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 0-60 scrapes 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.
3.75 out of 5
Yelawolf feat Rock City- “Billy Crystal”
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