently shaking his long dreadlocks to high-energy rap anthems or climbing the charts with his latest single “Round of Applause” featuring multi-platinum rapper/singer Drake, Waka Flocka is probably joined at the hip to his pitbull puppy Red Rose. This is more than pet and owner... more like man's best friend.
UnleashMagazine.com: How did you come up with the name Red Rose for your dog?
Waka Flocka: I named it after my last Pit Bull. I don’t know what happened to it. My dog got loose and it disappeared. It hurted! My three-year-old dog was the best dog I ever had in my life. I tried to get the same dog that looked exactly like her with the big ears and I named her Red Rose.?
It sounds like you and your dog were close?
I really grew up with this Pit Bull. The dog was so good he would give people 5s. The dog literally thought he was human. I just knew the dog; words couldn’t explain.
So what’s your new Red Rose like?
She’s bad as shit. She bites everything. I probably had like 50 shoes; she ate every last one of them. One thing she doesn’t do is piss where she lay at. She's hardheaded and she's stubborn… overprotective too, but I love her.
Do you keep her in the house with you or does she have a house in the backyard?
She's an inside dog. Right now, she's at a friend's house on the back porch....inside though (because) right now, we’re remodeling the inside of the house… I don’t want her sleeping outside, period.
Why don’t you let her sleep outside?
Last time I did that, I had a bad experience with fleas. Them shits got all over my house, the carpet, everywhere. It was crazy! I had to switch everything to wood and marble. No more going outside for my dog.
Wow! Its sounds like you had the toughest time getting rid of the fleas.
Man, I bombed the house like 10 times. I pulled the carpet up (and) they was outta there. I basically threw everything away and damn near remodeled the whole house. It was serious. You could come over there and they would damn near bite your legs up… One day, the cleaning lady was like “It’s bad; they biting me.” It was serious.
Being a national celebrity, your schedule is hectic. Who cares for Red Rose when you’re on the road?
Every chance I get, the dog comes with me on the tour bus…If you got somebody watching (your) dog, you really gotta trust their judgment. You don’t know what that person is doing. The dog might grow up abused so you really gotta know what’s going on because when I left my last dog and my dog caught fleas, it was crazy. I was gone for like 2 weeks. I came home and I could see her ribs. She had fleas. I was tight! Super tight! I was like “How y’all gonna let this shit happen?!?” So that was a life-learned lesson. So I know now that this is serious. This right here is like a kid.
Does she go on the road with you?
She travels with me. Especially on short trips, I take her with me. I really need to find some better pads (though) because that piss gets strong. I try to put a towel under the pads. But I guess it doesn’t feel the same to them so they dig it up.
You’ve posed for PETA on two separate occasions. What made you take a stance against animal cruelty?
I do it from the heart. I don’t do things thinking this might help me sell some albums or get some girls to love me. I did that shit from the heart. I stood by that shit.
I have to say thank you for posing in our photo shoot with Leia, UnleashMagazine.com’s mascot. What do you think about her?
She's housetrained, real playful and she’s not a biter. She’s people friendly. I love that about her. And she’s not a licker. Some dogs just like to lick. She’s a cool dog, loves to play, a typical puppy. I can tell you one thing, we've got history now!
You seem to have a natural love for animals. Is there any advice you can give to dog owners or to those thinking about getting or adopting a pet?
First of all you gotta have devoted time. When you adopt a dog, you gotta have patience. One thing you can do to with your dog is cuddle with it. They feel like they’re you. That shows the love for your dog. I did that with Red Rose as a kid. When I was sitting down watching a movie, I played with her. I feel like they feel; it’s a connection there…You gotta spend quality time with them. It’s similar to having a girlfriend. If you don’t spend time, you don’t have nothing.