Monday, November 30, 2009


I'm generally not one for rock/rap hybrids.  The only group that ever did well with this combination was Rage Against the Machine, and perhaps one could include some songs by Red Hot Chili Peppers in that same category.  I was raised on rock & roll and I enjoy listening to it from time to time.  But please, keep rock separate from my rap.  It's not one of those Reese's peanut-butter cup situations.  "You got rock in my rap" is said with some Pusha T type of disgust: "Yiiiuuck."  That's why I initially approached Yelawolf's music with trepidation after hearing it described as "rock-influenced."  I was already late to the party, but I decided to give his music some time to grow on me.  When Maurice Garland posted "Pop the Trunk" almost two week ago, I pushed play on a whim.  I had just seen some pretty good live footage of Yelawolf and I was willing to give the guy another shot (I had heard one song before that didn't really stick with me).  I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the song, but it became clear that he was an exceptionally talented rapper.  Just days later I heard him kill his featured verse on "Who's Hood?" from G-Side's Huntsville International Project.  I decided it was finally time to download his last mixtape, Stereo.  This is the one that got him the rock/rap reputation, with every song being based around classic rock samples.  It took about three or four listens, but I really like it now, and Yelawolf has definitely improved in the meantime.  It is clear that he has been influenced by Big Boi far more than Lynyrd Skynyrd.

For many, Yelawolf's music will be an acquired taste and some just won't like it.  It is different than a lot of what you're hearing, and while that held me back at first, it's ultimately what makes his music so interesting.  The authenticity is also incredibly refreshing, and he's got good people behind him with cosigns from the likes of Killer Mike and Slim Thug, and one of the nicest band websites I've seen (still in development).  I'm looking forward to hearing his upcoming Trunk Muzik mixtape, and I think there are good things in his future.

"Dirt Road"
"Pop The Trunk"

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