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This Shit is Radioactive (Album Review)
Released 21 November 2011
57:22 in length
1.) Radioactive Introduction —— 4.5/5
2.) Get Away —— 3.5/5
3.) Let’s Roll —— 3.25/5
4.) Hard White —— 3.5/5
5.) Growin’ Up in the Gutter —— 4/5
6.) Throw it Up —— 4.5/5
7.) Good Girl —— 3.75/5
8.) Made in the U.S.A. —— 3.75/5
9.) Animal —— 4.25/5
10.) The Hardest Love Song in the World —— 3.5/5
11.) Write Your Name —— 4.5/5
12.) Everything I Love the Most —— 4/5
13.) Radio —— 2/5
14.) Slumerican Shitizen —— 3.25/5
15.) The Last Song —— 4/5
Radioactive Introduction is fucking awesome. Not too many rap albums go in this type of direction. I’ve heard a few metal albums start with nationwide emergency warnings, but this is the best I’ve ever heard done. I had just assumed that Yela would come in on the next track and leave this one on its own. But he didn’t! He came in, and it might not be his fastest or hardest flow, it does the trick. The background tone is stellar. The song, mashed with his flow is just spooky. I absolutely love it.
Mystikal I’ve never really liked (funny, though!) and Shawty Fatt I’ve never even heard of. Both of which, Yela got for Get Away, the album’s second track. Yela’s verse is solid, he starts off going pretty hard, leading into a pretty average bridge/hook. Shawty Fatt sounded like some random ass southern rapper (sorry if I offend), and Mystikal’s verse is everything you’d expect from a Mystikal verse. The production and Yela’s verse were the high points. Drinking, smoking and trailer parks – I’m in for a treat.
Third track is Let’s Roll with a hook via Kid Rock, the southern rap/rocker turned country singer from Detroit… Needless to say, I don’t really like Kid Rock and the hook really isn’t impressive, it’s actually corny. Yela however, does a good job on his verses. The third one in particular, “Used to keep a .22 in a shoebox/Now I bang Beretta’s, she’s 22 and I keep her in a tube top.” Production is relatively average when compared to the higher points on the album – still, by no means is it bad. Take off dumbshit Kid Rock and I would have liked it more.
Seeing Lil Jon as the feature for Hard White, I assumed it would have been a heavy synth beat with a lot of screaming. I only got a small dose of the latter. The beat is actually cool as fuck. Yela really does go in on this track, as far as I’m concerned. I really liked his flow. Where the song lacks is… You guessed it; Lil Jon. The guy is good for big club choruses and shouting, which is exactly what he tries. Lil Jon is for the club, this song is not. So putting him on the track may have been one of the album’s very few missteps. And the good thing about it is, the production and Yela’s verses are so good, Lil Jon can be put in the back seat.
Mother. Fucking. Production. Growin’ Up in the Gutter gives off the same vibe as the album’s intro gave and shit do I love it. That Inception-esque beat does wonders with Yela’s flow. Rittz, another feature artist I’ve never heard of, did a solid job working with the beat. Where the song lacks, which seems to be a trend at this point, is the hook. It’s not that bad, but it’s not that good. Somewhere towards the last few playthroughs of the album, the hook started growing on me more and more. I upped the songs overall value because I know if I gave this shit more time, I’d like it even more. Very cool track. WillPower, who seemed to do a majority of the album’s production did a fucking awesome job here.
Throw it Up has features by everyone’s personal favorite, Eminem and the forgotten Three-6-Mafia vet Gangsta Boo. The beat wasn’t as good as some of the other shit that we’ve heard by this point on the album. And seeing that it was produced by WillPower (and Eminem), I was a slight bit disappointed, just because the Intro and Growin’ Up in the Gutter were vicious. All three artists have some damn good verses. Gangsta Boo sounded more threatening than Yela and Em delivered a badass verse. The end of this song has some comical value to it. And the fucking duck quack is my phone’s alarm, so it definitely fucked me on the first go’round.
Finally, a shout out to Game (haha). Good Girl has one of the album’s better done hooks, delivered by Poo Bear. The production is a little… Happy? … when compared to the rest of the album. It may not fit, but the song is still a good listen. Yela here explains that he’s surprised that he can treat women badly and still be in there lives, and credits this to his fame; which is a very believable topic. In the end, this is one of the more forgettable tracks on the album. It’s counterpart from Game and Drake had a more lasting effect.
