"It's one of those records we cut last minute,"says Yelawolf  of "Hard White (Up In the Club)." "Hard White (Up In the Club)," released on iTunes Monday (Aug. 8), is Yelawolf's first single off his Shady Records debut, "Radioactive" (Sept. 27).
The former skateboarder turned quick-spitter is impossible to ignore. Yelawolf's 2010 was impressive, and notched his Shady Records deal thanks to the hype built on the release of his mixtape "Trunk Muzik," which was re-released later that year with a few extra songs as "Trunk Muzik 0-60."
As such, Yelawolf sees "Radioactive" as his official freshman release; and the hard banging "Hard White," featuring Lil Jon,  is an excellent way to herald the occasion. Yelawolf had recorded most of the album in Las Vegas when his team insisted on one more track.
"It just pissed me off, like, 'what the fuck you mean we need one more record? Give me a fucking beat, I'm over this shit,'" Yelawolf tells The Juice. His manager KP, along with Pooh Bear and J Dot, spent all night digging through beats, and the next day after playing a few, turned on the one that would become "Hard White." "That was it," Yelawolf says. "It inspired me to write. I actually walked into the booth after writing it, and that's a one take vocal cut. It's just straight all the way through."
Lil Jon's guest spot, however, came as surprise to Yelawolf. "I was in Atlanta and KP was like 'come check out this mix on this record.' He took me to Patchwork Studios [and] hit play. I was like, 'Oh shit.
Yelawolf recalls heading out to Mally Mall and Pooh Bear's studio on the outskirts of Vegas and secluding himself there for two weeks to record "Radioactive," often sleeping at the studio. "There were some days where [we'd] go in there and knock out two records, and it's just like, 'yeah that's it, that's it.' We never really had any questions about what was good and what was not... It flowed really well."
Yelawolf sees "Radioactive" as the logical next step in his career, expanding on the 808-heavy "Trunk Muzik" to include a wider array of influences, everything from country to classic rock. "I was sitting on concepts and inspirational records that I had written two, three years ago that I couldn't put on a mixtape," he says. "They were worth more than a mixtape, worth more to me than just putting [them] on a mixtape, too personal."
"I was hungry for it, I was waiting for it," Yelawolf says of "Radioactive." "I've waited a long time for a real freshman release, an official freshman release from a major [label]. This is my opportunity."
- The Juice