Yelawolf
Radioactive


2.0
poor

Review

by tylr66 USER (7 Reviews)
November 18th, 2011 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yelawolf seemed like he could stick around for the long haul based strictly off of his originality; however he changed his style up so much on his major debut that he'll alienate his original fans.

Over the past year Yelawolf has been building up a following with the emergence of his Trunk Muzik mixtape, re-issued by Interscope as Trunk Muzik 0-60 last Fall. He really hit big time when he became the first white rapper to sign with Eminem's Shady Records early this year. Due to a unique delivery and adding the not-so-common to hip-hop elements of rock and country to his music, Yelawolf is a truly a love-him-or-hate-him artist. While being one of the most unique rappers to emerge in awhile, Yelawolf may be too eccentric to break through to the mainstream, but could Em's backing make him the second white rap superstar?

1. Radioactive
Produced by WillPower
This is the album's intro, it starts out with a warning from the military about a nuclear attack on America, then Yelawolf's signature flow breaks through over a dark, slow beat. He raps for two minutes announcing that he's made it. This let's the listener know that this is Yelawolf and this is his sound, a great introduction to him as an artist.

2. Get Away (feat. Shawty Fatt, Mystikal)
Produced by Phonix Beats
Yelawolf describes his backwoods trailer park surroundings. His ability to paint a picture in combination with his unique point of view as a white rural skate punk are definitely his strengths. While, the verses from Shawty Fatt, an artist on Yela's Slumerican imprint, and Mystikal are alright, they don't add anything to the song. I thought Mystikal would have a more memorable and energetic verse, but then again I think this his first significant appearance on anything in a decade. It's still a good song, but it could have been better if the guests were up to par or if Yela just went at it alone.

3. Let's Roll (feat. Kid Rock)
Produced by The Audibles, Mr. Pyro
A Kid Rock feature makes perfect sense, considering that unique as Yelawolf is there are definite similarities between him and Kid Rock's earlier rap-rock music. This is an obvious radio track, and it's the album's second single. Kid Rock handles the chorus, while it's catchy and will get stuck in your head, Kid's voice doesn't sound like its usual self. His vocal style is watered down to appeal more to Top 40 and Urban radio as opposed to the rock and country airwaves he's usually heard on. It's almost as if having Kid Rock's name attached to song was more important than emphasizing what makes him so memorable. Yelawolf tones it down a bit too, but it's understandable as when he's at his most eccentric he can take some getting used to. The beat's pretty generic, and Yelawolf just reminds us that he's from the south and he's country. A decent song, not anywhere near great, but it does its job; despite not charting yet I could see this being a big hit.

4. Hard White (Up In the Club) (feat. Lil Jon)
Produced by Tha Hydrox
This was the first single off of the album, it never caught on, but it's still a banger. This is the type of crunk track that would've been huge in the early to mid 2000's. With a beat of looped vocals, Yelawolf switches his flow up a couple times showing his vocal versatility, while Lil Jon throws in his signature shouting adlibs. He raps that despite his success and being in VIP he's still the same dirty south spitter he's always been. A definite highlight.

5. Growin' Up in the Gutter (feat. Rittz)
Produced by WillPower
Being this album's answer to Pop the Trunk, it falls short off the prestige of Yela's most popular song. Pop the Trunk worked so well, because it was so detailed and vivid and felt so authentic. The images of domestic violence in the suburbs is well narrated with a rapid whisper over a dark booming bass and siren, but it doesn't feel as if Yelawolf has experienced this quite like the murder scenes depicted on Pop the Trunk. Rittz, another artist off of Yelawolf's Slumerican imprint, outshines him here with a verse that feels more authentic. To top it off the screaming chorus doesn't do the song any favors, it's decent, but it falls short of its mark.

6. Throw It Up (feat. Gangsta Boo, Eminem)
Produced by WillPower
The unholy trinity of Yela's label boss and the first lady of Three 6 Mafia made this possibly the album's most anticipated track. Over a slow piano and contrasting rapidly paced bass and hi-hats, Yelawolf spits possibly the best verse on the entire album. Showing off his unique flow and technical skill along with a slew of references to the rural trailer park world he's from this is a showcase for what all the fuss is about. Gangsta Boo provides a vulgar chorus that gives the song a feel of a dirty south banger from 10 years ago. The following two verses by Gangsta Boo and Eminem are quick and nasty but don't outshine Yela. I felt as though Yelawolf should have had another verse, or replaced the second verse by Gangsta Boo with one of his own. Not that Gangsta Boo's verse was weak at all, but when she got a verse and the chorus it felt like it was her song. Once the song is over Yela and Em have a conversation where Yela is told to make love songs for the girls. At this point the album takes a drastic turn.

7. Good Girl (feat. Pooh Bear)
Produced by The Audibles
This is one of the weakest songs on the album. It's a generic song about said rapper being a bad boy and a good girl who can't get enough of him. The chorus by no-name second rate R&B crooner Pooh Bear is corny and cliche as well.

