“Animal” f/ FeFe Dobson
Produced by: Diplo & Borgore
Yelawolf: “This is another fun party record. It’s produced by Diplo and featuring Fefe Dobson, again, it’s me bringing in unlikely collabos altogether. When Diplo sent me this beat, I was just like, ‘Oh my God.’ I didn’t write this record, I did this record in the booth. I didn’t go to the pen for this one. I just kind of went bar for bar. I just let out whatever was flowing.
“‘Animal’ is the freedom of emceeing. Sometimes you just want to word play and chop up, for the sake of poetry and rhyme. Rhyme, no reason, just fucking having fun. It’s a lyrical record, having fun, chopping it up, Fefe rocking the hook, Diplo on the beat. It’s one of my favorite jams.
[When I say] ‘If you want to compare me, compare me to a legend, don’t compare me to a young fool’ [that line was not about Machine Gun Kelly]. [Laughs.] Yeah, right. Why would I give that fool that kind of attention? - Yelawolf
“I can’t wait to do that shit live, man. I haven’t done any of these records live. The only record I’ve done live is ‘Hard White.’ So this next year is going to be fun. I get to do all of these records live. That’s one of the records I’m looking forward to performing live.
“[When I say] ‘If you want to compare me, compare me to a legend, don’t compare me to a young fool’ [that line was not about Machine Gun Kelly]. [Laughs.] Yeah, right. Why would I give that fool that kind of attention?
“I can imagine [why someone would think that] but nah. I’ve got to give dude credit for people even thinking that I was even talking about him. Obviously, he’s doing something. But no, not at all, man.
“I didn’t even hear a record from him until after I saw some dude was like, ‘Hey man, you need to check this out. This dude was saying some shit.’ And I went and checked it out, and the record that was playing after his speech about being the first to do this and that shit, that’s the only song I’ve ever heard. That’s the God’s-honest truth.
“I know he’s doing stuff, but honestly I’m just really not that interested. [Laughs.] That’s just being real. There’s no hate, there’s a lot of artists I haven’t taken the time out to listen to yet.
That goes for any young fool. Don’t compare me to nobody. If they think it’s Machine Gun Kelly, so be it. It could be anybody. It’s definitely not about anyone specific, just give me the respect of comparing me to someone great. Shut the fuck up, I’m not a rookie. - Yelawolf
“But that goes for any young fool. Don’t compare me to nobody. If they think it’s him, so be it. It could be anybody. It’s definitely not about anyone specific, just give me the respect of comparing me to someone great. Shut the fuck up, I’m not a rookie.”
Diplo: “[Yelawolf and I] had a show almost two years ago at SXSW. My label, Mad Decent, had a big showcase. Last minute, our main artist Rusko couldn’t make the show. Instead Yelawolf, since he just started getting his buzz on and people started noticing him, did it. My manager was like, ‘Yo can you come through and do the show?’ He came through and ripped the show.
“I had never seen him perform before, but all the kids knew his record. The black kids, the hipster kids, the kids with the beards and beanies all were in front row. I was like, ‘Where the hell is this kid coming from?’ Then he stayed to watch my show. He saw the [Major] Lazer show and said, ‘Damn, I’ve never seen a show like that.’ We traded numbers, and later I started texting him like, ‘Yo I got some beats for you guys.’
“We never worked in the studio together. I sent him a group of beats, and for [one of the beats, ‘Animal’] he just jumped on the original demo of it. This was almost a year and a half ago, so he just sat on it. I went back in production to do more work on it, and we just mixed it down about two months ago.
“For me, when you just do dubstep and rap music it’s a bit boring. A lot of mashups that people give I do use in my DJ’ing live, but a lot of stuff is too aggressive for people. A lot of times it just doesn’t work with the swag of rap music. I can see how a lot of kids get into it because a lot of crunk and southern hip-hop has the same tempo as dubstep. I always thought there was gonna be a way to make these work together.
For me, when you just do dubstep and rap music it’s a bit boring. A lot of mashups that people give I do use in my DJ’ing live, but a lot of stuff is too aggressive for people. A lot of times it just doesn’t work with the swag of rap music. - Diplo
“This kid that I work with a lot [who co-produced the song], his name is Borgore, is one of the best as far as production. A lot of these young dubstep producers just want to get the loudest and most obnoxious noises, but some of these guys are really good musicians. To channel that, and get the musicality out of those sounds and productions, is what I think we did with this track.
“The sounds are obviously dubstep with heavy synths, but it’s not aggressive or jarring. It’s very melodic, but it has that heaviness and base that dubstep is built on. It’s the right balance for the record. It’s not crazy jaw-breaking and scares people away. It’s a sexy record still.
“For me, the dubstep producers like Borgore, Rusko, and Skrillex, are the best producers out.To get someone who works with a vocal in a commercial sense is very difficult. They don’t give a fuck about it at all. All they care about is going out at night, stage-diving, and breaking shit at their shows.
“I worked separately on the hook with different writers and we worked separately on the beat in different ways. I wasn’t sure it was gonna make the album. I didn’t know how far along the song was. When I first gave him the record, one version of the album I feel kind of had already been done. Then, they held on and then he moved to Shady Records and all the other things happened. It just ended up working out in the end.
“I kept it how I wanted it. I tried to make it more hip-hop, and felt like it should sound more like the rest of the album, but they were happy with the way it ended up sounding.”