Mickey Factz-Zen ft. Yelawolf

Mickey’s debut LP The Achievement, is due in February, and to get things moving he lets this single out. It’s an interesting situation he’s in: the massive buzz from a few years ago has quietened down, and yet arguably his work has actually improved since then. An example: Mickey Mause was released around 18 months ago to less fanfare than previous works, and yet plenty of it still gets regular play in my world, which is as indicative of a time-tested mixtape as you could want.

On to this one- it’s a promising track, and will definitely get a few casual fans interested again. The production starts off in an upbeat, jazzy manner, before quickly moving to a thunderous, atmospheric beat that builds an intimidating soundwall out of bassy percussion, spacy synths and distant, light melodies. It adds a ton of gravitas to the verses, whilst the slight speed-up on the hook helps inject a touch of energy to proceedings, and finishes off what is a strong backdrop. Mickey’s raps are delivered with a quiet intensity throughout, working well with the beat for a focused performance that packs in a couple of typically-smart lines, along with the self-confidence that he’s rarely short of. his half-sung hook has a catchy, rather anthemic vibe to it, whilst Yela closes out with a good reminder of what he’s capable of, tongue-twisting his way through a solid contribution, and both finish off what is a very solid all-round jam. Worth grabbing, which you can do here.

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Yelawolf-Trunk Muzik Returns (Mixtape)

Despite my public anticipation for this project, it slipped through the cracks slightly when it landed on Thursday. My mistake, but here goes the latest effort from a man who on his day is very, very entertaining.

We’ve already caught a couple of solid tracks from this, and the signs point towards a darker brand of music, one which should suit Yela rather well and makes for a welcome change. Aside from the already-released A$AP Rocky and Big Henry features, Raekwon, Killer Mike and Paul Wall make appearances here, leaving Yela to enjoy some solo spotlight on 7 of the 10 tracks. Good move at a stage where he’s trying to really get his spot in hip-hop nailed down, and you can judge the success of that attempt with the stream and download below.

Yelawolf-Trunk Muzik Returns

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Yelawolf-Gangster ft. A$AP Rocky and Big Henry

One last leak before Yela drops off the (free) Trunk Muzik Returns project tomorrow, and it’s a solid effort that will likely raise expectations ahead of that release.

Much like the recent Way Out video, there’s a dark undercurrent here that suits Yelawolf down to the ground. With his penchant for storytelling and undeniable ability with a slew of rap flows, he’s versatile enough to have flitted around a few instrumental styles over the years; whilst he’s great on the lively, high-octane stuff, this darker vibe feels as though it should be his go-to style. Here, the natural energy of his voice complements the menacing percussion, police sirens and atmospheric synths well, whilst in return that intense backdrop supports his relatively light voice with a much-needed gravitas and seriousness. Rocky’s no stranger to these beats either, and his contribution is an enjoyable one, whilst Big Henry (who is new to me) gives a very good account of himself with a slick flow and grimy lyrics that fit the beat well.

A good all-round hip-hop jam, and hopefully the rest of tomorrow’s release is packed with this type of material.

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Yelawolf-Way Out (Video)

It feels like Yela’s career has stalled slightly, of course not helped by his health issues a short while back, but he’s looking to get back into gear with this release from his upcoming Trunk Muzik Returns.

The track in isolation won’t revolutionise anyone’s day, but when packaged with the video it’s much better. The audio’s got a dark backdrop, with urgent melodies comprised of keys and bassy synths and a slow, menacing percussion line, with the production as a whole creating lots of atmosphere. Yela’s raps are as watertight as most would expect by now, his rapid flows being interspersed with slower work on the hook, though the verses are a tad monotonous at times.

The video utilises the production very well, beginning in relative light before quickly darkening into a horror-esque journey through the woods. Plenty of creepy goings-on featuring alien-style characters, all whilst Yela defiantly cruises through on his quad bike, and the video culminates with a little paranormal activity at the hands of his unwanted visitors. It’s all a little odd, but blends ever so well with the production, and hence is worth a couple of watches.

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CyHi the Prynce-Ivy League: Kick Back (Mixtape)

It’s fair to say that for most of the hip-hop community, the jury’s out on whether CyHi’s got enough to really make an impact. He seems to have had some great opportunities, from several features on Kanye’s much-loved G.O.O.D. Fridays series a couple of years ago to his inclusions on the Cruel Summer album, but never seems to do enough to stand out.

