Yelawolf releases ‘Ghetto Cowboy’, Peter Keys talks input and Lynyrd Skynyrd

A New Chapter:

On the dawn of Halloween, Yelawolf premiered his new album “Ghetto Cowboy” on his YouTube channel. The entire album streamed live as 3.5 thousand fans joined. The Alabama rapper stated back in early 2018 that “Trunk Muzik 3” would be the last record he’d release on “Shady Records.” Throughout his time on Shady, he’s shown deep gratitude but has felt that the time has come to begin releasing records on his own label “Slumerican.” More than just a label though, Slumerican is a clothing line, a way of life and the name of Yelawolf’s store in Nashville. The “Slumerican Flagship” is a clothing retail shop, a tattoo parlour and a barber’s all in one, and is seen as the headquarters for everything Slumerican.

This new chapter in Yelawolf’s career kicked off with the first single on the album, titled “Unnatural Born Killer “followed by the second, titled “Opie Taylor.” The latter skyrocketed through the Spotify Hip-Hop charts to number three in its first week. Both singles had a unique and fresh sound which was no surprise to fans. Each of Wolf’s records have had their own individuality and style to them, almost a life of their own independent from their successor.

He has an ability to make something that’s so different from everything else out; including his own previous titles and “Ghetto Cowboy” is no exception. It’s raw, full of attitude and pays homage to each genre that became a building block for its own creation. The tribute to previous influences goes deeper than the lyrics, almost as though the music itself was bursting to say something about what came before it. From heavy 808’s to county riffs reminiscent of old-school St Louis sounds, it punches and grabs at the listener relentlessly.

Insight from the studio sessions:

A long time friend and inspiration to Yelawolf put his hand to the record and Gigsoup had the opportunity to talk with him about it. Peter Keys of the legendary band Lynyrd Skynyrd helped to work on “Ghetto Cowboy” and had a lot to say, giving fans an insight on what it was like to be there throughout the creative process. Peter Keys also gave Gigsoup some exciting news.

Yelawolf brought you in to do what you do best on his upcoming record, he keeps his sessions very private, what was it like to be there and be a part of it?

Working with Wolf in the studio is always a super creative experience, He has an ear for incredibly unique blends of tones and musical parts, which I absolutely love. There is a sense of freedom and experimentation that I’ve seldom encountered in my years of studio experience. All ideas are fair game, and that’s how he comes up with such a broad sonic palate.

Lynyrd Skynyrd is considered Rock N Roll royalty, it’s awesome that you do other projects outside of that, especially in such different genres, has your music taste always been so diverse?

I have always had diverse taste in music, seeking unexpected and inspirational riffs, sounds, vibes and parts. I toured with P-Funk for several years, living the Funk. But playing with Skynyrd has definitely had an effect on how I listen, which impacts how I play. I come from a background of classical, funk, blues, rock and progressive rock. So there is a rhythmic element that lends itself to Hip-Hop in a different way, which may be why Wolf and I work so well together.

Can we expect Yelawolf on a Skynyrd record sometime?

I would love to get Yelawolf on a Skynyrd record, and he and I have been talking to Rickey Medlock about cutting a track already. I can’t tell you what yet, but stay tuned! Thanks for the opportunity to share my experience, I’d love to do an interview or answer some questions about what I’m up to.

To have Yelawolf and Lynyrd Skynyrd merge on a record would be monumental to Hip-Hop and rock fans alike, the statement may also indicate that a new Skynyrd album may be in the works.

Ghetto Cowboy:

After the release of “Radioactive” Wolf’s debut record with Shady, he took some significant time to create “Love story” it was the album that really captured his signature sound for the first time. It took so long due to finding the right people to help with its creation and really grasp the sound that he was after. “Trial by Fire” followed up on that sound and “Trunk Muzik 3” threw back to some of Wolf’s earlier work, but between “Love Story” and “Trial by Fire” there was “Hotel.” (The House Of The Endless Living) was so unusual, moody and revealing, if “Ghetto Cowboy” took from anything then it was “Hotel”, on the EP there was a song titled “Renegades” the song also features on the new record but only Yelawolf’s verses, the rest of the song has been rehashed. That isn’t all it borrowed though, the darkness and mood of the EP is very similar to the latest release but sonically it’s its own character.

“Ghetto Cowboy” does a lot different, it has haunting synths and emphasises more on the ambience, but it also seems to sit at a place of authority. The sounds That Yelawolf explored through his career were at his disposal and well refined. This album looks retrospectively at each body of work but has a level of confidence to it that trumps the others; it’s the full ownership of Wolf’s craft and is the house that stands after each brick was laid with conviction. It’s clever rap, heavy Hip-hop, Country, Rock N Roll but mostly, it’s Ghetto and it’s Cowboy. Yelawolf publicly stated that album releases will be more frequent as they are coming out on his own label “Slumerican.” Fans can expect a lot more experimentation and freedom to explore with indie releases.