SXSW Review: Yelawolf

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Photo of Yelawolf at Malverde by Anthony Demby

Being Caucasian in hip-hop is no longer a novelty anymore. We’re slowly getting to the point in rap where if you’re a capable MC (or at least if you have capable hustle), you can have a seat at the table. But is this seat worthy for rap’s newest sensation Yelawolf?

Haters may hate, but not only is Yelawolf sitting at my hip-hop table, I’m going ask him to say grace and pass the butter as well. I’m not going to lie. I was kind of sleeping on Yelawolf. I’m not really interested in trends or what bloggers say is the “next big thing.” However, I’m sleeping on this dude no more. He brought it at his SXSW performance.

My home state of Alabama might not be a hip-hop hotbed, but there is plenty of great Southern hip-hop coming from there lately, from PRGz to Rich Boy. Gadsden, Alabama’s Yelawolf is the latest phenom from the state. Even though the MC was signed by Columbia Records a few years ago, it’s only now that he’s making a name for himself.

And where else to make a name for yourself than SXSW? Fresh off of the release of his mixtape, Trunk Muzik, Yela’s show was as “crunk” as its namesake. The first thing you notice about about his set is how energetic it is, and dude kept up that energy throughout the entire show. Even if Southern hip-hop ain’t your cup of tea, Yelawolf’s show alone is worth the price of admission.