many MANY hours of Compton’s Surrey’s Hardest Gangsters Toughest MMA Brawlers “Godfathers of East Van Rap(?)” dudes that happened to have microphones in their hands, Ian found me in the closed off back area of the club and interrupted my suicide attempt to tell me Yelawolf was about to take the stage. I had lost track of time along with the desire to live, but it was definitely past 1:15 am. I only know that because the Jager-soaked man-douche beside me had a spinner belt-buckle with a blinged out, blinking clock on it, and a second LED that cycled through timely ‘Borat’ quotes and amazing threats like “I’ll punch you in the Facebook!” [Editor's note: the man-douche's existence cannot be confirmed by anyone other than the writer, who was spotted ingesting a Mescalin/Flintstone vitamin cocktail to "kill the sadness" after the 317th act took the stage.]
So, as you may have gathered, I wasn’t feeling the army of openers. (Although I can’t comment on Defenders of the Faith, as I was away fashioning my noose/spike-pendulum/sleeping pill catapult at the time. And I can’t really knock Autokrat’s on-stage proposal to her girlfriend. She said yes to her, if you’re wondering. And then the two ladies made out on stage.) And I was a little disappointed in the turnout, both who and how many. But Yelawolf – aka Catfish Billy aka Slick Rick E. Bobby – was finally taking the stage. So was it worth it?
Now, as I alluded to earlier, between the time he took the stage and the 2 am curfew, his set was waaayyy too short (no Todd Shaw). This was due to both the number of acts, and as the crowd was essentially the 63 close friends of whichever act was the one that said “something-something Muthafukkaz…It’s ob-vi-ous / That we got moves like the ma-fi-as…” (I wish I was joking), he did not get his energy reciprocated. (Well, except for the few chicks he brought up on stage. They, I’m sure, were going to be very reciprocal once his set was over.)
Still, his energy did not dip even once, despite the audience ADD. He was commanding, funny, intense and unrelenting. Those of us that did pay attention were rewarded with rapid-fire rap tornado flows, catchy-as-syphillis hooks and the type of natural, effortless charisma that you can’t manufacture or fake. I heard a lot of the songs I wanted to hear, all performed flawlessly, including my favourites, the so bangin’ they’re unfair I Wish and Mixin’ Up The Medicine, as well as Trunk Muzik, Stage Lights, Good To Go, Pop The Trunk, Box Chevy, Love Is Not Enough and the encore threat/promise to the aforementioned girls on stage, Lick The Cat. (Minus the shitty chick verse! Bonus!) Whew! While I wish he’d have done his part on the Big Boi song You Ain’t No DJ and more material off of the inspired concept album/mixtape ‘Stereo,’ with 30-45 minutes to cram into, I’m more than happy with what we got.
Conclusions? Yelawolf is the closest thing to Slim Shady LP era Eminem. Yelawolf is the most unique, original man in rap right now. These two statements may seem contradictory. I’ll contradict you in the face.
Ok. I’m going to put on a ski mask and a t-shirt with a snub-nosed revolver on it that says ‘Defenders of Surrey’ (defending it from? yourselves?) and dip myself in something flammable. While swinging a machete, I will have my friend Russian Axe Wound (What? Check his birth certificate) hurl lit cigars at me. Whatever happens, happens. Here’s some pics that shithead Ian took. Check ‘em out and then, you ain’t gotta go home, but you gots to get the fuck outta here. Or I’ll fuck you in the Twitter. “Muthafukkaz!”