It’s another chance to change that here, and he’s got a great cast of supporting acts to help him boost his reputation. Guest spots include Childish Gambino, Big K.R.I.T., Yelawolf, Smoke DZA and several more, whilst the production lineup features Lex Luger, Beat Billionaire and a couple of newer names behind the boards. Generally speaking, I’ve tried to support CyHi’s work where possible, and here’s hoping the Atlanta native can now justify that; find out for sure with the free stream and download below.

CyHi the Prynce-Ivy League: Kick Back

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Travis Barker and Yelawolf-6 Feet Underground ft. Tim Armstrong (Video)

Rancid’s frontman is along for the assist on the latest clip from Travis and Yela’s recently-released Psycho White EP, and the ska heads are going to thoroughly love this one, if only for the bouncy instrumentation.

Drawing on mid-90s punk, ska and early 90s reggae (so basically…ska), the production has a summery, laidback quality that infuses the entire track with positivity and plenty of funk. You add that to the three artists involved and it’s a recipe for success right? Wrong. It just doesn’t come off here, largely because the lyricism doesn’t seem to fit the upbeat nature of the instrumentation, and once you’re over the novelty of the throwback beat, the reptitiveness becomes rather annoying. With that said, there are several positives. Whilst Yela’s lyricism isn’t the ideal fit his raps ride the beat comfortably, particularly in his angsty, razor-sharp closing verse. The Tim Armstrong hook has a nice anthemic feel to it, and may help this track get a little wider recognition for sure, but generally there isn’t enough going on to give this any longevity.

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Travis Barker and Yelawolf-Psycho White (Full EP Stream)

One of several exciting projects being released this week, and potentially one of the better collaborative works in the hip-hop game in recent times.

Their first single was an excellent listen, combining frenetic production with energetic raps, and whilst the second wasn’t quite as memorable, there’s still a sense of synergy between the two that promises much. They’ve even recruited Rancid’s Tim Armstrong for a feature on one of the tracks, in what is a clear demonstration of their intention to infuse as much punk styling into the expected hip-hop works as possible, and even if the execution doesn’t come off its good to see them trying to blend the two genres. Stream it below, and be sure to buy it tomorrow.

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Travis Barker and Yelawolf-Push 'Em (Video)

The song has the energy/angst of a punk rock song with Yelawolf rapping over a double-time beat and a chorus that could instigate a fight anywhere.

I couldn’t agree with Travis Barker’s summation any more. This track just exudes energy, and as a result has been a staple in my playlists in recent weeks-give this one a chance in the car for full effect.

The video captures those facets well enough, with plenty of live crowd shots to accompany the hook, plenty of cutaways between cars, stage performance and face shots to maintain the frenetic feel, and a general pace shift between the slower verses and the rapid fire hook.

13th November sees the duo’s Psycho White EP land, and I can’t wait to hear more of this superb punk/hip-hop hybrid style.

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Travis Barker-Push 'Em ft. Yelawolf

If there’s one thing this duo promises, it’s energy and in-your-face relentlessness. That’s exactly what you get with the first release from their upcoming Psycho White collaborative EP.

Yela stepped out of his comfort zone when unexpectedly working with Ed Sheeran earlier this year and though the music was good, this is better suited to his high-octane style. Travis sets up an insanely quick production, with speedy drums and pulsating bass combining to give Yela a strong backdrop to work with, and his flow doesn’t shirk the responsibility. The verses are full of lightning quick raps, including a mind-bendingly fast burst halfway through the track, whilst his work on the hook is anthemic and downright catchy. Yela’s always had a punk influence on his work, and it definitely shines through on this one. Rapid raps over a sharp production with a hook that’ll get you bouncing around the room. No complaints here.

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Yelawolf-Heart of Dixie Mixtape

As promised earlier today, here goes the latest mixtape from Yelawolf, throwing forth his contribution to the glut of hip-hop material over the last few days.

Having been laid out with a ruptured spleen a few months back, this marks Yela’s first full-length solo project since releasing Radioactive at the tailend of last year, and hence I’m sure Yela will bring his A-game on this one in order to regain his buzz. The track we’ve heard from the tape was a definite keeper and should he keep that consistency going across the other 9 tracks, we’ll be in for one of the outstanding projects from this hip-hop heavy period. Free grab below.

