Yelawolf, Bun B, Trae Tha Truth, Doughbeezy, Dante Higgins, Gerald Walker & Cardo Warehouse Live April 29, 2011
10:54 p.m.: Let's do this first this time. Here's the thing about Yelawolf, and you may have noticed this already, but: He's a rapper who is white - or, at least, he's one who's not black. But nobody ever gives him any shit about this; there are no cultural-appropriation jabs, none of the "He's A Gimmicky Rapper" taunts that people currently attack Mac Miller with, no nothing. But it makes sense.
Yela's music has gravitas - Trunk Muzik did anyway; Trunk Muzik 0 to 60 was good too, but chunks of it felt homogenized. He is generally adored and still a little underappreciated. He embraces who he is without hyperbolizing or marginalizing himself, a character trait found at the core of hip-hop.
Anyway, that's why we're going to see him perform as a headliner when we just saw him as an opening act less than a month ago.
11:02: ...And we're inside. The show is actually being held in that smaller section of Warehouse Live in between the main room and the Green Room. There are a fair amount of people here, all of them young and some of them are in muscle shirts. Had no idea that people actually wore those. Like, is muscle-shirt fashion an actual thing now? Jesus.
11:02:30: The enjoyable Doughbeezy, aka the Southeast Beast aka The Beez aka The Baddest Man In Size Six Tennis Shoes aka Mr. Ball Fade aka Mr. I'm Everywhere You Are aka Mr. No Pen, No Pad aka Mr. I Have More Nicknames Than I Do Songs, is walking onstage. He comes out to "Pass The Swisher," the second-best song from his Reggie Bush and Kool-Aid tape. The guy has been everywhere lately. You really have to appreciate how imperialistic he is.
11:09: The Beez has just brought Dante Higgins out. They're doing "H.A.M." It is easily the best song about meat to come out this year.
11:11: He's performing his version of "Blow Up." KAB is featured on that one, and is onstage right now. He has a blunt that is literally 10" long. You know why he has a blunt that is 10" long right now? Because he's the size of a goddamn Hyundai Accent, that's why. He can do what he pleases.
Nobody is telling him shit, ever. Oh, what's that you say, Mr. Security Guard? You want to confiscate my contraband? Well, tell me, how are you going to hold it, considering that I just RIPPED YOUR ARMS OFF!!!!!? RRRAAARRRGGHHHH!!!!!
11:14: "The shortest in every cipher but still the one they look up to." -Doughbeezy. Cool. Nice little set from DB et al.
11:16: DJ Mr. Rogers is spinning right now. He's also thumbing through Twitter on his phone at the same time, shouting out people that are @-ing him from the crowd. Is this cool or is this awful?
11:24: Um, there's a guy in here wearing an arm cast. That shouldn't feel as weird as it does.
11:36: "I'm not the one that's not bringing [Yelawolf] out. Don't yell at me, motherfucker." Rogers is funny.
11:38: Are you ready for Yelawolf!? Crowd: YYEEAAHHHH!!!! Well, here's Gerald Walker and Cardo.
11:39: Cardo is wearing a shirt that reads, "Listen to UGK." Cardo is smart.
11:39:30: They're playing some swelling horns and whatnot, trying to do that thing where you build everyone up and get 'em all excited and shit. Did Michael Bay direct this intro?
11:44: Walker is an alt-rapper. He was born in Chicago but eventually moved to Wisconsin, which, as we all know, is a veritable hotbed for rap talent. He's fun enough, but it appears that he thinks everyone in here knows who he is. He's like a peacock with his tail feathers all fanned out right now. Not sure how to feel about that one.
He's talented - he's from Wisconsin, remember - but nobody in here seems especially impressed. He's doing a track where he's cut up Pimp C's "Money on the dresser" line from "Int'l Player's Anthem" for the hook. That's a neat trick.
11:51: Hey, look, another guy in a cast. What the shit is going on right now? Are people really just running around breaking their arms? Why are they so reckless? Oooh, how awesome would it be if this guy with the cast and the first guy with the cast broke their arms at the exact same time, like they were UFC fighting and both put the other in an arm bar and refused to tap out? Oh, man, a double arm break? You don't see that shit everyday. That type of warriordom needs to applauded. That's amazing, amazing, amazing.
11:57: Rogers is playing "Assmilk" from Tyler, the Creator's Bastard tape. That's cool that that's happening.
11:58: And now he's playing Treal Lee and Prince Rick's "Throwed Off." That's the one where they shout over and over again, "Walk around the club, fuck everybody!" Why haven't some white kids in wayfarer sunglasses with neon arms made a parody of this video yet?
Is it really that hard to come up with "Walk around the club, hug everybody"? Or maybe even "Walk around the tub, scrub everybody"? Come on, young white kids. You're slipping. You would've been all over this shit in 2008.
