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'Slumafia' Yelawolf x DJ Paul Collaboration Album Review

Yelawolf and DJ Paul compliment each other in their high energy new collaboration album 'Slumafia'

As a young teenager I believed Eminem was untouchable, and couldn't release anything but certified classics. It was this Eminem obsession that lead me to discover Yelawolf, who quickly grew to become one of my favourite artists.

It was through Eminem's feature on 'Best Friend' that Yelawolf reached me all the way in Wiltshire, UK. That was just a week before 'Love Story' dropped.

Once 'Love Story' dropped I became a huge Yelawolf fan. I had never heard music like his, and still haven't to date. He brings a southern, country style to his raps, and is constantly evolving.

I then got myself tickets to his 2015 UK tour to see him at Electric in Brixton. I went with my cousin, Big Dan, and he blew us away. His energy on stage was infectious. He knew just how to control the crowd, and has raving fans that created an amazing energy as everyone knew the words while he performed. I also got to see Yelawolf at Wireless Festival 2016, but still regret being unable remember much of his performance due to being incapable of holding my drink at 16!

Since 'Love Story', Yelawolf has gone on to release 3 further studio albums: 'Trial by Fire', 'Trunk Muzik 3' and 'Ghetto Cowboy'. I look forward to writing a review on all three albums in due time, each of those releases has a lot of positives in my personal opinion.

This takes me to 'Slumafia', the second release in Yelawolf's 2021 April onslaught. The album sees the Tennessee rapper working with his long-time collaborator and friend, DJ Paul.

There are two clear-cut influences built into Yelawolf's music: Country and Hip-Hop. In his studio albums 'Love Story', 'Trial by Fire' and 'Ghetto Cowboy', he focuses more of his energy on this country style, generating catchy hooks and honing in on his singing skills rather than his rapping. In contrast, it is his Hip-Hop style that takes centre stage on his mixtape 'Trunk Muzik 0-60', which I would recommend listening to before 'Slumafia' to get an idea of Yelawolf's rapping style.

Yelawolf & DJ Paul pair-up brilliantly on this album. Yelawolf takes forward his Hip-Hop style, with fast raps, and points of aggression throughout the album. DJ Paul's Three Six Mafia origins shine through, providing perfect beats to compliment Yelawolf's rough southern flow. The album is eight tracks long with features from: Badd Wolf, Big Henri, Gangsta Boo, Seed of 6ix, Bray, Pretty Shy and Caskey.

Trans Am

The album opens with 'Trans Am', a fast paced, heavy bass banger. DJ Paul works an alarm sound in with piano keys, creating an excitement for what's to come. Over the beat, Yelawolf raps about his success:

I done done a lot of f****n' s**t man I done done a lot of f****n' s**t man Pedalled that bike no kick stand Came from the gutter to a rich man I done shook a lot of f****n' hands man I done shook a lot of f****n' hands man Used to be bricks under the Impala, now I holla yea from the T tops of a Trans Am

Yelawolf ends the track almost shouting, a style that he has used throughout his career to give a track energy and aggression.

Tote the Bag

The second track finds Yelawolf picking up pace, creating a fast-fire banger. He seems unstoppable on this track, like he can rhyme for days. Yelawolf finds the pocket of the beat perfectly on this track, rhyming in time with the drum claps from DJ Paul. The pair compliment each other very well here. After this, DJ Paul brings his usual rapping style to the track. Typically, I'm not a fan myself of DJ Paul's style, however, Yelawolf and DJ Paul's chemistry is so strong I find myself wanting more from DJ Paul.

After that we hear 'Lucchese' a slower track, seeing DJ Paul and Yelawolf take to the beat one after the other. The track feels lyrically a lot more empty than the two tracks before it.

On 'Still the Man' Yelawolf raps a three minute track with a short hook leaving a trail of bars behind him.

'Don't Need a Cup' sees Yelawolf continuing to impress, even managing to incorporate his whiskey brand, Creekwater, into the hook:

I don't need a cup, Creek Water bottle hold your litres up Higher than a feather on an eagle's butt Flyer than this private jet, my feet is up Just keep the speakers up, I don't need a cup

The title track, 'Slumafia', is a posse cut, with verses from: Big Henri, Bray, Gangsta Boo, Lil Infamous and Locodunit from Seed of 6ix, as well as Yelawolf himself. The song features a creepy, whispered interlude to open the song:

(Take a look at who I am) (A psycho m**********r that was raised in Alabam') I got a master plan (Take a look at who I am) A psycho m**********r that was raised in Alabam') I got a master plan

While each contribution was solid, stand-out verses go to: Gangsta Boo and Yelawolf.

We then reach 'Super Geek', which I would describe as one of the more forgettable tracks on the album. While I do still enjoy the song as Yelawolf and DJ Paul's chemistry is clear as they compliment each other track after track, it doesn't leave me wanting to go back anytime soon.

The album closes with the very amped, high energy 'Head Banger'. Yelawolf brings out his raised voice, shouting style for the hook, while DJ Paul provides a dark track with high keys, leaving an eeriness to the track. The hook is complimented by heavy bass feedback that echoes the idea of a 'Head Banger'. Pretty Shy and Caskey also compliment the track brilliantly, before Yelawolf closes the album with an unstoppable verse.

On 'Slumafia' Yelawolf leaves his slower country style behind, returning to bass-heavy beats and fast-paced raps. While DJ Paul and the feature-list of this album are typically not to my taste, this album is irresistible. If you like any of the featured artists on here, DJ Paul, or Yelawolf, I would strongly recommend you check this album out. The heavy-bass production, dark keys, strong hooks and rhymes that can go for days have created a strong collaboration project. I hope to see more from Yelawolf & DJ Paul soon. Yelawolf's studio album 'Mudmouth' drops this Friday, April 30. I look forward to hearing what Yelawolf brings to that project!

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