Yelawolf-Heart of Dixie

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Yelawolf-Let Me Out

It’s been a hip-hop filled few days, and the goods just keep on coming. Yela’s set to drop his latest mixtape, Heart of Dixie, in a few short hours and he’s setting things up with this speaker-rattling release.

The production has a dark, ominous vibe to it courtesy of some eerie work on the keys, whilst the inclusion of some thick, bassy synths give the track a little electro/dubstep infusion that raises the energy and intensity of the beat to a level more suited to Yela’s own lively nature. The Shady Records signee’s raps are solid from top to finish but it’s more about the delivery here, as he comes through with an attitudinal, sharp delivery that relies more on emotion than speed, unlike his usual style. A good listen, and keep your eyes peeled for the full mixtape a little later today.

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Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf – The Slumdon Bridge EP

Plenty of new music being pushed out today it seems, and we’ll kick off with the real headliner that is Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf’s anticipated free EP, Slumdon Bridge.

The 4-track EP contains no other features, which is a plus as hopefully we’ll get plenty of sharp verses from Yela accompanied by excellently-melodic hooks from Ed. Truthfully, Ed’s able to work with pretty much any artists (as his Collaborations EP proved), and even without any camaradarie or particular friendship, this would be an enjoyable listen; it just helps that the two seem to actually get along! Free grab of the EP available below, courtesy of Ed himself.

Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf-The Slumdon Bridge EP

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Ed Sheeran & Yelawolf - The Slumdon Bridge EP [Trailer]

The news that these two were collaborating on an EP together still hasn’t sunk in yet for me; Yelawolf is one of my favourite emcees at the moment! Not sure how this came about, but I’m sure these two will deliver the goods.

On the left here you can check out the trailer for their upcoming EP, The Slumdon Bridge, which features some behind the scenes footage of them working together (always refreshing to see!). The track being played in the video is different to the one that was released (click here to get the one they did let loose), and it has a more self-reflective vibe to it, which is precisely what I like. No release date for the EP as of yet, but it’s definitely one I’m looking forward to.

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Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf-You Don't Know

A one-off track with these two would be enough of a surprise, but when accompanied by the news they’re working on a full EP together, the level of surprise escalates quite considerably! Some are reporting the rest of the EP isn’t with Yela-as far as I’m aware that’s not the case, and this is from an upcoming Ed/Yela free EP, Slumdon Bridge.

The track is a good all-rounder, with Ed once again utilising his rap-esque delivery, blending his naturally smooth voice with a speedy delivery that both works in tandem with and in contrast to Yela’s own pacey, but more shrill style. The production has a magnetising minimalism, made up mostly of a light percussion and soft synth, and the combination works to spotlight the lyrical work of both artists. Worth a listen for sure.

Ed Sheeran and Yelawolf-You Don’t Know (For F***’s Sake)

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Yelawolf, T.I. and Slaughterhouse-Hard White Remix

Reuniting 5/6 of the rappers who obliterated the recent BET Cyphers, Yela grabs his Slaughterhouse labelmates and grabs a pretty solid substitute for Eminem in T.I. for a remix of his single from the Radioactive album.

The hard-hitting beat keeps things simple yet engaging, with a crashing percussion and hypnotising vocal sample set to a tempo perfect for the high-octane, densely-packed verses each of these rappers can provide. None of them disappoint either: T.I. opens with a laidback verse that switches speeds throughout and bounces off the percussion nicely, Yela follows up with a hushed verse that throws a few different flows into the mix effectively, whilst the Slaughterhouse quartet close the track out with four absolutely blistering, dizzying verses. An excellent effort that hip-hop heads will be replaying for quite some time.

Yelawolf-Hard White Remix ft. T.I. and Slaughterhouse

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BET Cypher: Shady 2.0 (Eminem, Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse)

The Shady collective come together for what is the standout session from the BET Cyphers, with each rapper delivering a set of raps that would have probably dominated in any of the other cyphers. Yelawolf opens proceedings with his blinding, breakneck delivery, whilst Joe Budden follows up with a slower, more lyrical affair that will understandably claim top spot for many, with a slew of clever, attention grabbing punchlines. Crooked I follows up with an excellent performance that will also have many fans, throwing some smart lines into a tongue-twisting flow, whilst Joell comes through with a verse that sits somewhere between Budden and Yela’s, though is certainly the weakest of the bunch. Royce brings the biggest quotable with his hilarious ‘Hi Rihanna’ line, and group captain Eminem finishes things off with a solid verse, though not quite as slick as some of his signees.

