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Yelawolf: Trunk Muzik 0-60 [PA]

Track List

>Get the F*** Up!
>Daddy's Lambo
>That's What We on Now
>I Just Wanna Party
>Billy Crystal
>Pop the Trunk
>Box Chevy
>Good to Go
>Love Is Not Enough
>I Wish - (featuring Raekwon)
>Trunk Muzik

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

Trunk Muzik 0-60 is a retail mixtape by rapper Yelawolf, released on November 22, 2010. It features guest appearances from Gucci Mane, Rock City, Rittz the Rapper, Bun B, and Raekwon and it has six tracks which where featured on his last Mixtape entitled Trunk Muzik. Production was handled by WillPower, Drumma Boy, Jim Jonsin, and Chris "Drama" Pfaff, among others.

"Wayne Atha is a rap novelty - and not just because he's a white guy with a Flock of Seagulls haircut. He's a novelty in the best sense: an MC whose liquid flow breathes life into genre clichés. On his major-label debut, he raps from the POV of a rural underdog over music that shifts from rap rock to twitchy percussion. His verses are full of surprises: On "That's What We on Now," he rhymes "Bill Cosby sweater" with "Skinny Pimp, Petty and Eddie Vedder." And amid rants and party chants, there's an aching ballad, "Love Is Not Enough." Turns out, he's a sheep in wolf's clothing." - RollingStone

"Following in wheel chair Jimmy's footsteps..umm..tire marks, Bama rhyme-slinger Yelawolf has decided (with Interscope's help, I'm sure) to re-release his popular street album, Trunk Muzik, as a retail project to warm up the masses for his first proper studio LP scheduled for 2011. It's not the same mix though. Trunk Muzik 0-60scrapes the cream off the precursor while adding 6 new tracks to the diary of Catfish Billy.

For the last few years, as Yelawolf has been following his slow road of ascension, the industry has praised his assorted styles and deliveries and Trunk Muzik 0-60 does not disappoint in that respect. Party songs infused with flushes of bounce are juxtaposed against tracks with guitar loops obnoxious enough to intro death metal specials while Yelawolf ambles from slow and succinct to shotgun staccato. And scattered amid the party, bullshit and random hoe banging stories are tightly woven narratives about life on the forgotten outskirts.

The ominous feel leads off with "Daddy's Lambo," a song that sounds horror core enough to rep a Halloween remake. Begging your rich girlfriend to let you use her Daddy's ride isn't all that horrific though, so the tone leaves you wondering if there isn't something else going on here. I don't know if Lamborghini's have trunks, but you might want to check it for pop's body. "Billy Crystal" leaves you suspended in that darkness as Yela weaves a story about a pill and meth operation equivalent to the urban corner stories born of concrete jungle living. However, this is Gadsden where houses sit on blocks and shooting galleries thrive behind old man Smith's barn. The somber, slow thump and piano pounding lead to woozy digital gurgling that frames Billy's sinister story well.

The metal influence rolls in on a big block V8 and shot gun blasts as Yela implores his minions to stomp and holla after a demonic voice cosigns his unique talent on "Get The Fuck Up." The rage bubbles over while he rallies the downtrodden and tells the posers to get the hell out of dodge before he shows you muffaflukas where the guns at. (word to Remi Martin). This is dope in small spurts, but can become tedious as it closes in on the 3 minute mark. "I Just Want To Party" party's hearty with Gucci Mane providing a spirited verse while the pair commit to keeping your bitch entertained while you aren't around.

The new stuff comes to a close with "Marijuana," an ode to transporting the leafy green that has a digitally inspired organ at the top that for some strange reason reminds me of the intro to Guy's "I Like." It makes sense because Yela seems to really, really like getting high. There is still more chainsaw guitar work and the hook is simply someone screaming marijuanaaaaaa over and over again. Stoners may appreciate this, but for me this song is seeds and sticks, no bud.

Fan favorites from the original tape are represented with "Box Chevy," "Pop the Trunk," "Good to Go" and others that come with some great heavy hitting features including Raekwon and Bun B. However, they also expose Yela's Achilles heel; questionable hook construction. We all know emcees who take pride in their lyricism aren't happy to be taken down by such a contrived element when their metaphors strangle beats like they're in Boston. However, it's something he should work on.

You already have an idea what to expect from Trunk Muzik 0-60 if you have been following Yelawolf. There is something old, something new, something borrowed and something well... green. However, if he wants this new found marriage between him and the Hip-Hop masses to work out, he has some more tweaking to do. This release displays his style well, but we should expect more from him on the construction tip when he debuts the real deal early next year."

Album Reviews:

Spin (p.67) - "[I]t's the storytelling that truly compels, with Yela painting familiar hip-hop subject matter in dusty, evocative, rural hues."

Album Notes

Recording information: Circle House Recording Studios, Miami, FL; Columbia Sounds, Columbia, SC; Hands Of God Studio, Los Angeles, CA; Sixteen Feet Studio, College Park, GA; S-Line Studios, Atlanta, GA; Treesound Studios, Norcross, GA.

Creator: Ianthe Zevos.

Photographer: Hannibal Matthews.

Yelawolf is a white rapper from Alabama with a delivery somewhat similar to styles Eminem has employed in the past: fast delivery, lyrics displaying a mordant wit, and a tendency to wallow in images of poverty rather than glorifying mindless consumerism. But there's a horror-soundtrack darkness to his music, with synth lines reminiscent of John Carpenter, that gives it a greater intensity than Eminem's clowning can muster. Furthermore, he's defiantly country, describing mobile homes, trips to Wal-Mart, and generally setting himself up as what happens -- as he puts it in "That's What We on Now" -- "when the sticks meet the bricks." This release is described as a "retail mixtape," since it contains six tracks from Yelawolf's last underground release, Trunk Muzik, and six new tracks presumably recorded in the wake of his signing to Interscope. A few guests -- Raekwon, Bun B., and Gucci Mane -- show up, but it's when Yelawolf's on his own that he's strongest, as on "Pop the Trunk," one of his best-known underground tracks. A story of backwoods violence underpinned by piano that sounds culled from a Nine Inch Nails ballad, it could have come off the soundtrack to the Kentucky-set TV crime drama Justified or the movie Winter's Bone, about meth dealers in Appalachia. This mix of industrial/goth moroseness, hip-hop braggadocio, and stark lyrical brutality makes Yelawolf's major-label debut (whether you call it a mixtape or an album) interesting, but it remains to be seen how quickly the appeal of his persona and subject matter exhaust themselves. ~ Phil Freeman


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