Despite repping the Chi, I’ve got some pretty southern roots myself, so Yela’s verses seemed spot on, very heartfelt. I really enjoyed all of them. The production is a little bland compared to the rest of the album. Made in the U.S.A. is a good track, it’s not extremely lyrical, but it’s as real as it gets. But, per usual, I didn’t like the hook. Which was sang by Priscilla Renea. With the simple production, this track following Good Girl put me in a bit of a lull for the middle of the album.
And we’re back, Animal. The beginning of the track gives off an old school/southern vibe – which is really fucking cool. And then the hook comes in and the production takes a hard hitting turn. The hook is a tad cheesy, but much better than most of rest of the album. With the song’s title and the way the hook is sang, I would have assumed it was done by Ke$ha, but instead, Yela recruited the unknown Fefe Dobson. Yela’s verses are a little more light hearted here, with a fun up and down flow. The beat is cool, especially the dance-ridden sections on the hook. The only downside is that Ke$ha isn’t the feature. I love her.
He usually doesn’t do this… The Hardest Love Song in the World. Some southern feel to it, some slowed down flows by Yela and a hook that goes uncredited but clearly isn’t Yela… (Jason Boyd, according to Wikipedia). Regardless of who is and isn’t credited, the hook is average, which for Radioactive means good. Yela’s lyrics are again, a little comical with the sexual innuendos and references (Ozzy biting a bats head). While it’s not a bad song, it’s not great either. A good effort, but ultimately, it’s another one of the forgettable tracks. A true fan would enjoy it the most because it strays away from typical Yela songs.
Write Your Name is definitely a more poppy sounding song, but I really dig it. It’s by far the best hook on the entire album, given to us by Mona Mona. The story Yela paints throughout the song really is gorgeous. For a rapper that isn’t usually emotional, he does a magnificent job with this track. His flow on this track is a little off of his usual track, but its still really good. This might be one of my favorite tracks off of the whole album. Production from J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League is awesome.
Twelfth track is Everything I Love the Most is a track that has grown on me after repeated listens. It’s got an awesome old school/southern vibe to it, enhanced especially by the loose, low toned guitar. I think this is the only hook on the entire album that was sang directly by Yela, and it really is a step above the rest of what Radioactive has to offer, except for, of course, “Write Your Name”. The ode to every southern rapper with the lines, “Smokin’ out, throwin’ up/Keep a fifth up in my truck” was another really nice touch. Fun stuff; and I don’t normally like fun stuff.
Radio. Yeah, yeah, the topics at hand aren’t bad – really. I hate YouTube. But there is definitely a better way of going about attacking things. I hate this fucking hook, the weird, super cheesy production (fuck off Jim Jonsin) isn’t much better, either. The only reason it sort of fits is the guitar and the obvious Lynyrd Skynyrd “Free Bird” attempt. The fact that Yela hates some of the same shit that I hate brings my rating of this song up, but other than that – this is the album’s true low point. Why did he leave this shit on here?
Some pretty cool guitar work, especially for a rapper, on the production for Slumerican Shitizen. I really dug the way the beat was laid out and Yela does a good job of staying true to his trailer trash persona. So far, everything’s going good. Is it me or does Killa Mike always sound like goddamned Ice Cube? Anyways, his verse isn’t as good as Yela’s, but it does the song justice and it doesn’t spoil anything. The downside? You guessed it: the hook. The term “slumerican shitizen” is just so… Cliché? It’s so expected. It’s garbage. It’s very childish. Shitizen? Come on. Not all of your listeners are fourteen.
We made it to The Last Song! Obviously one of Yelawolf’s very few emotional songs. He does a wonderful job on it, too. Giving us a quick look into his life, the slow beat (via WillPower) is great – with the piano. One thing that I couldn’t help but notice is the similarities between this and Big K.R.I.T.’s “Free My Soul.” The soft piano and the melody mainly. Which I absolutely loved. I really do think that if I had never heard “Free My Soul” that this track would have been a lot better for me. I just can’t really see past the similarities enough to love this track. Nonetheless, this is a wonderful way to end the album and it truly is a good Yelawolf track.
