24: Introduce yourself to
everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
name is Yelawolf and I’m from Gadsden, Alabama. It’s a small town just
northeast of Biringham and I’m a hip-hop artist.
24: Before we get into your
music, can you describe your history about how you got into the industry and
what inspired you?
I was inspired by OutKast,
Beastie Boys, Lynard Skynard, etc. just classic rock and hip-hop that came out
of the South, specifically trunk-style music, ridin’ music. I’m really just a fan of good music.
24: What was the Hip hop
scene like growing up in Alabama?
was no quote-on-quote “hip-hop” scene where I’m from. It’s more “Hustle & Flow” then “8 Mile”. There weren’t any
ciphers, the battles or graffiti or anything like that. It just dope boys,
lower-class white boys and big trunk chevy’s just ridin’. As the late, great
Pimp C would’ve said, “country rap
tunes”. That’s the scene where I’m from. I got put on to underground
hip-hop through skateboarding when I started skateboarding pretty young and I
was around a lot of underground hip-hop from the east coast and the west coast
on skateboard videos so that’s how I came into my own style was through that
combined with was I was hearing and the music that was around my city and Alabama.
24: What makes Yelawolf
different from other rappers?
Respect should separate everybody from each other but the problem is a lot of
these rappers don’t earn respect. Sharing each other’s story; Talking about the
same shit the same way. I can talk about weed, I can talk about dope, etc. I
can talk about anything any other rapper would talk about but the reason it’s
gonna sound different from me is because it’s from my own eyes. I’m gonna tell
it how I saw it or how I got to know it so perspective sets me apart.
24: How did the situation
with Ghetto-O-Vision come about, what do you think was it that got his
the owner of Ghet-O-Vision, he’s cut from the same cloth. It’s not like a major
label where you have to create this buzz and they don’t really understand it,
they’re just into it because of what it could be. Ghet-O-Vision came in because
they understood it completely. KP came in because he knew what I was talking
about. He knew why I was talking about what I was talking about. He understood
my style and that if we kept working, this could turn into something special.
He understood it could be culturally-impactful instead of just a dope record or
a hit single.
24: You seem to have a very
loyal fan base. How would you describe them?
love and appreciate my fans so I would expect they give me the same energy.
It’s all about what you give to them because that’s what they are going to give
back so I just give them the truth of who I am and when they come see me, they
have a good time. When they listen to my music, they can escape for a few
minutes and disappear into some good music and be inspired. One fan at a time,
that’s how I’ve always done it. I’m personal with the fans. I shake hands, talk
to them for a minute. At the end of the day, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of the fans
because the fans that appreciate good music, I like them because if they like
my music, that means they must be thinking kinda left-field. Something about
them is not all the way normal. They’re not of the run-of-the-mil fans. They
like a lot of things. I assume a lot of people who like my music probably like
OutKast, probably like Metallica, probably got a country record stashed
somewhere so fans are like family.
24: Right now your being
regarded as one of the best up-and-coming artists in the game. How do you feel
about comparisons people are trying to give to you with Eminem and Asher Roth?
really don’t pay it too much attention, but I understand it. It’s human nature
to compare each other with things we are familiar with. It’s as simple as
eating a food like if you eat a hamburger or better yet, a pair of sneakers;
you put on a pair of Nike’s on your feet and that’s all you really wear or a
pair of Dunks or something and you go out and get a pair of Vans and your gonna
be like “damn, these are kinda like the Dunks”. It’s familiar. People
want to feel familiar with something. At some point down the line, I’m sure
some white boy is gonna come up they are gonna be like “he kinda sounds
like Yelawolf” and he’s gonna have to grow out of that. He’s gonna have to
grind and grind until finally he’s got his own niche or his own lane. So what I’ve done is just focus on doing what
I do like only I can do it and not pay attention to that and whatever I’m doing
in that studio or on that stage, it’s mine and I’ll let the people decide what
it is because I respect Asher and Em. I’m a huge Eminem fan so to compare me to
them, especially Eminem, thank you. Half of his success would be
24: Because you are a lyrical
rapper, why do you feel rappers hide their intelligence when they spit, and
dumb down their lyrics?
I feel like some rappers are put out to early for one. They are putting
out records where they are not fully aware of who they are. Before I was
dropping records, before I could record, I was writing about some stupid shit.
It takes awhile to get to know who you are as a person. That’s one point.
Secondly, people just tired of the grind. They’re sick of waiting. They think
that what got won’t make it ever so they sell out to a concept or a style that
they know has worked before and they run with it but its different strokes for
different folks. Some flop and some make a lifelong career out of it but for
me, I stayed on the grind and never really strayed outside of my own concepts.
Even back to Creekwater. The first
project I put out was called “Creekwater“.
This country-ass concept. I had a record on their called “Bye Bye Chevy”. I’ve had a Box Chevy on every project so
it’s like it takes people a while to realize what makes them special and how to
define themselves in Hip-hop especially culturally. What are you doing as an artist
when making a rap song? Are you a voice for someone? Or are you just making
good music or trying to make good music just to have a light on you? Some
artists put light on other people but there’s artist who put light on the fans,
like make them feel like they understand what your are saying. People just get
tired man. They dumb their shit down because their tired of waiting. This shit
is not for the weak-hearted. It’s takes a long time to be an overnight success.
24: You’ve built a strong
buzz with Pop The Trunk, and the single.
How are you going to keep it going in 2010?
gonna continue to challenge myself. I’m gonna get back in the studio and make
some dope records. Touring with Wiz Khalifa, make sure that I keep doing shows
and people enjoy coming to see me live. Keep doing when I been doing; work!
24: Are you happy with the
feedback you’ve been getting from your music thus far?
Absolutely. I’m humbled
and gratified. I gotta give it up to Raekwon, Bun B and Juelz Santana for
kicking that door open for me. Those cosigns were huge for me and allowed
people to give me opportunities, give me a chance. I’m so thankful and I’m
working twice as hard now to make sure I don’t let anyone down.
24: What are you currently
We are going to re-release
the mixtape. It’s going to be called Zero
to Sixty. It’s going to have five or six new songs on there with some
remixes of the originals and features. Just tryna pick it up. I don’t know when
the date it exactly for the release but it’s in the works.
Thank you for providing 24hourhiphop.com
with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and
you to Breeze and 24hourhiphop.com for this opportunity and thank you to the
fans for giving me a shot. I’m nothing without people there to listen to the
music. It’s about them, it’s not about me.