Earlier this month, Yelawolf released the first single to his highly-anticipated Ghett-O-Vision/Shady/DGC/Interscope debut album, Radioactive. The track, “Hard White (Up In The Club)” is a rowdy anthem featuring Lil Jon. As he begins to bring the record to radio, Yela tells XXL how the collaboration came about and why he and his team chose to lead with that particular song.
“The record was done, and I went to ATL and KP [Ghett-O-Vision label head] was like, ‘Check out this mix,’” the 2011 XXL Freshman recalled. “He hit play, and Lil Jon was on it. So it was a surprise to me. I got really excited. It was like a gift; kind of a pat on the back. I felt like it was the perfect kind of record to have him on.”
The song, though still distinctly Wolf-like, is a bit of a deviation from what some fans may be used to. “I wanted to put a record out there that bridged Radioactive with the fans of Trunk Muzik—not to alienate [the core fans] with a record that might be a little bit more left than what they’re used to hearing,” the Alabama native said. “Some of the records on Radioactive are growing in a direction that might take some warming up to for the core fans. This song kind of brought it in the right way. It’s not a huge single; we knew that. We wanted something to warm up the project.”
A video has already been shot for “Hard White (Up In The Club),” and it should be out in the next few weeks.
As for the album itself, Yela wants to expand his base and have old fans recognize his growth. “I just hope that I’ve made records that—for my fans or even for the critics—to open them up to the idea of me being more than the regional artist that I have been with Trunk Muzik,” he said. “Really, I’m still underground at the end of the day. I’m on Shady, but I don’t have any records on radio for real right now. I have no heavy rotation video. I’m still working. I think with Radioactive, it’s going to propel me to that next level. I hope that the people are willing to grow and go along with the evolution of my music.”
Yelawolf’s Radioactive is set to hit stores October 25. —Adam Fleischer