What Yelawolf did on Radioactive is turn me into a fan. I didn’t dislike him prior to this release, that’s not the case at all, I just hadn’t really checked him out. Before this review I had heard maybe three Yelawolf songs. So I went into this review with a pretty unbiased opinion. A co-sign from Slim Shady and a review from The Source resulting in a 4.5/5 is certainly something worth checking out. Compiled with really good production, some damn good flows and some respectable features, Radioactive really is the complete package. A few of the parts were a little on the cheesy side. I know that a lot of people like to knock his voice for being a little higher pitched (nasally), but as a new listener, I seriously got over it after the first song. What I would have liked more is if Yela decided to give the whole album that same vibe as the album’s extra creepy intro. Instead we got parts of that meshed with some serious southern roots with all of the guitar parts. The biggest drawback on this album is the hooks. The majority of them are below average, average at best with the exception of “Write Your Name”, “Good Girl”, and “Everything I Love the Most”. Still though, Radioactive is a good album. It may not be my favorite, but I have no problem recommending it to anyone.
Final ratings: 56.25/75 = 75% =
Nice review, as usual. But what about the bonus tracks?
I found the first 7 songs to be pretty strong, but after that it became very mediocre and a bit forced to me.
I really enjoyed hearing Mystikal again.
goddamn is this a lenient review.
I guess I should stop sleeping on Yelawolf now and finally go out and listen to him
im glad someone appreciated write your name, I fucking love that shit.
I didn’t get the bonus tracks, sorry. I can look into ‘em if you’d like. Thanks to everyone showing the love. Please, please, please comment with your opinion. It makes it so much better when people can contribute.
When I first listened to the whole album, I liked it. It’s good music to listen to while you’re riding in the car. The hooks aren’t that great but they’re easy to sing along to. They get stuck in your head. his verses are great and the features are mostly unknown or not widely known people minus Eminem and the unnecessary Lil Jon which I think is good for a first album, seeing that you wouldn’t want someone outshining you on your own shit. Overall, I like Radioactive and the whole album stays on my IPod and phone.
Haha, anyone else?
Good review, the album was pretty good but I expected a little better. I think his best songs were Made in the USA, Im sorry daddy, and Write your name.
Pretty good review for a good album. My friends told me that Yelawolf was trash, so I never listened to him before this, but he definitely changed my mind. His flow is actually sick and his lyrics are pretty good too. Plus he always keeps it real and is kinda unique being a poor white guy from Alabama. I actually like him a lot better than Mike Miller, because he doesn’t give off the vibe of “white-boy rapper”. I also like that he’s completely different than his “mentor” Eminem. He’s actually a pretty good artist and not just another gimmicky white rapper. I would probably give Radioactive a 4/5.
Would also like to add,
I probably would have rated Growing up in the gutter a bit higher, the beat and the darkness of the song just gives me chills. Hard White may have been better without Lil Jon, because he really doesn’t do anything for the song.
I would agree with the above and give the album overall a 4/5 myself
top 5 for me are
Write your name — Incredibly uplifting song, and Mona Mona’s voice is gorgeous.
Throw it up — Pretty much just rap, didn’t care too much for the production, but I loved the verses.
Growing up in the gutter — As I said above, gives me chills, and the style was very unexpected.
Animal — All around great song.
Last Song — Very deep, kinda hits home for me as well.
I was really surprised with all of the featured artists on the album, and it definitely broadened my horizon. Not seeing some extremely mainstream r&b / pop singer doing the choruses or raps (besides Lil Jon, well he really doesn’t do anything anyways) was a breath of fresh air.
But a great review by 6xPlatinum, been trying to get this album around to everyone I know for the past couple of weeks.
The lyrics weren’t there
You’ve never heard of White Jesus Ritz? Saw what?! haha. Youtube his song “White Jesus” or another Yelawolf & Rittz song called “Fulla Shit” produced by Big K.R.I.T.
It’s riding music. Although, the more times I played it through, the more I did not like it. I probably like just under half of the songs. Get Away, The Last Song, Growin' Up in The Gutter are a few. Yela sounds good on all the beats. Rides them fairly well. The hooks are weak and sugary at times. Kind of a let down overall after multiple listens, although I still fucks with Yela. I think he will put out some good stuff this next year.
It sounds awesome in my brother’s subwoofers.
cmon dude “radio” wasn’t that bad. the song obviously should have been a little faster as it drags on like Southern drawl for sure. but there are some really good parts first verse is cool and “lets talk about broke as a joke” always gets me