12:01: Oooh, speaking of, go ahead and add White Girls Dancing To Screw Music to the big Life's Enjoyable Ridiculous Things list. Slip it in between the shakeweight and Twilight.
12:04: Guess you'll just draw your eyebrows on then? Cool, cool.
12:05: Yelawolf's DJ just came out. The Yelawolf chants have started. This'll be neat.
12:11: Playing some stuff from Trunk Muzik. Cool, cool, cool. It's getting live in here... Yela just came flying out... red beanie... hoodie... stringy hair hanging out... tattoos... boxers showing... girls screaming... guys waving their casts... bedlam. The room is berserk. Who's cooler than Yelawolf right now? Nobody on the fucking planet, that's who.
12:15: "If you're on the front row just to take pictures, you should get the fuck back." -Yelawolf
12:17: He's doing "F.U." Everybody is crammed in jumping and shit, but what's weird is everyone is going yo-yo in their own space. There isn't a lot of pushing and shoving. Maybe everyone is just being extra cautious because of the guys with the casts? Don't concern yourself with their well being, young mob. Your piddly pushing will not bother them. They are UFC titans.
12:18 "Good To Go." We actually saw Yela do this as part of his opening set at the aforementioned Lil Wayne show. It was fun. He brought out Bun B that night. He'll probably do the same thi--OH SHIT, BUN B!
12:19: Question: Will it ever not be cool to see Bun? Answer in the form of another question: Will it ever not to be cool to get a blowjob? Of course not.
12:23: "Box Chevy Pt. 3." Man, this is suuuuuccchhhh a good song. It feels like your brain is swimming in a cloud.
12:25: Devi Dev from The Box showed up for a bit. She just sort of materialized at the back of the stage during Yela's set and nobody made a sound about it. Life is easy when you're the radio host that all of the guys think they're in love with, we'd imagine.
12:27: "Daddy's Lambo" from his proper, big label-backed debut. This is better live than you'd anticipate it to be.
12:40: Trae! They're doing "Shit I Seen." Neat. Trae is energetic. He seems excited to be up there. Cool. They're using the actual version of the song so he's rapping over his own rumbly voice though.
12:42: Yela's wandered off stage. Trae's brought out his team. They've taken over the stage. They do the chorus from "Still Throwed" before jumping into his somber, Wiz-assisted "Getting' Paid" track. Heard that song? It's really good. The chorus: "We don't even count the money no more, we just blow it. We don't even the money no more, we just throw it." That's an awfully cavalier financial plan.
12:43: Trae's team always consists of the same recognizable faces. For example, you'll always see Clip, his staunch right hand man. And you'll always see EZ, ABN's videographer and du-rag enthusiast. But there's a new guy up there, an intimidating looking white guy with a tiny ABN chain and a bunch of tattoos on his persons. He is currently a mystery.
12:44: Trae mentions that his new proper album, Street King, will be out in June, acknowledges the anniversary of Big Hawk's death, then finishes off with an a capella version of segment of "Swang." Fun, fun, fun.
12:45: Yela's Back. "Mixin' Up The Medicine." Right back into it.
12:50: Oh shit. He's doing his remake of Eazy-E's "Boyz in the Hood." Yela's version is called "Boyz in the Woodz" and includes the very excellent line, "Yeah, I'm in the creek water, jumping on snake heads." Best moment of the night, easy.
12:55: There's a woman in here that looks like a fat version of Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas. Blech.
12:57: "I Just Wanna Party."
1:04: And he's finishing with "Pop the Trunk." Everyone seems to be feeling pretty good about themselves right now. Proper showing from Yela. He finishes, then mentions how he's recently signed to Shady Records and that soon he'll be performing for crowds of 20,000 people. Sounds about right. We're with it.
Personal Bias: Our sons are Yelawolf fans. Their favorite song is "Box Chevy," but only because they think the chorus says, "Sponge-Bob's hea-vy" instead of "My-box Che-vy." Whatevs, we're glad they like it.
The Crowd: Had fun.
Overhead In the Crowd: "Oh, man, that's a wicked nice muscle shirt." We didn't hear it, per se, but somebody in there almost certainly said it.
Random Notebook Dump: After the show, we went to eat with Marco Torres, who took the pictures for this thing and is pretty much the most unhateable guy in existence; and Ben Westhoff, an author in town promoting his new book about Southern hip-hop. In the middle of the meal, Trae called, asking if Westhoff would bring him a couple of copies to a strip club off of the Westpark Tollway.
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Westhoff obliged, so we went with him to make sure he did not get murdered while dropping them off. Trae came out of the club - this is at past 3 a.m., mind you - shook hands, made small talk, then said, "I got Yelawolf in there with me. You guys wanna come party?" We responded, "Nah, can't, the boys [our sons] have T-ball in the morning. Gotta get some sleep." It was the least cool thing to say in that situation.
It wouldn't have been any more lame had we said, "No, we can't go because our belly-welly hurts from eating too many jelly beans." Life sucks.