Alabama's Yelawolf Charms Houston At In-Store Mixer
Yelawolf, Alabama's most mystifying rapper, stopped by Sunday night for a show at the House of Blues as part of the prep for his forthcoming Trunk Muzik: 0 to 60. While Rocks Off was not allowed to attend the show - our wife has this crazy notion in her head that a father should be around to take care of his family, particularly on holidays - we were able to sneak away for two hours to hang out at the meet-and-greet Wolf did at the award winning clothing store SF2 beforehand.
Photos courtesy of SF2
• On the way to the mixer, we stopped at the corner store at 610 and Stella Link. While walking into the store we made eye contact with a homeless woman. We said, "Hello." She replied, "Fuck you." These are the types of things that tend to happen to us.
• That store, by the way, is an apparent beacon for homeless crazy people. It was also the home station of an old man that used to stand on the corner and shake a plastic bottle of dirt at passing cars, as well as the place where a separate homeless man tried to sell us a single rollerblade.
• Prior to Yelawolf arriving, the DJ ordered everyone to exit the store and make a single file line outside. Everyone complied. The plan was to have the fans come in, get an autograph or whatever, then leave.
As soon as Yela walked in, though, he immediately got on the microphone and said, "Hey, you all can all come in and come back here and just chill. It's cool. Let 'em. I'm a normal guy. Just come on back." Thumbs up, thumbs up. It might've been the only time in the history of man that somebody said the sentence "I'm a normal guy" and not sounded like a serial killer.
• The energy in the store was far higher than anticipated. Halfway through the mixer, the place was absolutely packed. Incidentally, also halfway through the mixer we couldn't help but think over and over again, "Fuck, man, why didn't I petition the wife harder to ask to cover this show? It's going to be excellent, for certain."
This was a bigger misstep than J-Woww trying to drive a wedge between Paulie D and The Situation on the season finale of Jersey Shore.
• Our two boys, already fervent and relentless judgers of music, have cosigned several rappers in their scant three years on the planet; Yelawolf is one of them. His Trunk Muzik tape, which he released in January, has remained to be one of the year's best. And he is, without argument, one of the most engaging, interesting rappers to breakthrough in the past couple of years.
Though one of the reasons our boys appear to like him is because they think the chorus to his "Box Chevy Pt. 3" song, in which Yela sings "My-box-Che-vy," actually goes "Sponge-Bob's-hea-vy." They love, love, love to sing it. Same thing for that Andrew Karnavas "Film Noir" song. They love to sing that one too, but mostly because they have a friend named Noah and they think Karnavas is singing, "Film Noah." They're great at naming colors, but they suck big-time at hearing lyrics.
• Kyle Vento and Lux from Simple Success made an appearance. Until you hear otherwise, Kyle Vento will be referred to as The Best Hip-Hop Drummer In The City. SwishaHouse's Surreall also made an appearance. Until you hear otherwise, she will be referred to as The Most Intimidating Female Rapper In The City.
• Young, eager rap fans are the best. They showed up in droves to touch hands with Yela. That's always good to see. What's funny to see though are the guys who show up to these types of things and then act totally unimpressed with what's going on. One or two of them showed up to this thing.
They almost look perturbed in the pictures that they took with Yela. You can't drive 20 minutes across town, wait around for another 45 minutes, then stand in line for another 10 minutes to see one particular guy and then pretend like you're not happy to see him. You do recognize how ridiculous that is?
• Part of the reason Yela is so fascinating is his apparent ability to mesh together the typically opposing virtues of commercial appeal and an unwavering rapper legitimacy among hip-hop heads. At the moment, he can do no wrong, a fact encapsulated by his recent single, the Gucci Mane-aided "I Just Wanna Party."
In theory, people should've hated that song; it's as blatant a "Let's See What Happens When We Make A Song Specifically For The Radio" play as could be. But people liked it - nay, people loved it. And we're not inclined to disagree. By this time next year, he very possibly could be one of the biggest rappers on the planet. But even if he's not, it's not very likely that he'll be the smallest. He'll be around for a bit. And that's a good thing.
• There was a lady at the mixer with a medium-sized tattoo on her back of the outline of Africa, inside of which there was a bunch of text. In it, the tattooist misspelled truly ("truely"). We did not ask her if she was aware of this, but we really, really wanted to. If somebody that's reading this knows who we're talking about - there can't possibly be that many women with tattoos of Africa on their backs - please put that to her and see what she says.