Yelawolf And His Fans' Love Story Continued At Bottom Lounge Last Night
By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 6, 2014 9:00PM
In 2012, Chicagoist Associate Editor Lisa White and I reviewed North Coast Music Festival for our former stomping ground, Gapers Block.
Following his performance, White described the Alabama-born rapper Yelawolf's draw as a "definite 'hooker with a heart of gold' white trash charm." That description has always stayed with this writer because of its accuracy. Yelawolf isn't someone you necessarily aspire to be—and yet, can't help but want to be around.
Yela's career has, so far, had momentum issues. His 2011 full-length flop Radioactive seemingly counteracted his 2010 classic Trunk Muzik but didn't stop him from teaming up with Travis Barker for an explosive EP in 2012.
Inconsistencies aside, he's still managed to accrue a built in audience for himself with the establishment of his Slumerican label and artist collective—one that sold out the Bottom Lounge last night.
Fortunately, the country rapper's live show has never suffered the same unpredictability that his studio recordings have. He's always on point. With the help of a live guitarist, his songs, new and old, had more body to them than every before last night. Despite Yelawolf's headlining status, his live mixer DJ Klever was just as vital to the show's success, reminding us that scratching is an art that's lost on too many of today's turntablists.
Many established artists have trouble engaging audiences in new tracks while touring but the reaction from the Bottom Lounge's crowd on Friday night proved that Yelawolf's 2015 LP Love Story is every bit as anticipated as we hoped.
The rapper's southern drawl has never stopped him from bringing unmatchable speed and velocity to his raps. However, "Whiskey In A Bottle" and the night's closer "Till It's Gone" indicate that the rapper is moving towards a more balanced, purposeful sound with his upcoming release.
With this much time to have worked on Love Story and support from his mentor Marshall Mathers behind him (yes, THAT Marshall Mathers), here's hoping that Yelawolf finally gets the credit he deserves in 2015.