Interview with Yelawolf

As the finale to our week of Yelawolf related content, here’s a short interview I conducted with the man himself. Enjoy!

You Must Learn: You seem to be following in Outkast’s tradition of reaching across the Mason-Dixon and collaborating with rappers from across the map. Do you see yourself strictly as a “southern” artist or a mix of styles and influences?

Yelawolf: Yeah I’m definitely influenced across the board..all music is relevant to me. It should be to any artist but its not…unfortunately for the listener…Outkast laid the groundwork for how an artist can survive when you’re a leader, I was lucky enough to sign with KP (GhetoVision) who put Outkast on….So I have no choice but to bring the Raw Dope shit.

YML: On songs like “My Box Chevy pt. 2” and “I Wish,” you tell stories from your own life and those of the people around you. Do consider yourself a voice for Alabama as a state that is perhaps underrepresented in Hip Hop and the popular consciousness?

Yelawolf: Could be that Alabama is over represented..just inaccurately. Were probably the most–No WE ARE the most stereotyped state in America. The battle is creating an overstanding of our culture and how we as white and black people interact based on our income level. I’m definitely a voice for my state..but my perspective is my own…for the most part I just want people too have fun and get buck to my music….if you’re from Alabama then the music feels like home..if you aint from Alabama it feels like home!

YML: Your stories resonate with tremendous detail and have some very cinematic qualities. Projects like the Ball of Flames mixtape and songs like “Brown Sugar” adhere to really strong concepts and themes, much more so than most Hip Hop these days. Do you find that contemporary Hip Hop (or music in general) is lacking great storytellers or stories?

Yelawolf: Really the south was built on story tellin..it comes natural to me..we weren’t raised doin battles…we kicked verses about life, fantasy, crime,sex,drugs, and food,chevy’s and lac’s…..I just think there’s a lack of passion and work ethic….mutherfuckers are just too damn lazy to THINK and write a story…that would take too much actual talent.

YML: Regarding cinematic influences: do you watch a lot of movies, television shows, etc. or does most of your vivid visual style come from real life experience and observation?

Yelawolf: It really depends…inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime…I’m very spontaneous and observant. But mainly I derive my initial concepts from the music itself…my life experiences fill in the blanks.

YML: How long have you been performing live?

Yelawolf: About 5 years …2 years hard at it…and a little over a year with a Band

YML: A listener can find out about you in a number of ways. Would you rather the average fan hear you live first or listen to your recorded material? Does it matter to you?

Yelawolf: Either way is cool with me..they both have an impact in their own way….just play it loud!

YML: What can we expect to hear from you in the near future?

Yelawolf: TRUNK MUZIK (mixtape) Hosted by Dj Burn One

Check out “Pop the Trunk,” from the upcoming Trunk Muzik, below.

Download “Pop the Trunk” here.

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