As the years progressed, Shady Record's Yelawolf began to embrace his country roots, trading in the synthesizers and trap drums for an acoustic guitar and an upright bass. On Love Story, Yela towed the line between hip-hop and genuine country, culminating in eerie, Southern-gothic anthems like "Devil In My Veins" or "Till It's Gone." He became more comfortable with flexing his vocal chops, and as time passed, the overtly hip-hop sound of early mixtapes like Trunk Muzik 0-60 all but faded. Now, Yelawolf returns to the fold with another highly personal album Trial By Fire, and his latest project might be his most country-inspired yet. But don't worry - Yelawolf can still spit, and his lyrical prowess is on full display in the personal highlight "Son Of A Gun."
Over a blend of music box and electric guitar (not unlike label mate Eminem's preferred sound) Yelawolf weaves a narrative about his come up, reflecting on being raised by a well-meaning, yet alcohol-prone mother and an absent father. "My stomach still rumblin' from the cereal diet, even though mama was tryin' to do the best that she could, alcohol made her violent," raps Yelawolf. Like Eminem, Yelawolf experienced a rough childhood, dealing with anger and anti-social tendencies. It's a tragic narrative, yet a compelling one all the same. In fact, "Son Of A Gun" finds Yelawolf at his most lyrically potent, putting it all on the table as he laments on a fatherless past.
While some may not care for Yelawolf's current creative direction, you can't deny that the Trial By Fire rapper is making the music he wants to make. It might not be for everyone, but in an era where wave-riding is so prevalent, it's refreshing to see somebody do something different from the norm. Props to Yelawolf for making an album on his own terms.
Not a single light in the street, morning was scary and dark
To a little boy catching the bus to school 5:30 sharp
I used to make up songs to keep my mind from wandering
What was in the woods waiting for me, my stomach still rumbling
From the cereal diet
Even though mama was trying to do the best that she could
Alcohol made her violent