Yelawolf is a 39 year old rapper, singer & producer from Gadsden, Alabama who first came onto the scene in 2005 with a mediocre debut album Creekwater. It wasn’t until the kickstart of 2010 with the release of his breakout tape Trunk Muzik that he would gain attention, eventually signing to Shady Records/Interscope Records & releasing his sophomore album Radioactive: Amazing & Mystifying Chemical Tricks the following year. A focused grouped, yet still fun major label debut. He then returned in 2015 with Love Story, where he started to incorporate country & rock music into his style. But when his childhood friend Shawty Fatt passed away at the tail-end of 2016, it caused him to disappear from the scene for a while. He fortunately returned with his previous album Trial by Fire, which is pretty much a self-produced & refined sequel to Love Story. Now after dropping a total of 8 vicious freestyles, he’s returning with his 5th full-length album & his last with Shady/Interscope.
The intro kicks things off fantastically, as it pretty much serves as a sequel to Trunk Muzik‘s title track from Yelawolf’s angry bars down to WLPWR sampling the original “Trunk Muzik” song itself. The next track “Catfish Billy 2” of course is a gritty follow-up to the cut that introduced the world to Yelawolf’s alter ego to begin with & even though I appreciate the song “Rowdy” for being a description of coming from the gutter as well as an abrasive beat from DJ Paul (who also provides an adrenaline pumping hook), the Machine Gun Kelly verse is laughable. The track “Special Kind of Bad” is a violin & bass-heavy love ballad that’s goes over very well, but the next song “Like I Love You” is a cringey follow-up to it with a moody trap beat. The track “Drugs” is a look at addiction over a somber beat while the song “Trailer Park Hollywood” talks about looking country fresh & the beat is perfect for the whip.
The track “No Such Thing as Free” with Caskey & Doobie is a jab at people who talk crazy over an eerie beat while the song “We Slum” with Shawty Fatt & Big Henri is self-explanatory over a banger beat. The track “Box Chevy VI” with Rittz & DJ Paul is a tribute to old school Chevrolets over a vintage Paul instrumental while the song “All the Way Up” with MopTop & Cub da Cookup Boss is a look at their feelings on fame over some keyboards & skittering snares. The track “Over Again” is a somber breakup anthem with a cloudy beat while the song “Addiction” tells the depressing story about a friend of Yelawolf’s over a piano infused boom bap beat. The album then closes out with “Over Here”, where Yelawolf disses rappers who’re only out for the fame over a settle guitar & some thumping kick-drums.
With Yelawolf’s tenure at Shady Records being over, this is the best full-length album he’s released yet. The features are hit or miss, but it’s a great return to form of his earlier work from his deadly lyricism all the way down to the menacing production. Really looking forward to the future as he is now a fully independent artist.