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 411mania » Music » Columns

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The Savage Animal 02.06.13: The Videography of Yelawolf
Posted by Mikey MiGo on 02.06.2013



The Superbowl this year was bonkers. The game, the hoopla, and all of the backstory made this one of the more entertaining and more talked about Superbowls ever. Then we get the whole "Brother vs. Brother" coaching story, half time performer Beyonce was fresh off her lip syncing controversy at the Inauguration, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Going into the game, we had tons of random madness. Ray Lewis had spent the entire playoffs reminding us about his religious views and that it would be his last run. Meanwhile, everyone was getting either inspired by him or getting tired of his holier than thou bullshit. Then it comes out that he may or may not have been involved with taking some performance enhancing drugs. As all of this is going down, Artie Lange of "The Artie Lange Show" interviewed a 49er player and dropped in his normal shticky shock jock radio show questions. I'm a fan of the show so I dig that kind of stuff, but a pro player should be used to getting "shocking" and "vulgar" questions. It's nothing new. The dude fell right into the trap of it all off of one question that wasn't "vulgar" or "shocking" at all. The dude went off about gays in football and his huge disapproval of it. It wasn't that he was against the idea from a moral stand point, he went off in a dumb and ignorant way. He showed himself to be a bigot and it raised a lot of questions.

Then the game itself. The referees only put out TWO penalties against the Ravens. The Ravens kicked ass at start and then the POWER GOES OUT! During the biggest sporting event of the year, the POWER GOES OUT? That's crazy. After a 34 minute delay, the 49ers make a huge comeback and make a game out of it. There was tons of weird things going on. The power outage, the lack of penalties for ONE team, the fact that a Raven player SHOVED A REF and didn't get ejected or in trouble for it, the fact that during a key play that the Ravens were CLEARLY offside, the fact that during a key play that the Ravens were CLEARLY holding during a pass, and it goes on and on. It all just adds up to one big clusterfuck.

I'm not even a fan of either team. I had nothing on the line and no reason to cheer or boo either team. I just wanted to see a good game. Instead I got a huge spectacle with questionable at best officiating and organizations. Between the replacement refs, the shitty game rule changes, the overpaid egos, and obvious underhanded workings it's become obvious that the National Football League is one big farce.

The NFL got their ratings and sold their advertising so that's all that matters, right?


THE VIDEOGRAPHY OF YELAWOLF
The NEW White Rapper!
I first heard about Southern rapper Yelawolf about a year and a half ago. He was first getting some mainstream love and he really only had two or three videos. I dug what I heard and figured it would only be a matter of time before he blew up huge. Over the past year or so I've heard that he signed with Shady Records, has appeared in a lot of articles, and has worked with a lot of cool people. He's still one of the most interesting and fresh new faces of hip hop I've recently seen.

His album is doing well, he's got the support of some big names, and things keep moving forward in his career. But what about his music videos? Like a lot of popular and in-demand rappers he has popped up as a guest on quite a few tracks out there and has collaborated with others. Today I'm going to look at his solo videos…

Track: "Pop the Trunk"

Album: "Trunk Muzik 0-60"
Year: 2010
Director: Motion Family

In the debut single, Yelawolf gets his message and image out there. Through very nicely shot and cut scenes of his mother chopping up meat with a skinned deer behind her, his stepdad shooting a burglar with a shotgun, and then some drama and scuffles at a local liquor store. The one thing I took from that last part is that "thugs" look ridiculous trying to run away while holding up their sagging jeans. In all seriousness, this video is pretty well done for the first time out. It captures the Southern backwoods type of vibe nicely. It's a weird line to teeter on. Normally that kind of atmosphere produces more country or at least some deep twang. You don't get that with Yelawolf. It comes off like he's a "dude from the streets" living in in the hills. It could come off really fake and artificial, but it doesn't. You feel this is the dude's normal life and he's just doing his thing. Really interesting and promising first impression.
Rating: 7.0



