Yelawolf should not be a likable proposition. He’s an early thirtysomething gawky-lookin’ white rapper from Alabama,

heavily tattooed and dressed in baggy shorts and a basketball vest. He deals in hip-hop’s well-trodden subjects – an emotional upbringing

(absent father, young mother), addiction and (snooze) smoking weed. But the big guns love him: The Neptunes, YELAWOLF Diplo, Big Boi, Wu Tang,

Travis Barker and Eminem, who recently signed him to his Shady Record’s imprint.

Let’s not forget (or forgive) that label’s most notable delivery is still gang o’ goons D12.

But yet, in the unforgiving heat of Sonar By Day’s orange-grove courtyard surroundings, there’s something galvanising about Yelawolf’s offering.

Chunky southern beats are teamed with Wolf’s skittering fl ow and call-out choruses.

It’s cool but lazy, gritty but poppy. Closer, and most recent single ‘Pop The Trunk’ in particular gets the sunblushed

crowd moving as he whips off a woolly hat and thrashes his wet-down Mohawk around while grabbing his crotch like he’s Fred Durst circa 2000.

Somehow, it’s brilliant.

They maintain a curiosity in nature, too – Adrian is apparently a botanic buff: “He’s really into plants.

On the road he always tells us what plants are edible and which ones are psychoactive. He’s into landscaping as well.

I think he’s working in a nature resort right now, taking care of the place.” Who says bands these days aren’t well-rounded?

It’s also safe to assume that they’re quite popular with their new label, Germany’s Souterrain Transmissions, and scene mates such as Graffiti Island,

which might have something to do with the enthusiasm they approach playing live: “If we play with a band we haven’t heard,

we try and seek them out and get excited about what they’re doing. And by the time we meet them,

we’ll be totally stoked and stand in the front row and watch instead of staying in the van on our laptops.”

This kind of attitude, along with Grubb’s ability to “get stoked on” pretty much anything from new bands to skyscrapers

(“I always get a rush when I see those big buildings,” he gushed.

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