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Travis Barker, Yelawolf, Twista, Busta Rhymes and Lil Jon-Let's Go Video

If the lineup wasn’t enough clarification, the latest set of visuals from Travis Barker’s solo album (available now) are pretty much swelling with energy and intensity.

Yela, Busta and Twista come through with very enjoyable raps, each bringing high-tempo, high-octane verses that make the most of an edgy, guitar-tinged production, whilst Lil Jon actually fits in rather well with his aggressive style on the hook enhancing the intensity of the track. Barker is typically solid on the drums, though its his general production work here that shines through, serving up a production that creates a nice platform for each rapper to work with.

Decent video, focused largely around a somewhat gothically-styled auction (?!), with the dim, grainy shooting style adding a darkness to the audio that enhances the rock influence on the production. Enhances the audio well enough, and worth a watch. Found on the Give The Drummer Some album, available on iTunes and so forth.

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Yelawolf-Daddy's Lambo Video

Solid enough video for one of Yela’s more popular efforts. The track itself makes for enjoyable listening with its relative simplicity, and the video follows suit with a fun, easy to watch effort that boosts the mental imagery of the track.

Yela’s relatively lighthearted, confident raps come packed into a range of flows here, though it’s his undoubted ability with those high-paced deliveries that really stands out here, with those high-speed bursts making for impressive and entertaining listening. The video plays on the lyrics well enough, centering around a Lamborghini (surprised?) and general shenanigans with the lady of his choice. Builds nicely to a slightly more serious, energetic finish from Yela who cuts loose and shows some of his charisma. Not an artistic masterpiece, though it would have been rarther odd had they gone in that direction with this subject matter, and hence this seems the right sort of video for this track.

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Yelawolf-Kill My Nightmare Video (...sort of)

Would this constitute a music video? He mouths/performs the song, but it’s not really your typical video and is largely based around his influences for the song, and inspiration since the song (to get a tattoo of the artwork!).

Big fan of the audio (as Murray rightly put it, there’s a ridiculously strong early Eminem influence), and its nice to get some words from Yela to flesh out the track. Certainly interesting to know that the track wasn’t exclusively fuelled by the date it was released, but also by personal experiences of Yelawolf from his childhood, with that blend of personal effect and artistic styling clearly making for a successful combination. Same goes for this video, with the combination of candid explanation and darker, more ‘music video’-styled scenes providing a different and enjoyable watch. Grab the audio here.

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Yelawolf-Kill My Nightmare

Precisely the type of hip-hop Yelawolf needs to make an awful lot more of.

Yela dropped this track to coincide with yesterday’s Friday 13th, and he plays on the negative superstition around the date with this dark, eerie and haunting effort that exhibits Yelawolf’s ability to really inject emotion and mood into his voice. Flicking between an uneasy whisper, a rough shout and regular speech, Yela plays an almost schizophrenic role that’s ably backed by some very solid bars, and exclusively supported by a disquieting piano melody that has that horror vibe stamped all over it. Very enjoyable effort from Yela.

Yelawolf-Kill My Nightmare

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Eminem, Yelawolf & Slaughterhouse-Shady 2.0 Boys [Live]

Oh man, what I would have given to have been in Detroit to see this live performance from the next generation of Shady Records.

Not the best quality of sound, given it was filmed by a spectator in the crowd, but it’s good enough. Hell, even if the sound was worse than terrible I’d still have posted this. Great seeing the dynamic of these collection of rappers on stage together, you can tell their rapport is genuine.

Go grab the audio for this by clicking right here. If you haven’t done so already, get yourselves on the Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf bandwagon now…by the end of the year there will be no room.

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2011's XXL Freshman Class: The Mixtape

“In celebration of our 4th annual Freshman issue, we linked up with DJ Whoo Kid for the 2nd year in a row to release a mixtape showcasing the up-and-comers’ talents.
XXL’s 2011 Freshman Class: The Mixtape features brand new music from Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, Lil B, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, Lil Twist, Fred the Godson, YG, Cyhi the Prynce and Big K.R.I.T. as well as some welcomed, surprise collaborations.

Can’t say I agreed with some of this list when it was released, but we’ll see if my mind is changed by what those I doubt put forward on this tape. Aside from that, it’s always good to grab new material from the likes of Yelawolf and Kendrick Lamar, so this should definitely be one to add to the collection.