Track: "I Just Wanna Party" (featuring Gucci Mane)

Album: "Trunk Muzik 0-60"
Year: 2011
Director: Motion Family

This is a pretty normal scenario for a rap video. It's a house party where people are getting drunk, hot chicks are dancing, back-handed peace signs, and rappers getting all up in the camera. There is a nice and quick cameo by Big Boi too. It is a typical set up for a video, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's not at all. Just because the concept is a little played doesn't mean the production, the energy, the shots, and the editing aren't well done. Videos like this can get boring, but this one keeps your attention and head banging. Not bad at all.
Rating: 7.5



Track: "Daddy's Lambo"

Album: "Trunk Muzik 0-60"
Year: 2011
Director: Mike Mihail

Everyone wakes up from a chaotic party. I'll assume not the party from the "I Just Wanna Party" video. Yela ends up hooking up with a party girl as the sun is coming up. We find out that this party girl comes from money and her dad has a Lamborghini. Guess who wants to drive it? We cut to shots to them in the lambo driving around and having a good time. The green screen background for the driving is cool looking. Yela eventually dips on the chick, steals the car, and then takes it to a chop shop. It kept my attention, it told a story, and it was well done. I got nothing to really complain about.
Rating: 7.0



Track: "Hard White (Up In The Club)" (featuring Lil Jon)

Album: "Radioactive"
Year: 2011
Director: Motion Family

Yelawolf enters a club here Lil' Jon is there being hyped up. Yela gets on the stage and lets loose with the track, sings in the middle of the crowd, and all around. There is a lot of whiskey, girls dancing, what looks like jello wrestling, and just a good time. The energy and the aggressive party vibe works nicely in this. The direction and shots are great, especially that slo-mo ass slap like three and half minutes in.
Rating: 7.0



Track: "Let's Roll" (featuring Kid Rock)

Album: "Radioactive"
Year: 2011
Director: Motion Family

I like Kid Rock. I might not get into all of his recent stuff, but I generally appreciate his work. That said, him being involved with a new and upcoming rapper made me a little nervous. Does it mean Kid Rock is cool because he's hip to Yelawolf OR does it mean Yelawolf is going to get lame now. I'm pretty confident it's Kid Rock knowing what's up. The video is fun. Yela and Rock cruise around and have a good time just chilling out. We get cuts of life and people doing their thing. They spend a bit on a roof top and then to a night time party where everyone is having a good ol' time. It's a pretty casual video, but like all of these videos so far… really well done. I guess my only gripe was why wasn't Kid Rock at that night time party? Seeing him in that kind of atmosphere would have been cool.
Rating: 6.5



Track: "Marijuana"

Album: "Trunk Muzik 0-60"
Year: 2012
Director: Figz, Yelawolf

Layers, old washed out film look, crazy coloring, and bouncier cuts make this video easily the most stylized video so far. We see a lot of quick cuts of weed and what seems to be a weed heist. Yela snatches a big bag and rushes off with a friend. As time goes on, it's not really a "heist" but rather a really elaborate pick up and drop off. It covers the business and annoyed illegal side of it, but also the casual fun and good it bring. The finally goes down and fun is had by all. It's a trippy video, but it still has a point and a plot. It ends up being a little ode to weed in the form of a short video. How the video breaks down for at the end is pretty bad ass.
Rating: 7.5



Track: "Gutter"

