The buzz surrounding Yelawolf had much to do with the Alabama rapper being hailed as the Southern version of Eminem. Then Slim Shady signed Yela to his own imprint and further heightened the hype, and after a successful mixtape, Trunk Muzik, here is Yelawolf aka Michael Wayne Atha's debut album. Amazing And Mystifying Chemical Tricks doesn't veer far from what we expected from one of XXL's Top 11 Freshmen of 2011 - double-time, Alabama-rooted rhymes over big-bottom beats produced by J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Diplo, Jim Jonsin, and more. The MC's storytelling and songwriting abilities are sharp and entertaining, and the country-boy-swag-washed lyrics sit well with the trunk-rattling instrumentals that consist of massive bass, big kicks and catchy piano, guitar, and synth lines. Two big tracks from the album are "Throw It Up" featuring Gangsta Boo & Eminem as well as "Hard White" alongside Lil Jon, but also check out "Animal," "Slummerican Shitizen," and "Made In The U.S.A. ."
- music label: Interscope 2011