VIBE.com's editorial director, Datwon Thomas, gives a personal recap of his first time experiencing the mic skills of Shady's Yelawolf.
Not knowing what to expect crowd or performance wise from Eminem first causasion signee, I entered Yelawolf’s packed-to-the-rafters Hard White Tour show at Manhattan’s Union Square’s Irving Plaza venue.
This was my first live Yelawolf sighting and I was pleasantly surprised with the mix of hardcore hip-hop heads and throngs of hipster/hotster chicks in attendance. Catching Yela at the beginning of his set, backed by DMC World Champion DJ Craze, the dark, gloomy and Halloween-ish feel added to Yela’s mysterious rock star energy. Crazy tats, a skinny frame that never stays still, wet and wild hair that shakes his half mullet, half Mohawk cut only enhances the rapper-billy Mick Jagger look he’s going for.
He commanded the stage with no issues and his set is equal parts speed rap and call and response, with the crowd knowing even the most underground hits of his growing catalogue. After taking the people through the ups and downs of his sped up tempo songs to the acappella of his recent freestyle verse on BET’s Hip-Hop Awards cypher as part of Em’s Shady 2.0 Boys crew, Yela came back for an encore with Texas Underground King, Bun B for the track--they wreck together--titled “Good To Go”. It was great to see the legend with a future rap hall-of-famer Yela. Judging from the crowd, the music, the skills and Yela’s easy backstage demeanor, he’s destined for greatness.
Notable attendees included: ATL’s DJ Greg Street, Sneaker God Mayor, Rap Radar’s Elliott Wilson, Complex Magazine E.I.C. Noah Callahan Bever, Bonsu Thompson, Jayson Rodriguez, rapper Jean Grae and of course, Gangsta Boo (who has a crazy feature with Eminem on Yela’s album). - Datwon Thomas
(video via RapRadar)