Today: Apr 21, 2024

Music Review: Yelawolf — Radioactive

theoriginalwinger.comJON MORENOArts Editor
1. “Radioactive” – Yelawolf spends no time supplying the listener with discomfort as the album starts with a tone sharp enough to hurt your ears. However, the steady beat drops and Yelawolf spits some of the hardest bars I’ve heard in a hip-hop album’s intro. 5/5 Owls.
2. “Get Away” (feat. Shawty Fatt & Mystikal) – Mystikal is still spitting in 2011? Say word. Either way, this is a solid cut here that aligns Yelawolf with a couple of MCs from his area down south. Everybody here goes in, including Mystikal. 3/5 Owls.
3. “Let’s Roll” (feat. Kid Rock) – This is the second single off Yelawolf’s Shady Records debut and it seems like the Alabama rapper is hellbent on bringing back artists that were relevant back in the 90’s. Once again, it doesn’t matter what year it is, the last two features on this album brought their “A” game. Kid Rock provides vocals for the track’s hook and when the video drops for this gem, expect it to get a few spins in urban radio. 4/5 Owls.
4. “Hard White (Up in the Club)” (feat. Lil Jon) – Another special guest appearance by someone who hasn’t mattered in the music industry for years. Lil Jon plays the hype man role here to the best of his ability and Yelawolf once again delivers with his unique flow and voice to a beat that most MCs would have a difficult time keeping up with. 4/5 Owls.
5. “Growin’ Up In the Gutter” (feat. Rittz) – WillPower outdid himself with the production on this one. The song sends off an eerie vibe as Yelawolf does his best rendition of a sick, twisted individual on the verge of committing murder before screaming on the hook to remind everyone listening that he is straight out of the mean streets of Alabama. 4/5 Owls.
6. “Throw It Up” (feat. Eminem & Gangsta Boo) – No, no vomit puns here but rather a banger meant for the streets and nowhere else. Yelawolf once again reaches out for the aid of an artist who hasn’t mattered in God knows how long in Gangsta Boo, who surprisingly delivers a mean verse to complement Yelawolf and Eminem’s fast-paced flows. The Eminem skit at the end is also nothing but pure brilliance. 5/5 Owls.
7. “Good Girl” (feat. Poo Bear) – If you listened to the skit on the last track, you already know this one here is a love song for girls because why? “B*tches like love songs,” best said by Eminem. The pace finally slows down half-way through the album here but not enough to the point that it sucks the air out of the momentum the album was carrying. Still a solid track. 3/5 Owls.
8. “Made in the U.S.A.” (feat. Priscilla Renea) – Whoever Priscilla Renea is, she sounds like a mini-version of Rihanna. Her vocals are as elegant and patriotic as the song title may indicate as Yelawolf takes listeners through the stories of the average hard-working American. 4/5 Owls.
9. “Animal” (feat. Fefe Dobson) – Another feature by someone who is irrelevant. I’m convinced Yelawolf is determined to revive the careers of these artists. With Eminem being his boss, one would think Yelawolf would have the budget to have bigger names lay down hooks. But the features aren’t about the name, Yelawolf just wants to make good music regardless of who is on the song. Every feature has complemented the track well so far. Including this one. 3/5 Owls.
10. “The Hardest Love Song in the World” – Not much to say about this one; it’s a good listen but nothing spectacular. 2/5 Owls.
11. “Write Your Name” (feat. Mona Moua) – Despite J.U.S.T.I.C.E League being lazy and blatantly using the same drums they used for Rick Ross’s “Aston Martin Music,” this song is my favorite on the album. The chorus is beautifully written and performed by the graceful Mona Moua. Yelawolf’s sing-songish and easy to follow flow leads me to believe this is intended to be a single in the near future. 5/5 Owls.
12. “Everything I Love the Most” – WillPower and Eminem work together to produce this record as Yelawolf showcases his versatility as he sings the song’s hook. The song is mellow but still features Yelawolf’s signature flow. Eminem has himself a monster in this guy. It’s a shame the music industry is still sleeping on him. It’s a matter of time before more people begin to recognize this man’s name. 3/5 Owls.
13. “Radio” – Sampling the famous 80s song “Video Killed the Radio Star,” Jim Jonsin provides the production on this one here as Yelawolf reminisces about the days when the Internet didn’t rule the music industry the way it does now. The irony is that Yelawolf speaks about his dislike in program directors that choose the music played in radio stations but yet provide his fans and critiques with a very mainstream album. Yelawolf had a vision when he recorded this album and Eminem saw that vision as well, so he helped him to bring that to fruition. This album is called “Radioactive” for multiple reasons. The casual hip-hop fan has to respect the intelligence of this man as he clearly is comfortable with who he is as an artist. 3/5 Owls.
14. “Slumerican Shitizen” (feat. Killer Mike) – This song is nothing short but straight up white trash. Yelawolf is proud of his roots and has no problem letting the world know he comes from the trenches of Alabama. If there was ever such a thing of country/hip-hop music, this here is it. 3/5 Owls.
15. “The Last Song” – Yelawolf decides to cap off his album with a somber song that reflects on his life growing up without a father. It’s a direct message to the man who refused to raise him as he embraces the fact that he grew up to be a well-respected and successful artist in hip-hop. Yelawolf is extremely diverse despite of the initial reaction people may have of him because of his odd voice. The accent is strong, true, but so are his lyrics. Yelawolf is far from superficial and has everything it takes to have longevity in the rap game. Great album, great artist.
Overall: 4 out of 5 Owls

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