Yelawolf brings hardcore southern rap to the Blue Moose

Yelawolf w. Ritz

Blue Moose Tap House — Saturday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m.

Featured prominently on Eminem’s just-released Shady XV compilation album, rapper Yelawolf takes his “Slumerican Made” tour to the Blue Moose Tap House on Saturday, Nov. 29.

“Slumerican” is Yelawolf’s catchall term for the American underbelly aesthetic that bind his music and lyrics together. He explained it to Vancouver’s Georgia Straight as “…a culture that I kind of grew up with—the musical broadness where I’m listening to Hank Williams or Mobb Deep or Metallica. It’s a juxtapose of the gutter.”

Yelawolf’s knack for using a gritty, dark hardcore rap style to describe rural America is what first set him apart with songs like “Pop the Trunk,” and it sustains his music today. One critic describes him as the “southern gothic answer to the Wu-Tang Clan,” in fact. From the marriage of smalltown pride and regret featured in his recent single “Til It’s Gone,” to this month’s Shady XV Cypher, a video which showcases rappers from the Shady label rhyming acapella about their hometowns, Yelawolf manages to represent for Gadsen, Alabama and his success with hip hop without veering into any of the cartoonish trappings that have turned country-rap into such joke of a genre.

It’s Yelawolf’s desire to not just celebrate the South, but to depict it in authentic detail that gives his Slumerican conceit legs and make his music worth paying attention.

Photo by NRK P3
Yelawolf at Norway’s 2010 Hove Festival — Photo by NRK P3 (Creative Commons)

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