[HIP HOP] Holding your center is not an easy task for a musician these days, especially one who is looking to capture the hearts of millions. Alabama-born hip hop artist Yelawolf is looking to do just that with his new record, Love Story. Produced with help from Eminem, the new record is a testament to everything that makes Yelawolf unique, and tells a raw and honest story from his point of view. To prepare for his takeover of the Town Ballroom on Thursday, May 14, The Public spoke with Yelawolf about out how he made Love Story, what it reflects, and the struggles of modern creativity.

Every one of your albums, especially Love Story, really demonstrate a huge range of style both musically and lyrically. Would you say you’ve always been one to embrace diversity and change in music?

Hip hop can lock you into something specific and trap you there or do the exact opposite and bring out your creativity and madness. You can choose to stick to a style and stay there, or you can choose to be different and mix it up.

There’s a huge amount of southern rock and blues influence in your music. How do you think those styles come together with hip hop? Do you think a blending of styles reinvigorates the music, or is it a reflection of who you are as a person and your history?

It’s just about what makes a good song. I don’t walk into the studio and say “Let’s do a Foghat meets NWA track.” We just go in and we jam. Every person has a role, and if you let people do what they do, then the music comes out. It’s genre-less right now, which is a cool and dangerous place to be as an artist. You could play the music we’ve made anywhere.

There’s this line in “Whiskey in a Bottle” about taking pain and using it as therapy through music. I’m curious to know more of your thoughts about music as a conduit for pain and suffering.

It’s my only conduit. Everyone’s got their own route. I’m attracted to darker themes, and this album has a darker tone. It brings out painful moments and makes great songs. That’s the way great songs are written. They come out of that pain.

You’ve stated that on Love Story you were really able to flex your creativity and really got to implement your original vision for a record.  To you as an artist, do you think a lot of other artists that you see around are being forced to compromise their visions?

I think more and more artists are independent and don’t have anyone to answer to. I had an organic sound starting, and then some people wanted to mess with that, so me and Marshall (Mathers) just got rid of them, straight up. We were the bosses. A lot of people compromise, but there’s an awakening going on. Kids today can just go on the internet and pull up so many different artists. It’s all at their fingertips for them to piece together, and there’s going to be some amazing upcoming artists because of that. I can’t even imagine all the great artists coming soon. Hopefully I find a few of them myself.



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Town Ballroom

681 Main St.
Buffalo, NY
Phone: 716-852-3900