I’ve been up on Yelawolf for a little while now. I heard Trunk Muzik 0-60 and I was sold on him. So I was very happy indeed when I heard he got signed to Shady, it’s a perfect home for him.
Yela’s sound and attitude fits just right on Em’s label, and besides Em.
Radioactive is the title of Yelawolf’s debut album and it’s not long now. It’s to be released on October 25th of this year.
Em recently put out a written statement after hearing the finished product…
We are very eager for the world to hear Radioactive and proud to be presenting the album on Shady Records. Yelawolf is a true original and he has crafted an incredible record.
Now I’m even more excited to hear it. Yela is already a very versatile MC, able to do multiple style switch-ups within a single verse or from line to line, he boxes beats and writes very tricky rhymes and formations. Yet still makes its sound smooth and cohesive.
He’s also capable of writing massive, catchy hooks, has rock appeal, brings influence from many genres and is a very visual writer… which, in particular excites me. I’ve been waiting for a visual lyricist of his kind.
Yela said that he’s been saving certain concepts for his debut as they were ‘too good’ to use on mixtapes. Many new rappers do waste great material on mixtapes. B.o.B for example put so many album-worthy tracks on mixtapes. So I’m glad that Yela recognizes the potential waste in that.
Eminem is going to be featured on Radioactive, and also produce. Hopefully they’ve come up with something innovative or original together… I’m sure they have. Can’t wait.
Back in the day, Eminem was always known as an electric live performer, often matching thrilling set-pieces and visuals to his vivid lyricism and song content. Then around 2004 when he started to dwindle down the first half of his career and become seriously addicted to sleep medication, you could feel the energy and colour of his shows being drained out more and more. The lowest point for me, as a fan, was seeing him in 2005 lip-syncing “Mosh”.
Eminem always has a backing track to help him keep in perfect time with the song and to fill in spots if he’s out of breath, and also to amplify certain choruses that are the product of layering and careful construction such as “Lose Yourself”. This is what some fans mistake as lip-syncing, this is not what I mean. Em has always done this and it’s not lip-syncing, as he’s still rapping out loud, it’s just a guide.
No, in 2005, there’s a clip of him really lip-syncing “Mosh”. I think it was on some European chat show and I believe he also lip-synced “Just Lose It”. You could almost see the boredom in his face and motions, tedium had begun to set in for him.
Well forget those days, as it’s now 2011 and he’s full-throttle, more focused than ever. He may still look a little awkward on-stage, like he’s still trying to figure out what to do with himself (especially during hooks) and the set-pieces may be less tailored and unique now, but one thing is for sure, Em is putting all his effort in again. Seeing him perform now reminds me of him in 2002, when he was (in my opinion) at the top of his game, in almost every regard. Even prior to that, he’d scream / rap lyrics live with such conviction and passion you wondered if the veins in his neck may actually burst.
If you were lucky enough to be at either Osheaga (Canada, Montreal) or Kanrocksas (US, Kansas) recently then you would of witnessed the almighty Marshall bring the house down with a 90 minute set that included the vast majority of his most beloved tracks, and most recent hits including “Not Afraid”, “Space Bound”, “No Love” and “Love the Way You Lie”. One of his most satisfying medleys of late though is when he performs “Cinderella Man” right after “Till I Collapse”.
Both songs have a loud clap and stomping rap-rock production. And the first time I heard “Cinderella Man” – I thought of it as the “Till I Collapse” of 2010. And I’m sure Em had that in mind, and was trying to somewhat re-create it, given its sound and tone. The songs gel perfectly together and after belting out the shattering first verse of “Till I Collapse”, Mr. Porter (D12) and Em keep the crowd clapping in rhythm and then launch into “Cinderella Man”. It’s probably my favourite song from Recovery too.
I’ve not been privileged enough to see Eminem live yet, ever. I was too young when he was in his prime, but I’m gonna try to make it to V Festival. As it seems he’s making somewhat of an historic mark with these recent performances, like he’s determined to explode the stage with every show. Watching his recent live videos sometimes bring a small lump to my throat too… probably because of all the emotion he infuses through his music and the spirit of his material. It just feels very, huge.
There’s always a weight behind what he does, or some kind of grounding in reality or just something, that makes his songs ‘heavy’ and timeless.
He’s also drawing record crowds – a whopping 38,000 people saw him at Osheaga (the most in the festival’s history). Em seems to be making a noticeable impression on all those that have seen him lately, including all kinds of music writers and live reviewers. And given that he’s fairly new to performing at festivals (he’d only done in a handful in the entire span of his career prior), it’s good to see that the crowds are more than warming to him. Going nuts for him in fact. But who wouldn’t? it’s fucking Eminem!
With more festivals to come, Em seems to be owning the 2011 live circuit. Lollapalooza next.
Take a look at this brilliant portrait of Em, done with salt!
I normally don’t post arbitrary things like this as, well, there’s an abundance of this kind of stuff online. But not all of them are this good, so every now and then something like this deserves a little discussion.
Not that there’s much to discuss haha. I mean, outside of the initial admiration of the saltrait (can I coin that?) itself, there’s not much left to say. It is good though isn’t it. And, I’m always amazed at how people online produce endless conversation and debate out of basically nothing.
I’m gonna make this into a regular post series actually, ‘Shady Art’. Yeah, that’s now a new category. It won’t be very often obviously, but if any of you reading this happen to have created some brilliant art surrounding Eminem, feel free to post a link to the uploaded image as a comment and I’ll pick the best ones for inclusion in future posts. No time limit.
Hip-hop legend Kool G Rap has just turned 43 and whilst speaking to SOHH.com, he said that if he could make a rap supergroup, it’d consist of himself, Jay-Z, Nas and Eminem.
Em himself has said that Kool G Rap was a big influence on him and, being that he grew up in the time that he did, that’s to be expected. Em drew a lot of influence from all over the spectrum though so Kool G certainly wasn’t a sole or lone influence on Em, but he was no doubt, a very big one.
Elaborating on choosing Em for his fantasy hip-hop supergroup, he said this…
I can’t ignore the fact that that boy Eminem is incredible. He’s lyrically incredible. Anybody that’s ever sat and fronted on this dude’s talent is like, come on, man. Stop playing me. I’m a hip-hop nemesis and even I can’t ignore the dude’s talent level.
I think Eminem has shown and proved enough that he deserves a spot in the category of legendary lyricists including myself.
It’s great to see Em getting some potent, well-deserved respect from such a hugely respected lyricist and figure within the hip-hop world. It’s quite strange to see this recent rush of respect and talk about Em in the last few years, it’s kind of come out of nowhere. I mean, almost immediately after coming out he was touted as a genius and one of the greats, but only in the last two or three years have we seen this very public display of respect from a lot of big rappers for him.
With respects to newer rappers, it’s of course due to the fact that… the ones that were influenced by Em are now adults. And when Em was in his prime, they were still unknowns, and kids. So, we’re literally seeing the generation of rappers that Em influenced, growing up around us and giving him props, one by one. Which is quite weird. As Em always feels, new. In some strange way.
Rakim has also made clear he thinks Em is one of the greatest, even going as far as to say if Em was black he’d be Ali. So whilst most say if Em was black, he’d be considered average, Rakim: who is considered by many to be the most influential MC of all-time, went the opposite direction and suggested if Em was black he’d be considered even greater. And I absolutely, completely agree and am so glad such a legend sees it that way. As it makes people eat their words.
I agree with Kool G in choosing Nas but, no Jay-Z please. I don’t really need anymore raps about swagger and champagne cuddled by annoying self-affirming grunts.