On the eve of his debut independent release and in the midst of the tour, Yelawolf met with a journalist to talk about his roots, changing politics and lessons he learned from Eminem.
This year Yelawolf releases two albums in quick succession: “Trunk Muzik 3” as his last bid on Shady Records and personal and innovative “Ghetto Cowboy”. Why taking this risk when it was possible to start his new label with the new instalment of universally loved “Trunk Muzik”? The main reason is, explains Yelawolf in his interview to HipHopDX, that he is changing. He had to release “Trunk Muzik 3” on Shady Records and he had plenty of material for it but then he realised that the songs did not fit, that was something new:
Because I had “Ghetto Cowboy” in the pocket, we realized that it wasn’t Trunk Muzik. It was dope, but it wasn’t “Trunk Muzik”. It’s not going to translate with that album. “Ghetto Cowboy” was too organic and didn’t have that raw “Trunk Muzik” sound that people are expecting to hear. So we went back to the studio and created “Trunk Muzik 3” as we felt it was best fit for the project. After we put out ”Trunk Muzik 3”, my focus was just on ”Ghetto Cowboy”. I was ready to go there. I was ready even before “Trunk Muzik 3”, but I didn’t think “Ghetto Cowboy” would be the last right album for Shady. I thought it was fair that I leave with the style that I came in with on since I signed to Shady through “Trunk Muzik”.
Years that Yelawolf spent with Shady Records let him grow creatively and as a music entrepreneur. He is starting a new chapter with his label Slumerican, which he describes as “more like a cultural brand”, after having carefully taken notes and observed one of the most successful hip-hop artists of our time:
Being with Shady is learning the power of branding. There is Shady and then there is Interscope. It’s big bank and then a blanketed promotional company to support that investment. That investment comes into Shady and Shady blankets that with the co-sign of Marshall and all that comes with that, which is a lot. That’s what I’m doing on a tiny scale. introducing people to my circle, fanbase and brand. Just letting it be what it is. If you like it, you like it. If you pass on it, you pass on it. It’s not like spending payola to get radio spins. If your cardboard cutout is more noticeable than your music, then you need to rethink your music.
Yelawolf keeps rethinking his music but stays true to his roots, his fanbase and his style. We will have a chance to hear it again later today when he drops his new album.