This Alabama rapper has been turning heads for his vividly rendered, dexterously rhymed stories of blue-collar Southern life. The first video from Yelawolf’s October 25 debut album Radioactive transfers those impressive skills to pop radio’s favorite setting — that mythical pleasure dome known as The Club — and shows that the MC born Michael Wayne Atha can wallow in his own id as naturally as anybody. Watch it here (via Nah Right).
“Hard White (Up in the Club)” is a booming, arena-ready showcase for the syllable-hopping flow that earned Yelawolf a spot on Eminem’s Shady Records roster. Crunk godfather Lil Jon bellows the raucous hook while Yela dissects the V.I.P. section as savagely as he has previously analyzed the trailer park, all the while repping his “redneck” background: “My limbs are covered in tattoos, and my roots, they run deep,” he roars.
The video is equally shameless. Yela raps furiously in front of a towering shelf full of liquor bottles, while a pair of bikini-clad women wrestle in a kiddie pool filled with mud. Lil Jon is there punctuating the hedonism, while desserts are thrown, shots are poured, and the backing track’s central vocal snippet drones like Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.” Says Yela: “Still don’t give a fuck.” He gives just enough.
“I’ve got a few inspirational records, records for people to stay motivated,” Yelawolf told SPIN about the tracks on his new album. “Not giving up, the American tale, using my blue-collar experiences, you know? I want to be a voice for those people and not get all ‘poppin’ bottles in the V.I.P. or some shit.” It’s fair to say “Hard White” successfully bridges that difference.
WATCH: Yelawolf (feat. Lil Jon), “Hard White (Up in the Club)”