Let me just begin by admittedly saying that when I volunteered to cover Yelawolf, for some reason or another, I thought he was some kind of folk band. I know, it’s funny. It’s funny in the way my personal ignorance, ironically enough, lead me to a window of appreciation for a type of music I initially never had an interest in. Yelawolf’s “Michael Wayne Atha” style of writing falls best under the category of what is commonly known as Snap Music. The genre of music was home-grown near Atha’s home town, Gadsden, Alabama, in the neighboring state, Atlanta. Snap music commonly uses little more than a turn table and a microphone, but was all Atha needed to make last night’s performance admirable.
Due to my lack of interest, before last night’s performance, my personal perception of most Rap music was stereotypical. When I think of Rap music I think of the over-produced noise everyone hears in the bars, and hears too much in their cars. Yes, I just rhymed on purpose. What the general public becomes witness to is a type of music that bases itself around what is “hot” at the moment. Latest cars, latest clothes, expensive clothing, material, material, material, and unfortunately this mainstream shaft manifest a misconception with consumers as well as restraints for those musicians who refuse to falter to the trends. Some call it “The Man” others refer to the monster as “The Industry”. The industry likes to take people and not make them people anymore. The industry likes to make artists into a trendy symbol that can be sold, much like a clothing brand or a type of sunglasses, but, more importantly, a symbol that can be replaced. I feel Atha refuses to be lost to the conundrum of the corporate, very political, music industry, and he proved it to me at Expo 5.
Yelawolf came onto stage last night with guns blaring. Wearing a camouflage T-shirt and denim overalls, the white American rapper proved quickly to the crowd why his show was the headlining performance. Atha opened with one of his more popular tunes “Daddy’s Lambo” which is both comical and witty. Again, I’m not a huge fan of Rap music, but I would be lying if I said the tune wasn’t stuck in my head when I was leaving the show. Moral of the story is people shouldn’t limited themselves to a few genres of music, and Yelawolf killed it last night.