Yelohill - Pain Music
If we start by just looking at the album art as is with the title. Pain Music, we know he's in the church with the cross in the background, it looks as though he could give a sermon; confessions, stories and experiences that lead him to a certain path, geography-wise he's West Coast, West L.A. to be exact but we also see the indigeneity coupled with crip influence. It also gives me Mona Lisa, Malcolm X, disciple, came from something and will be something.
Pain Music is a diverse project that expresses the complexity of Yelohill in a succinct, 7 track way. When you listen you hear the street, the crip, that L.A./West Coast influence/homage and tradition. Within and outside of that Yelohill gives us a glimpse of his perseverance, drive and heart through poetic pen. Pain Music is what it says it is. You hear the pain and feel the pain mixed with some misunderstanding.
The intro track, "Tear$," Yelohill talks about the realness of gang culture in L.A. and how people ain't always the real. He breaks it down in his line,
"Is you from it or you claimin' it? / Is you promotin' or you bangin' it? / We ain't the same, nigga you ain't made for this / I put my heart, my brain to this / I got hella scars and pain from this, nigga"
"Million Reasons" serves as a follow-up to "Tear$" purely off the fact that is further expresses where he's from but from the angle of the times when we got steered off track OR wanted to give up on what he could achieve. "Tear$" is hard, has a tough beat, lyrics and delivery... "Million Reasons" is about taking the environment, experiences, losses as building towards what you want and deserve.
"Let the choir sing, because lately I've been feeling like acquiring things / big cars, big houses, speak it to existence"
It's a song of how he got through and those many lonely moments that lead him to the light and path he's on.
"But life's' about love / I got no time for the evil and the sickness / niggas promoting killin' but I'm changing for the children / to be a vessel for the youth and a better man / for my family and my wife I gotta take a stand"
"My Story" is a recollection of pain and decisions made out of pain and circumstances and how that affects your choices, people you're around and bouts with loyalty. The song tells a bit about why/how he was influenced and started crippin'. His story, fr. The whole project is his story but this song magnifies it more.
"The Mission" is definitely one of my favorite songs from Pain Music. The song has a real laid-back production with vulnerable and honest lyrics that also highlights how Yelohill capable of being on other production outside of a traditional West Coast sound.
"Niggas really tryna buy a Benz / I'm thinkin' bout a boat"
"Old You (Interlude)," represents Yelohill's softer side with love that isn't in relation to his crew or family but a romantic love that he used to know. I'm not wild about this song but do appreciate it for variety and not boxing himself in. "Toxic" is a very interesting song because it could be seen as reflections/confessions of his past or present self in relationships. The song outlines the ways in which double standards exist in toxic situations and gives actual examples of what makes someone or a relationship toxic. "Ghetto Child" is the last song that addresses his trauma, pain and ambitions as a young child and where that's lead him today.
"You can be anything you want to be as long as you strategize and focus"
There's a balance of vulnerability in Pain Music. Some of it comes out aggressive, some comes out as his heart is on his sleeve, his vulnerability about his struggles and fuck ups... family, friends, girls, food/money, dreams, bangin'. If you aren't familiar be sure to check out Pain Music below or tap into the videos above.