Friday, April 24, 2015

How Yelawolf Helped Bring Ed Sheeran To America

VIA: Yelawolf makes it easy to question his direction as of late since he’s jumped from Lil Jon jams to his current sing-song, Kid Rock-like direction. Not too many summers ago, he found himself in a one-day marathon session with a British ginger who he opted not to clown and push into the lockers, but instead, vibe with and make good tunes. Three years later, the Ed Sheeran and ‘Wolf collabo EP Slumdon Bridge serves as an oddly prolific monument to the relationship of two budding artists who haven’t seen each other since that day in 2012.

The scenario proves what many casual fans may not know about the collaborations and industry in general. Features are mostly strung together by managing parties and labels with the rare opportunity to get in the kitchen and cook up together. “I didn’t really have nothing to do,” Yela explained. “I was like, lemme just go up to the studio and holler at him… Go up to the studio, shook hands with him, dude was cool, we vibed out, we recorded five songs in one session, and I haven’t seen him since.”

Capitalizing on the opportunity before Sheeran lit up the charts may have seemed like Yela inherited all of the risk at the time, since he was fresh off a debut album with Shady and a rising tide. But it speaks to both artists’ willingness to push boundaries across continents, in the name of art.

“There were people in Europe going, What the f*** were you thinking? Why did you do a collab with Ed Sheeran? I was like, ‘Dude, you don’t understand how that happened.’ It might not make creative sense, but somehow it did.” If the industry had more cross-pollination like this and less verses and hooks being emailed around, who knows what kind of amazing sounds we would be rolling up to this summer?

In recent months, Ed has been heard singing along to OT Genasis’ banger “CoCo” and other hip-hop staples, but nary a Yelawolf cover. Could this mean the five-track EP from 2012 is the only work we’ll ever see from the two crooners? Are there are a few more gems from those faithful sessions left to drop?

Seeing as how the two have switched places in chart positions and Sheeran has been launched to ungodly levels of popularity around the globe, this may be the only time we hear the two together on record. If so, trust your TSS family. For “F***s Sake”, you know we’re good for it.

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