The art of stage performance has been an Achilles heal for many artists. From vets to rookies, the gleam of the lights on center stage have made some careers and broken others. Yelawolf is an artist who has made and will continue to make a name for himself in front of an audience.
After hearing his name for the past several years, I highlighted the Alabama native’s name on my A3C itinerary. Within my trusted circle of Atlanta folk who keep me in the loop on who’s next or worthy of praise from the city, Yelawolf was described as an artist with trace influences of Lynard Skynard, Eminem, Bob Dylan and Scarface. And every cosigner finished by saying, “Man, you just have to see him live.” So after listening to
“Monster” “F.U.” and recent singles, I decided to take myself to the A to experience the live show with my own peepers.
Nobody lied to me.
In a mere two songs, Yelawolf managed to send a jolt through the venue; cranking the energy level from a medium 7 to an amped 11.
I won’t task myself with persuading you of something that goes beyond words, so let me just say that you have to see him live to understand the reason he was voted “Best Live Hip Hop Act for 2008” by Creative Loafing Atlanta. It took two songs to have myself & the critical A3C crowd wholly convinced. So for now I’ll let K1NG give you two of his favorite joints until you can see the man in person.
“Fuck You.” “I Wish.” Don’t be mislead by simple song titles; these are certified bangers courtesy of Yelawolf.
“Fuck You” is a brassy, bass heavy track that allows for an ever-changing flow in a steady chorus chant beneath his vocals. It’s is the furthest you can get from radio friendly, but I can definitely see it shutting a club or two down if it’s marketed right. “I Wish” holds the same fate; with another profane chorus that would be difficult to edit for content. The minimalist, guitar-centric beat is a perfect platform for Yela to paint lyrical pictures over. He waxes poetic on his upbringing and his relationship with a culture that was seemingly not prevalent in his home state. Having an unquestionable legend like Raekwon on the record really boosts its credibility, but Yelawolf’s verses prove his point much more than any co-sign could.
Download — Yelawolf Feat. Raekwon – “I Wish”
Download — Yelawolf – “F.U.”
Video footage: The SP Agency