NEW YORK — The country came to New York City on Tuesday night, because Yelawolf was in town. The Gadsden, Alabama-bred MC — who signed to Eminem’s Shady Records in January — performed for a sold-out crowd at New York’s Highline Ballroom.
“What the f— is up, New York?” he asked in a loud voice. The diverse crowd of hip-hop heads in oversize hoodies, punk rockers with Mohawks and skinny jeans, and pretty women in tight dresses chanted back, “Yela! Yela! Yela!”
Wearing a Famous Stars and Straps T-shirt, a bright-red fitted cap and black jeans, Yela jumped around onstage and tore through his popular cuts. While performing “Good to Go,” from his mixtape Trunk Muzik 0-60, he hopped into the crowd and started dancing in a circle with fans.
“We don’t give a f—. I got that trunk music,” he rapped before doing a robotic two-step.
“I just lose it sometimes. I don’t practice dance moves or anything,” he said.
“Pop My Trunk” had everyone in the packed ballroom whip out whatever digital device they had on hand. Full of energy, Yela took off his shirt, showing his heavily tattooed chest, and poured water on his head. Like a rock star, he started to shake his damp hair toward the audience.
Finishing up, he grabbed the mic and said, “Have a good f—ing night. I love y’all.”
Backstage after the show, Yelawolf told MTV News where he gets his energy from. “I train like a stallion. Every morning my trainer makes me flip tires, do push-ups with chains around my neck and rap at the same time,” he said, before rethinking that claim. “Nah, it’s just the constant intake of Jack Daniels and Budweiser. I don’t know where it comes from, honestly. I just go out there and snap.”
Yela said the groups he watched growing up inspired his live show. “I grew up watching Redman and Cypress Hill,” he said. “You know, [I was] going out to Lollapalooza, where it was rock and hip-hop. That was the energy that I wanted to have as a performer to connect with the fans.”
Yelawolf will have another chance to connect with fans this Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, when he appears on “Rapfix Live,” right here on MTV.com.