Monday, October 11
Last night’s brief hailstorm and miserable downpours wasn’t enough to keep Yelawolf fans away from The Fader‘s issue-release party underneath the old CBGBs. The open bar helped, too.
A Yelawolf show is something like taking a dive bar full of locals back to your friend’s house party: the after-work bar rats, everyone who’s ever been affiliated with tonight’s host, and a handful of unconcerned couples in their late forties (or early fifties) who are “down for whatever” included. As for Yelawolf himself, it’s hard to tell whether he revels in this aesthetic or is secretly terrified of it. We spotted him in the crowd before his performance, holding a beer (without taking a sip), staring at the stage intently, completely unresponsive to his chatty friend. One thing he isn’t, though, is shy. Soon after he takes the stage, and only a few minutes into the show, the sound cut out and the humid basement erupted in a cries of disapproval. “Quiet down,” shouted Yelawolf, over the din. “I’m not worried, I can spit this a capella.”
He didn’t end up having to, but we appreciated the effort. (We love when an artist can triumph over technical difficulties.) At the least, he made some new fans via the rest of his short set. The mob of partiers in front of the stage bounced around to “You Ain’t No DJ” and “Mixin’ Up the Medicine”, the latter encouraging one girl to knowingly exclaim, “This is Bob Dylan!” Between songs, the rapper repped Alabama and propositioned a girl from the audience. Lovely pickup lines — “Do you got money? Do you got cocaine?” — segued into “Daddy’s Lambo,” the rapper jostling his new stage addition out of her awkwardness by getting down low alongside her. Giggling girls joined in on a chorus of “F U” next to their fitteds-wearing companions as the rapper, covered in sweat, slowly lost his clothes. If Yelawolf has one thing going for him, it’s that he’s able to make the hodge-podge of people that flock to him feel like they belong there, too. Being different is cool, and all that. “I came with my boyfriend and his friend,” confides one such girl to another at the end of the show. “But, hey, this guy is sexy.”