By Jay Tilles
With a steady stream of music over the past four years including two full lengths, two EPs and a handful of mix tapes, Yelawolf is still feeling the pressure from fans to deliver a new album. But he’s in no big hurry.
The Alabama rapper is currently enjoying success with his first single, ‘Till It’s Gone” and he’s perfectly willing to let it “breath” before unleashing the new album Love Stories, with all its heavy lyrical content, onto his eagerly awaiting fans.
Radio.com caught up Yelawolf to get the story behind the single, how he’s carefully crafting the album’s launch and what he finds so appealing about the swampy South.
Radio.com: You and others have compared your new single “Till It’s Gone” to your 2010 song “Pop The Trunk.” Why is that?
Yelawolf: Cause it’s dark. There’s like a darkness to it. It’s just mean, very aggressive, a very dark record. It’s juxtaposed with this melody and the hook that gives it the power. I think that “Pop The Trunk” is one hundred percent aggressive even throughout the hook but this record thought is like… what I’ve done on Love Stories is tried to take pieces of everything that I’ve done to try to polish it into one solid album. It’s like “Pop The Trunk” meets “Candy and Dreams” off of Arena Rap. The record started with an acoustic guitar and that’s all it was written to. I looped the acoustic guitar up after we had figured out the line, took it to my car and wrote it in a couple hours.
Did your friends flip out when they heard it on Sons of Anarchy?
Oh yeah man, that was a big deal. It was perfect; the imagery and the song. It was just one of those moments where the timing was really really good and thankfully for SOA and their vision I couldn’t have asked for a better spot for it, really. (Watch the clip here)
Have you seen the episode live?
I heard it’s so epic that I just kinda smile and prefer to not see it. I’ll probably watch it eventually but right now I’m just happy with the reaction.
You shot the music video in New Orleans and it looks super low-budget, but from the behind-the-scenes footage, it was anything but low-budget.
I wish it was low-budget. That video was expensive as hell. The imagery and the rawness of the record had to match. Cause it’s just so dark and swampy. The record, before it had a title, it’s still called like “The Swampy Record” on my MP3 from the demo. When I was writing to the beat, I was calling it the swampy beat. It’s got that dope, swampy, alligator, snake-infested, gangrene, dark beat that just made me feel that way. It’s not really that deep honestly. It’s just like when a certain melody plays, sometimes it’s just magical. A melody will tell a story on its own. And if the words can match up with the melody, it can make for a great record.
Your fans don’t appear to be exercising patience. It’s clear they’re ready for a new album.
So what. They might have been waiting on Love Story for a while but they also got Psycho White, Trunk Muzic Returns, Black Fall, Heart of Dixie and a number of features that I’ve put out as I’ve been working on this album.
It’s only taken me a year to make this album which is the longest that I’ve ever taken to do anything. It took me five months to get the first record after forty ideas when I was finally like, OK, this is the record. And I trashed like forty ideas and I started from scratch and that was after five months. And to be honest with you, after Radioactive, people should be more patient than ever ‘cause they saw what happens when I was rushed.
This isn’t a game. Every move on this album is very calculated. You gotta think of the meeting of the minds when people are talking like, “What’s the f–king hold up? Or, what’s the trickery with the label? You gotta think Marshal Mathers, Paul Rosenberg, Jimmy Iovine, myself, my manager… those five people right there man… we’re really breaking this s–t down and trying to do it the right way. So everybody was all impatient and talking all that s–t ‘til they heard “Till It’s Gone.” […] There was a lot of talk before “Till It’s Gone,” but now look, it’s making sense to people. It’s exciting and I’m excited.
I just approved a video for another single called “Whiskey In A Bottle” that will be coming out, and then “American You” and then a song called “Best Friend” will all have videos.
I think overall people have to take a breath and realize great music and great things are not done quickly. This took me time and I’m passionate about how it’s released and I’m not going to allow it to be just thrown out there just ’cause fans are impatient. It means more to me than that. And I love my fans, they’re family to me but when they get the album, they’ll get it, they’ll know what’s up. S–t man, these old bands used to take five years just to make an album. People are just spoiled now.