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Eugene Weekly : Music : 6.2.11

 

Yelawolf, Sunday, May 29 Cuthbert Amphitheatre. Photo by Todd Cooper. More photos at blogs.eugeneweekly.com

Yelawolf Gets Radioactive

It was something more than a "moment” when Yelawolf hit the stage Sunday, May 29, at the Cuthbert. Short, sharp and explosive, the Alabama-born rappers shock-and-awe set was a furious, joyous burst of pyrotechnic charisma and mad talent ã you could almost feel the tide turn on the whole scene when he decided to "get stupid” by stomping and helicoptering across the stage. Yela, a self-declared "Slumerican” and proud patriot from the trash side of the tracks, is keyed to boom skyward, and every bobbing body cramming the Cuthbert barrier could feel the crackle of his immanent launch. He ripped through a breathless set of hard-chopped syllables and catchy choruses, proving to all that his Southern trunk music has been immaculately elevated for the big show after a steady year of touring, an artistic education he compared to "boot camp.” And with his debut for Shady Records, Radioactive, set to drop late September, Yelawolf ã his gutter-proud tread still cruising the dirty streets ã is primed to cross over. "Im so excited,” he said backstage after his set. "I want mainstream success with this record. Ive spent my time in the underground and I want my shot at it. The records are going to reach people whove never heard of me before,” he said, adding that "my core fans are going to be so psyched.” Get ready to pop the trunk, people. Yela wants to play. ã Rick Levin