Itzme Review: Yelawolf – Trunk Muzik Returns

Yelawolf releases this new mixtape, Trunk Muzik Returns. The name is so appropriate because it restores his reputation and hype that he had during the time of Trunk Muzik. Yela kinda hit a low point musically with his last two projects,

mehhhhhhh

mehhhhhhh

but this one is a big Kool-Aid man bust back into the game.

Yela starts off the tape showing us he means business. “Firestarter” is so well-produced that it’s ridiculous. The beat is a true head-bobber with lots of funky electro-inspired sounds that match Yela unique style well; especially with the added voice synthesizers phasing in and out. Plus, the transitions feel so well-timed and smooth. The Alabama emcee matches the instrumentals with a rapid-fire two-layered flow that switches to a smooth one on transitions. Even with all of these things going on, he still manages to make the song catchy as hell. If this wasn’t a great return track, I don’t know what is.

The rest of the project has rather good production, and it all matches the style of Yelawolf quite well. Nothing like “Firestarter”, but still impressive. “F.A.S.T. Ride” is another good example of this, where the hook is kinda like some space disco stuff, then it switches up to a banging, “aight it’s time for you to go in” type of beat. A lesser example is that of “Box Chevy”, while it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just a loop and I’m not much of a loop guy, needs drops. All of the songs seem to have some funky and/or country vibe to them, while still having some sort of electro-influence to them. “Rhyme Room” also comes with crazy good background music. I’m loving that sound on the drop that sounds like slappin a cup-shaped object on a table. I’m not too sure if Yela has an in-house producer for this joint or if he’s just amazing at picking beats that synergize with him, but it definitely gives those impressions.

Lyrically you aren’t gonna be super impressed, but that’s not to say Yela ain’t talking bout nothing or illiterate or something. Trunk Muzik Return’s best lyrical accomplishments exist within the story songs. The story in “Hustle” is engaging and stays with the style and energy of the song, even with the Paul Wall verse not exactly complementing that story. “Catfish Billy” greatness because Yelawolf makes this character that’s an abrasive, pompous, drunk menace and brings the figure of Catfish Billy to life. He even sports a more eccentric voice to match this story, along with randomly screaming expletives. “Fame” is also a story about how Yela didn’t want to sell out and all that. Pretty cliché message, but its not a bad song. I don’t mess with it though. “Gangster” is another example of an impressive story.

Speaking of “Gangster”, that dude Big Henry (or whatever is name is) went in on that joint. Got a new listener out of me from that verse. The rest of the features were good, too. There wasn’t any verses room temperature except maybe Rocky’s, but that’s not a big deal. Paul Wall introduces “Hustle” with a slew of catchy cadences that he specializes in. The Chef went in as usual and Killer Mike was all over “Rhyme Room”, that song was the bomb.

You can’t talk about a Yelawolf project without mentioning his delivery, though. This guy uses his high-speed rapping throughout the project in one of the most impressive ways heard today. Dude has a top-notch rhythm to his rapping, in that area he almost always does the beat justice. In this project he always does. Yelawolf also switches up his flow soulfully to match his lyrics and just control the pace of the song in a really funky way. On top of that, not a bad hook on this mug. Some hooks definitely stick out more than others though, namely the “Hustle” hook where he just goes in on the hook and it stops right on time to cue the slowed voice saying hustle.

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK!

From whack to winter, this joint got me sayin “Burr!”

Favorites: “Firestarter” “Rhyme Room”

Songs That Blew Me: “Fame”… just a little, though.

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