8. Made in the USA (feat. Priscilla Renea)
Produced by Emanuel Kiriakou, Blaqsmurph
Over a military drum beat, Yelawolf waxes a sarcastic patriotic anthem about all the negatives in the United States. The chorus fails as it sounds like it's geared towards little kids. Even though social consciousness is new subject matter for Yelawolf I thought he could pull something like this off as he is so good at detailing poverty in the rural south. However this is just a laundry list of problems that could be applied to any region or country. The pop feel of the song does not match the concept at all. This is another low point.

9. Animal (feat. Fefe Dobson)
Produced by Diplo, Borgore
This is another obvious stab at contemporary radio. There have been worse crossover attempts made by not-so-pop-friendly rappers. The beat is an uptempo electronic dance track that radio in 2011 will eat up. Yelawolf uses his signature rapidfire chainsaw flow, and while his mediocre lyrics and the corny pop chick on the hook prevent the song from being good, it's not hard to see this song getting radio play.

10. The Hardest Love Song in the World (feat. Pooh Bear)
Produced by WillPower
I have no idea why this song even claims to be hard, it's as soft and poppy as it gets. Yela's verses and Pooh Bear's crappy pop hook make this song very forgettable and the worst song on the album.

11. Write Your Name (feat. Mona Moua)
Produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League
While this hook and beat are soft and radio friendly like the four previous tracks, this one works because it's much smoother and not nearly as sugary as the previous pop songs. However it's Yela that plunges this song into mediocrity as his love letter to his home state of Alabama is toothless and awkward. He needs to get back to his gritty stuff, because he doesn't sound heartfelt at all when he's doing these pop friendly songs.

12. Everything I Love the Most
Produced by WillPower
With an acoustic country feel to the song and Yela singing the hook, this song could work, but it feels like Yela didn't put much effort into it. He has two quick forgettable verses about how women, alcohol, and smoking aren't good for him despite how much he enjoys them.

13. Radio
Produced by Jim Jonsin
Another track that sounds good on paper, but doesn't work. An acoustic guitar led track where Yelawolf laments on how the radio isn't what it used to be. His laughable sung hook about how the internet killed the radio star hurts the song also. While this is a great concept by a unique rapper who owes his fame to the internet and not radio, he won't be bringing hits that last a long time, with songs that sound this awkward.

14. Slumerican ***izen (feat. Killer Mike)
Produced by WillPower
Now we're getting back to the style that made Yelawolf famous. The beat is a heavy rock track with a swampy slide guitar riff. However Yela's verses about him once again being from the trailer park are forgettable and his shouted chorus is a little irritating. Killer Mike outclasses him with a passionate verse about poverty. It's decent, but only because it falls back into the old style that won Yelawolf so many fans in the first place.

15. The Last Song
Produced by WillPower
This is a quiet piano-laced track. Yela lashes out at his absentee father and how he and his mother are just fine without him now that Yela has experienced so much success without him. This song isn't bad, but it just isn't nearly as heartfelt and emotional as Yela's pre-Radioactive songs were. This is a recurring problem with the final two thirds of the album, and this song which could be truly great is just decent exemplifies that. It seems Yelawolf didn't put as much effort or care into this album as Trunk Muzik 0-60. While this song sounds unique upon first listen its lyrics don't do much to separate it from any other songs about rappers telling fathers that left to look where they've gotten without them.

Yelawolf's Trunk Muzik 0-60 had me more more excited about a new rapper than I had been in a long time. He created his own lane that I could not see anyone else stepping into. While it's understandable to have a couple of songs that are geared toward the radio on your album, it another to radically change your sound altogether. For example J. Cole's lead single, Work Out, off his recent debut album, deviates from his style significantly and is very awkward. However it sticks out like a sore thumb and it the only song that strays that far from the sound that made him popular. Yela strays from the sound that made him famous on half the album. It's as if he's not trying to be Yelawolf but trying beat B.o.B at his own game. That isn't a knock on B.o.B at all, it's just that Yela can't pull of this sing-songy poppy love song type stuff at all. Those songs will alienate his hardcore fans and will be far too laughable for radio. On top of that the half of the album that does stick to his old style isn't nearly as emotional, vivid, or detailed as Trunk Muzik 0-60 was. This album feels rushed. The change is so drastic that it feels like the moment when Lupe Fiasco's Lasers got released in March and he announced that it wasn't his album at all, but that the label created it. Yela was either forced to compromise significantly or he sold out hard on this one. This has me worried about the futures of other major label signees such as Slaughterhouse, Freddie Gibbs, Pill, and Big K.R.I.T. who have yet to released a major label debut and don't have much to gain by catering to pop radio as they would be less appealing to all audiences. As of the time of this writing, Yelawolf does not have any charting singles and has made an album that will certainly lose him his core fan base. Before hearing this I thought Yela was a rapper with such a unique style that he'd be around for the long haul, however with Radioactive appearing to be a massive flop, I don't know if he'll be around this time next year or any year after.

