Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Catchin' that Yelawolf fever

By Robert Nelson

You can ask Sanctuary rapconteur
Robert Nelson what's in his player,
just don't ask him what's in the trunk.
I discovered Yelawolf through my friend Stan. He told me Eminem signed him to his label and mentioned he’d seen him on BET’s The Cypher. So, that’s where I started, and there was plenty more on YouTube. Then, I bought the Trunk Muzik mixtape on iTunes, and I’ve been listening to it for the past 10 or 11 months.

I usually keep a pretty tight rotation of new music circulating in my car. In the past year, it’s been mostly Trunk Muzik. I continue to develop a new favorite song. It started with Daddy’s Lambo, then Box Chevy, Pop the Trunk, and now, Love is Not Enough. If I’m picky, I might skip through one or two tracks, but it rides from top to bottom. It’s the CD I leave in the deck when there’s nothing else I want to hear. You might say I’m enamored with it.

Guests include Raekwon, Gucci Mane and Bun B over a blend of hip-hop and dirty south beats. Yelawolf raps circles around them with a syrupy twang delivery as dynamic as I’ve ever heard. Despite the proliferation of Southern artists within the genre over the past decade, he’s managed to maintain a distinct point of view and proves capable of incorporating popular hip-hop storytelling elements into his narrative in a fresh, palatable way.

He’s performing Oct. 19 in Minneapolis at First Ave in support of his major label debut, entitled Radioactive, due Nov. 21. I’m not really wild about the first single but anticipating the record nonetheless. I’ll let you know how the show goes. I’m looking forward to that, too.

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