Year ago Rap genius created a map, that reflected the hip-hop genres by the geography. But map already existed long before that article and long before rap genius. Anyway, They did a good job summing it all up in such a clear and helpful way that anyone can use and navigate themselves through culture. People can see where all the streets are that famous rappers claim their home. You can also go through the map of jails where most rappers have been. You can see where all the infamous places are and feel the vibe from lyricists perspective, it made easier for an average listener to understand where stories are taking place.
You can find anything and any one on that map, starting from New York queens, Atlanta and Chicago to all the way to Los Angeles, Compton and whole Westside – California. You may even come across maps of Europe, like France and London – European MC’s put it down hard too, you know.
But that map needs few additions. I may had my doubts towards young cat from Tennessee-Alabama. his style was changing fast and there was just too much music from him to listen, analyze and feel what he was about. His earlier work, especially “Arena Rap” was taken with a warm welcome for the most part. His sound was unique, production was brilliant and who’d ever thought that country music and rap could get along so well. But Yelawolf was still going through changes and he started to turn his music into more hardcore rap and a bit of horror-core with “pop the trunk”. But that song, especially the video, fascinated the Shady Record’s boss Eminem and got Yelawolf a record deal with shady.
Things were going good, Yela was popping at some degree and everyone awaited for something enormous to happen after Eminem had stepped in. But sadly, outcome wasn’t that good. The album “Radioactive” couldn’t even be called mediocre. There was not much of hardcore, nor any kind of plot and consistency throughout the album and in the end, everyone will agree to my statement: that project sucked major balls. Fans never got what they expected, no country slash rap, no hardcore crazy redneck serial killers… just something else. I still haven’t come up with a word to describe it.
So Yella went back to studio, he did release some mixtapes like “Trunk muzik” and still got our hopes high with new style that song “Way out” represented – poetry, imagination and freshness – it was good. And the “Box Chevy V” was still a flashback of country music in Yela’s work – maybe we were into for a treat with upcoming album. Shady records had major hiatus with Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf in those years, but they surely didn’t give up on them.
“Love story” took some time to work. I think it was about two years after the announcement that album dropped. There were many skits and call recordings on the youtube between Eminem and Yelawolf jumping back and forth with the ideas about it. And finally, after Yela had won the battle with his engineers – who wanted to make album sound different – the record dropped and it was brilliant.
Maybe “Love Story” didn’t gain major recognition in hip-hop as a whole or on the mainstream media, because Yela announced in live television show that he’s not an artist you want your kids to listen to and will never be, but with the new music he had his name established well and he put that huge stamp of country on hip-hop culture, also defining first time in history what Slumerican means. Record is well produced, well thought out, well written and each song represents the idea with a touch of artistic feeling. Songs like: “have a great flight”, “Devil in my veins”, “Johnny Cash”, “Love story” are the best to me, and let’s not sleep on “Best friend” where Yella addresses his relationship with faith. All this completes the album to the fullest.
One controversial thing tough: hip-hop people do not mess with the confederate flag that Yelawolf wields so proudly and that’s the main reason he’s not too welcomed in the culture. There had been discussions about it, which you can check out and let us know if Yela deserves his spot on the map.