Yelawolf live inside Ottawa’s Ritual Nightclub [Photos/Review]
Ottawa, ON – Catfish Billy is back! Alabama rapper Yelawolf finally makes his long awaited return the Nation’s Capital with his show at Ritual Nightclub this past Thursday. The show was opened by London, Ontario’s Thesis Sahib, who put on a short but good set. Except for the fact that he had some technical difficulties with his modified Gameboy when the batteries died, the crowd seemed into his set and was responsive to his rapid style. Next up was Ceschi (pronounced Chess-key), from New Haven CT, a one man band with a playful indie side and crazy fast raps. The crowd was into everything he was doing, especially bringing his guitar out on stage to start off the set.
The last opening act was Ottawa’s own Flight Distance, an independent hip-hop group who have built a solid fan base through consistent releases and performances, along with Bender’s success in King of the Dot. The crowd was very receptive to their performance, rapping along with most of the songs. It set a nice tone for the arrival of Yelawolf, who had gotten 2 new tattoos at a local parlor in Ottawa just hours earlier.
After about an hour of opening acts, and a lot of chanting of his name, around a quarter to Midnight, Yelawolf finally took to the stage while his DJ dropped the intro to his album, Radioactive. When he hit the stage he was wearing a black fedora, what seemed like yellow and black Ray Ban style sunglasses, a funky Mexican-style printed button up shirt with a black Famous Stars and Straps printed wife-beater underneath; and baggy tan coloured Khaki style pants along with loose white suspenders to hold them up. His first song of the night was “Daddy’s Lambo,” which was met with very loud cheers from the sold-out crowd. Next up was the title track to his mixtape, Trunk Muzik (January 2010). It has a slightly slower beat, but his double-time rapid spitting balances it out perfectly. His first single off Radioactive, “Hard White (Up In The Club)” sparked roars of cheering and a particularly loud sing-a-long.
About half way through his set, he went into a medley of short covers, including songs like “Riders On The Storm” by The Doors, “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash, “Master of Puppets” by Metallica, and “B.O.B (Bombs Over Baghdad)” by Outkast. He then paid tribute to the Beastie Boys, and the late Adam “MCA” Yauch, by doing a second short medley of covers featuring a few of their most popular songs.
It was then time to pay homage to his Shady Records label executive, Eminem. He jumped into Trunk Muzik’s “Marijuana” while encouraging the crowd to cheer if they too were weed heads. Not surprisingly the entire club seemed to erupted into intensely loud cheers. With the instrumental just getting started Wolf jumped into an anecdote about his mother’s fondness for smoking weed and how she was largely the song’s inspiration. “Love Is Not Enough” brought on a shift of the vibe within the crowd to go along with the song’s serious tone describing a nasty break up. Naturally, “The Hardest Love Song In The World” was the next to drop and he explained it was about Canadian pop artist FeFe Dobson, whom he is currently dating. In an interview with Yelawolf conducted by HipHopCanada’s own S.T.A.Y. earlier in the evening, he revealed that he originally built a relationship with FeFe when she saved the day for his “Animal” cut off Radioactive. Several choruses had been trashed and FeFe knocked it out of the park. No coincidence that the next song in the set was “Animal” – which he also announced as Radioactive’s next official single within the interview (look out for that coming soon on HipHopCanada.com).
After just over an hour on stage, he left the stage but would reappear after the chants of the crowd became restless. They chanted “Yelawolf” aggressively throughout the entire time he was gone, until he came back to finish up his set with an encore. He kicked off the encore with “Throw It Up”, and the crowd loved it, singing along at the top of their lungs to the hook, which features Gangsta Boo. He finished off the night with his most recent single “Let’s Roll”, that happens to feature none other than Kid Rock.
His set was about an hour and 15 minutes, finishing up at 1 AM, and the crowd would have been more than happy to stay for another hour if he’d been willing to perform for them. He was cool and energetic yet relaxed and confident, choosing to drink beer instead of water in between songs. Everyone was hot and sweaty, and loving every minute of being there to watch and listen to such a talented artist. It was a night full of fun and good music courtesy of Yelawolf and the great people at Kapacity Entertainment. Be sure to check out some more pictures from the event below and look out for more coverage of Ottawa’s hip-hop scene on HipHopCanada from Jenn&Chris.
Written by Jenn&Chris for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jenn&Chris for HipHopCanada
Photography by Jenn&Chris
Yelawolf – Let’s Roll ft. Kid Rock
Yelawolf – Hard White (Up In The Club) ft. Lil Jon
Yelawolf – Pop The Trunk
Yelawolf – Daddy’s Lambo