Album: "Radioactive"
Year: 2012
Director: Tyler Clinton, Michael Wayne

This is a short horror film for the song "Growin' Up in the Gutter" and it's pretty intense. The video slowly opens up with a boy sitting in a chair while a woman, assumingly his mother, turns on a projector. Bright flashes of light and wind come from whatever they're watching as the camera really slowly creeps forward to the strained face of the child and upward over the woman's shoulder. We finally see what's on the screen and it's tons of vulgar and horrible stuff involving killing animals, beheadings, war, and tons of horrendous stuff. The camera warps and we go back to the same room, but now it's a creepy guy sitting in a dress. I think we're to assume it's the same kid, but older and really fucked up in the head. He wanders out of the room and into another one where he sits by a creepy painting. It cuts back and forth to shots of him chasing after and attacking a woman. She tries to run away, but he just toys with her for a while before ending her. It's all really fucking graphic and disturbing. The man finally leaves this house in the guise of a gutter service man. He hops his in van and slowly and surely creeps away from the nice little subdivision. Wow.
Rating: 8.5

What is YOUR favorite Yelawolf video?


"LINCOLN"

I doubt this review will be all that long. If you've gotten like three years into school you should already know about Abraham Lincoln. He's one of the greatest Presidents in United States history and his story and legacy is embedded into our everyday life a century and a half later. Dude was awesome, obviously. I'm surprised there isn't like ten Lincoln bio pics already from over the years. It just seems like a very obvious and logic film choice. In a way I'm glad they waited until now to do this. If not we may not have had Steven Spielberg behind the camera and Daniel Day-Lewis in front of it. That would have been really unfortunate because that's the super powers that were assembled for this movie. Seriously folks, we have Daniel Day-Lewis, one of the best actors of all time playing one of the most loved and revered American icons of all time. On top of that we get Steven Speilberg directing this bitch. How insane is that? That's almost like too much. Then we're treated to an A-list "supporting cast" in the likes of Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, and like two dozen other talented and familiar faces from awesome movies, shows, and performances. There was not a weak link amongst the entire cast. I seriously can't think of one performer in this movie that stood out as being out of place or out of the general tone. It was very well done and felt enriched with epicness. Daniel Day-Lewis should win the Oscar for best actor ever. He was outstanding in this role and like most of his work he loses himself. It's weird to think that a movie about the 13th Amendment could be so enthralling. It's a great moment and should be documented in all its glory, but the movie basically came down to politicians making up their mind if they're in or not for the amendment. We already know it happens so the building suspense doesn't quite jab at the audience all the much. It more-so celebrates the moment and the man behind it without really giving us too much of a story. I would have liked more backstory on Lincoln and less overly dramatic "is he going to say "yay" or "nay"?!?" Would the visual of the man giving the Gettysberg address have been so hard? I know the filmmaker went with the choice of being more casual about it, but Daniel Day-Lewis giving that speech could have been one of the best moments in film history. My nit-picks aside, I did enjoy this movie. All two and half hours of it. It was enthralling, very well done, and one of the best movies of 2012. This movie should be a viewing requirement for any American, film or acting fanatic, or anyone who wants to see Daniel Day-Lewis make us forget what our 16th President looks like. A-



"EVIL DEAD"

When I first heard about the remake of Evil Dead I was kind of pissed. Evil Dead is the epitome of a "D-I-Y" movie gone good. It was such a great story with great and iconic results. This is a movie that opened the careers of the Ramis and Bruce Campbell up to the world and made a lot of aspiring filmmaking nerds feel like anything was possible. Why remake it? Because EVERYTHING gets remade, that's why. I was turned off by this until I saw the trailer. This trailer looks way more serious than the original and way more graphic. They got a solid young cast and I'm actually confident and excited after seeing this trailer. The trailer is uncomfortable, violent, gets in a few of the familiar beats, and seems like something completely different. I expect to watch this movie, smile at certain familiar things, frown at things being changed, and before it's over forget I'm watching a remake. If this can somehow re-introduce "the boom stick" back into the world then I'm all about it.


That's all for now. I enjoyed this one. I've been annoyed with hip hop over the past few years and it's nice to see some new faces out there that bring something fresher to the table. I'm not 100% sold yet, but I'm going to be on a look out. What else out there doesn't suck? Next week I'm going to check the album covers of The Smashing Pumpkins and then the next "first impression" is Grizzly Bear. Until next time… Have a Great Week!





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