As a fan of anything pop or indie I felt slightly out of place stood watching the likes of Chance The Rapper, Slaughterhouse and Tyler the Creator. I do like some hip hop and rap as well, hence why this was whilst I waited for Eminem at Slane Castle. However, when the next support act Yelawolf came out on stage there was something about him that made him stand out against the other rappers I’d just seen.
Initially it was probably his rock star image; covered from head to toe – literally – in tattoos, shoulder length black hair, a red trilby hat and USA flag sunglasses; he didn’t look like your typical rapper – or typical Alabama boy, until he spoke. But mainly it was his talent that made him the most memorable support act of the day. The crowd of 80,000 fell silent when he started to rap at a speed I didn’t even know was possible. It must have been something special for a crowd of that big to be silent, I felt like if I spoke everyone would hear – everyone’s eyes were on the zoomed in screen proving the speed at which he was rapping.
Proud of his routes, with numerous references to Alabama, he rapped to the backing of Kid Rock’s ‘Sweet home Alabama’ well known tune, as well as various rock anthems. A change from the usual hip hop beat went down well with the crowd.
He’s been releasing music since 2005 but it looks like he’s heading for his big break after being signed to Eminem’s Shady Records label in 2011. Having already made a name for himself in the US and with rap fans around the world I think it’s about time his underrated talent is realised by more in the UK. Admittedly if I hadn’t seen him perform I probably wouldn’t have ever listened to Yelawolf, but his rapping talent, unique appearance and likeability changed my attitude. But it seems if you’ve seen him live, you’ve seen him at his best, as after watching some of his music videos online he acts more like a conventional rapper rather than the stand out figure I’d seen on stage.
Songs to listen to would be Let’s Roll ft Kid Rock, Pop the Trunk and the catchy Daddy’s Lambo. Although a lot of fans say they prefer artists before they become ‘mainstream’ or well known, Yelawolf fans may have to get used to it now he’s touring with Eminem and he would easily be a hit with UK hip hop/rap fans when his first album with Shady Records, Love Story, is released later this year.