2011′s Freshman Class: The Mixtape

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Eminem, Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf-2.0 Boys

Upon official confirmation of Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf’s signing to Shady last month, this is what the industry has been waiting for; All three parties finally coming together on the mic. Shady 2.0 join forces to form one of the most formidable lyrical line-ups ever. And boy does it deliver here.

Much like Just Blaze’s Session One, the explosive, high-tempo and jumpy piano loop just sits in the background simply providing a vehicle for the inevitable lyrical slaughter. No doubt everyone will have their winner here, but for me? Crook kills it.

Eminem, Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf-2.0 Boys

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Yelawolf-Good To Go ft. Bun B [Video]

It’s been a good week for original, creative videos and this is no different. Fresh from signing with Shady Records, Yelawolf gives us some excellent new visuals for a song that features Bun B.

There’s really not anyone out there in hip hop like Yelawolf right now, as evidenced with this song, his flow is just incredible. I, for one, cannot wait for him and Eminem to get on a song together – the thought of that happening just blows my mind.

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Eminem Signs Yelawolf & Slaughterhouse to Shady Records!

Now it was no secret Slaughterhouse were going to sign with Shady Records, it’s only been due to record label issues that it hadn’t already happened, but Yelawolf? Crazy stuff! And by crazy I mean genius. Yelawolf was already signed to Interscope, so it was a good move to put him onto Shady.

Here’s what Em had to say: “Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it’s kinda phase two of Shady. It’s the new generation of Shady Records and as we’re trying to rebuild our label, it’s exciting for hip-hop and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody’s capable of on the mic, it’s gonna be fun.”

Yelawolf also comments on the powerhouse move: “Considering where I’m from and the shit I’ve been through, it’s hard to put into words what partnering with Shady means to me, my team at Ghet-O-Vision, and my state of Alabama. I can tell you that when you’re willing to give your life up to see a dream through, the reward is great. And now that I’ve become an apprentice to one of the greatest artists in the world, my potential reaches beyond anything I ever imagined. Let’s kill this shit.”

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Yelawolf-Swagger Killer

Yela delivers a unique, offbeat track that will catch hip-hop fans off-guard, and it’s a track I’m really enjoying.

The jazz-influenced production is extremely memorable, giving the track a nice touch of elegance and something a little different to the usual fare. Yela comes through with a spoken word style of delivery that tells the story of the track considerably better than a regular rap flow would, and makes his female encounter extremely captivating. The delivery blends brilliantly with the production to set the scene and mood of the track, creating a strong (and funny) mental image of Yela getting his advances all wrong. Something genuinely original and well worth a listen.

Yelawolf-Swagger Killer ft. Mz Shanti

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Yelawolf-Daddy's Lambo

Yelawolf continues to impress me with the latest leak from his upcoming debut album, Trunk Muzik (which is out next week I believe!).

The Alabama rapper spits over the very atmospheric beat with such a flow that has me under no doubts that a collabo with Eminem would be the greatest thing ever. Not that I’m trying to say they sound alike, their difference in styles is obvious, with Yelawolf having a very ‘Dirty South’ vibe to him (well you would do coming from Alabama wouldn’t you?).

Yelawolf – Daddy’s Lambo

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BET Hip-Hop Awards 2010: The Cyphers

Let’s be honest, the cyphers are the only reason people watch/care about the BET Awards. I mean, does anyone really know who won what last year? Nope, but I bet you could list a few of the cypher rappers.

Great cypher line-ups this year, with the video for the G.O.O.D. Music cypher (Kanye, Common, Big Sean, Pusha T and CyHi Da Prynce) being up here. After the click, there are great cyphers involving Wiz Khalifa, Mickey Factz, Raekwon, Yelawolf, Royce Da 5’9″, Rev Run and family, Ice Cube and family and so on.

For me, the respective winners: Big Sean, Yelawolf, Mickey, Royce and Ice Cube. Honourable mentions to CyHi, Bones Brigante, Diamond and Diggy.
→ Continue Reading

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Big Boi and Yelawolf-Ain't No DJ Video

Great to see Yelawolf getting these big name co-signs, and even better that he’s getting screen time for one of them.

No audio for you, as you should already have Big Boi’s album by now. If you don’t, get your head checked!

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