Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Yelawolf - Radioactive" Review by Dom

Since I haven't been able to dive into requests and recent hip hop releases I thought I'd review my favorite hip hop album from last year: Yelawolf's Radioactive. Technically this is his second studio album, he released Creek Water back in 2005 independently. It's been six years, 2 EP's and many mixtapes later we now have his major label debut. Yela got signed by Eminem's label, Shady Records. Yelawolf is part of the Shady 2.0 era which includes Eminem and rap-powerhouse Slaughterhouse which includes Royce da 5'9", Joe Budden, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz. It's safe to say Em is going for a more lyrical staple of artists and he is succeeding. So does Yelawolf measure up to Slaughterhouse and Eminem on Shady records?

1. Radioactive Introduction - While the track starts out slow, Yela goes off on it and it sets the album up to be a monster album.

2. Get Away (featuring Shawty Fatt and Mystikal) - This track shows off Yela's lyricism and even more importantly his impressive flow. This man has one of the most unique flows. The features on this song do their part but Yela shines.

3. Let's Roll (featuring Kid Rock) - One of the singles off of this album and you can see why, the chorus is catchy and Yelawolf does his thing well. It's a good chill song.

4. Hard White (In the Club) [featuring Lil Jon] - The second single off of this and Yelawolf shines on this song showing that his flow can be played in the club. Lil Jon adds to it with his crunk-style of rapping but he stays in the background, not providing a verse which probably worked in the song's favor.

5. Growin' Up in the Gutter (featuring Rittz) - With an attention grabbing beat and a hell of a chorus this song is set up for greatness. Rittz adds a great verse and the song just kills.

6. Throw it Up (featuring Gangsta Boo and Eminem) - Yelawolf absolutely destroys the beat, it's insane. Gangta Boo's chorus' and verse are decent but then we have Em's verse. His verse shines, so the track rocks off of it's verses, which isn't a bad thing. I almost think it would've worked better as a cypher-type song without a chorus.

7. Good Girl (featuring Poo Bear) - This song is a pretty average rap/r&b song, it's not bad, but it's not a standout.

8. Made in the U.S.A. (featuring Priscilla Renea) - A song talking about all the different types of people we have here in America, the chorus isn't too bad but the song could be better.

9. Animal (featuring Fefe Dobson) - One of my favorite songs on this album. Yela tears the track up and the chorus is great, what more can you ask for?

10. The Hardest Love Song in the World - An obviously slower song, but it's a good song. I wouldn't play it for my girlfriend but it's an enjoyable listen.

11. Write Your Name (featuring Mona Moua) - Another one of my favorites, talking about how all of the little people in the world make the world go around. Lyrically it's fantastic and as always Yela's flow is fantastic on it.

12. Everything I Love the Most - An introspective song about his habits that tear him apart inside but he loves at the time. This song showcases his story telling ability and in a great way.

13. Radio - A slower song, the only real gripe I have with this song is the length of the chorus, it seems to never end. It doesn't kill the song though, overall it's a fantastic song.

14. Slumerican Shitizen (featuring Killer Mike) - Yela as always tears this beat up. Killer Mike's verse is ridiculous too. Little did I know that my favorite featured verse would be by the guy who would make one of my favorite albums of 2012 so far too, R.A.P. Music.

15. The Last Song - This song s deeply personal song about his father. It's a fantastic song that you have to listen to to understand how great it is, I don't have the words to convey it's greatness. It is my favorite on this album.

Overall - While there were a few albums going for the top spot of my favorite hip hop album of 2011, albums like Common's The Dreamer/The Believer and The Root's Undun, I found myself returning to this album the most. It's got a great mix of songs that go hard, rap/R&B tracks and those slower personal tracks. This album is truly fantastic and hopefully Yelawolf continues with this degree of music. Look for his new EP with Travis Barker soon, also he's releasing his third LP Love Story later this year. If those releases are as good as Radioactive then look out rap world, Yelawolf is here to stay.


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