"Trunk Muzik 0-60" by YelaWolf

YelaWolf
Trunk Muzik 0-60

Interscope Records
2010

Review

The best way that I can describe the experience of listening to YelaWolf is to say that YelaWolf is a one-man NWA for white people.

I remember listening to NWA over some headphones that my friend passed to me in his garage. I was too smart to do anything really bad like smoking or downing a 40, but to me listening to NWA felt like I was getting away with something. Of course, it was his mom that had bought him the tape so she knew what he was listening to...but I guess the neighborhood I grew up in wasn't too concerned with what the kids were listening to. Well, naturally when a white rapper makes you think of NWA you are immediately going to want to compare them to the most famous white rapper who also happens to have been discovered by a former member of NWA: Eminem. To me Eminem is about being as ostentatious as possible without regard for continuously representing reality. It's as if his reality is too harsh to put on wax as it is, so it's peppered with a ton of exaggeration. YelaWolf, on the other hand, seems to be more from the school of "this is my reality, this is what it is, this is what it's about and it doesn't need any additional embellishment". For example, whereas Eminem might have a rich girl in the trunk of her father's car that he stole and is preparing to drive off a cliff, YelaWolf is simply asking the rich girl if he can drive her dad's car. I'm talking about the song, "Daddy's Lambo" where YelaWolf trying to introduce a young impressionable girl of status to accouterments of the less than erudite lifestyle. More specifically, convincing the girl with money to let the rapper drive her Dad's Lamborghini.

"Get The Fuck Up!" is as good a place to start as any...it's so raw. And the delivery is so angry. In many ways, YelaWolf's delivery reminds me of P.O.S. in his more aggressive tracks. Yela's flow can be mad rapid-fire and staccato.

I mentioned NWA and I think that what made NWA resonate so well is that they were speaking from an environment that knew and were able to convey a particular lifestyle in very explicit and often vivid detail. YelaWolf excels at this as well and the best example of this can be found on "Billy Crystal". The "Crystal" mentioned in the title is "Crystal Meth" and the song sounds like a tragedy. I had a teacher once tell me that the issue with Hip-Hop is that the music and the lyrics never seem to communicate the same sentiments...well, that teacher never listened to an Atmosphere album...or, um, this song.

YelaWolf's storytelling expertise is not limited to painting pictures of community dysfunction and he's willing to show some real emotion from time to time as he does on "Love Is Not Enough". "Love Is Not Enough" is another very raw song and perhaps even the most effective on the album. It's an interesting lamentation on the class struggle between YelaWolf and a girl who leaves him for an "Abercrombie" wearing" guy. So naturally, his only recourse is to call her a bitch...naturally (I did say he speaks to what he knows and this is a Rap album).

College-educated and proud
Me?
I'm just a dropout

The standout on the album is a track called "Marijuana". I think that YelaWolf should do more songs like "Marijuana" which is a Hard-Rock/Hip-Hop hybrid. That chorus is about as raw as it's going to get (it's some guy mostly screaming/sort of singing the word "Marijuana ").

YelaWolf has a strange sort of charisma to him. For me the real minor gripe with the album is that the beats can be somewhat inconsistent. These are not your standard over-produced Hip-Hop beats. These tracks are bass-heavy, sample free, and very simple. It works for the style that is presented here but can occasionally be a bit too simplistic as they are on "That's What We On Now" and "Pop The Trunk". YelaWolf is tremendously talented and I like that his lyrics are grounded in a very specific reality that he represents quite well. Let's hope that he won't venture into Eminem style exaggeration or unnecessary embellishment because clearly what he has been through is interesting enough on its own.

4.167 out of 5

Track Ratings

1. Get the Fuck Up! (03:03) 4
2. Daddy's Lambo (03:48) 4
3. That's What We On Now (04:41) 3
4. I Just Wanna Party (feat. Gucci Mane) (05:11) 4
5. Billy Crystal (feat. Rock City) (04:00) 5
6. Pop the Trunk (03:48) 3
7. Box Chevy (feat. Rittz the Rapper) (04:53) 4
8. Good to Go (feat. Bun B) (03:37) 5
9. Marijuana (02:59) 5
10. Love Is Not Enough (03:44) 5
11. I Wish (feat. Raekwon) (04:22) 4
12. Trunk Muzik (03:41) 4