Rating - 4.5/10



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user ratings (97)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Adrian Hertzberg CONTRIBUTOR (1.5)
Potential for greatness absolutely obliterated by lazy production and terrible guest-spots....


Comments:Add a Comment 
botb
November 18th 2011


9718 Comments


he has so much potential, i'll still check this out. but sounds like a big bummer

Urinetrouble
November 19th 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

it's more of a 3 which is really disappointing

Satellite
November 19th 2011


20822 Comments


the song that was on the newest madden was hilaribad just like the game

coneren
November 19th 2011


11111 Comments


yes

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2011


31356 Comments


Do people just not understand the concept of a summary?

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

taylormemer
November 19th 2011


4917 Comments


Who cares man. They'll either get it eventually, or leave the site before it becomes a real problem.

Satellite
November 19th 2011


20822 Comments


"long ha"

wut

Ire
November 19th 2011


41795 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

aids doesn't like this
+
recommended by reviewer
B.o.B The Adventures of Bobby Ray
Eminem Recovery

= this sounds like the worst album ever

amirhossssein
November 19th 2011


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

go fuck you'self bro!
this shit is straight fiyaaa
chek out hiphop dx for some real user scores (4 track from radioactive all +4.5 ) and a reasonable review(coming soon)
not some stupid 4 year old's review !
DUMB asses go listen to mac miller and nod your empty heads to that shit! not yela! u are not ready for his music! wait some more years fucker!
Imma buy +5 copys ! know why?? cause i caaaaaaaaaan! suck it!

Wolfhorde
November 19th 2011


13645 Comments


This is similar to Tech N9ne, too many features - though that for him it worked better than on here.

thedougler
November 19th 2011


212 Comments


amirhossssein needs grammar lessons

Counterfeit
November 19th 2011


17819 Comments


knew this wasnt gonna be too good the moment he signed with shady

astrel
November 19th 2011


2614 Comments


Wow my friend was just talking about how his girlfriend was featured on this album. Is this guy popular at all?

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Urinetrouble
November 19th 2011


5764 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

go fuck you'self bro!
this shit is straight fiyaaa
chek out hiphop dx for some real user scores (4 track from radioactive all +4.5 ) and a reasonable review(coming soon)
not some stupid 4 year old's review !
DUMB asses go listen to mac miller and nod your empty heads to that shit! not yela! u are not ready for his music! wait some more years fucker!
Imma buy +5 copys ! know why?? cause i caaaaaaaaaan! suck it!












hahahahahahahahahahahahahahha good one bro

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2011


28640 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

fiyahhhhhh

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2011


28640 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

that song with fefe dobson is fyre i love that bitch where she been for the last 5 years

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2011


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

"Do people just not understand the concept of a summary?"

the summary is fine. not everyone has a penchant for witty one-liners.

and Ire is right, this is pretty bad. I thought it would rule because I actually really like his rapping but so much of it is cheesy as hell, and the guest spots are almost 100% awful (the spoken word bit with Eminem at the end of Throw it Up and the wayit segues into Good Girl is actually the worst thing ever).

blrargh idk i hate this, he has potential though he just needs to lose the shitty gimmicks.



Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

KangarooSong
November 20th 2011


143 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I R DISAPPOINT WITH THIS ALBUM. Trunk Muzik 0-60 was hella fresh with only one or two tracks worth skipping. On this I like the first 6 tracks aside from the Kid Rock one, some of those tracks I fucking love. After Throw It Up, I usually skip to Animal and then....idk. That's where the album pretty much ends. Animal is fucking awesome btw. That chorus wins.

Digging: RATKING - So It Goes

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2011


23909 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

go fuck you'self bro!
this shit is straight fiyaaa
chek out hiphop dx for some real user scores (4 track from radioactive all +4.5 ) and a reasonable review(coming soon)
not some stupid 4 year old's review !
DUMB asses go listen to mac miller and nod your empty heads to that shit! not yela! u are not ready for his music! wait some more years fucker!
Imma buy +5 copys ! know why?? cause i caaaaaaaaaan! suck it!

daIceman
November 21st 2011


402 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

well this album kinda sucks, I like first song and "made in the u.s.a." but some songs are really disguisting. 2 great songs of 15 is really pathetic
I really dont feel that "Shady 2.0 guys"

to amirhossssein
Yeah Hiphopdx is really "nice" hiphop website... I remember how they didn't review Shabazz Palaces Black Up and aftar that they said shabazz palaces is a "seattle based rock group led by butterfly of digable planets" it's always good for hiphop site overlooking classic material and gave an inccorect informations about probably best hip hop LP of the year (definitely for me)
and one question how did you recognize "real user"??
HILARIOUS COMMENT




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