Yelawolf Deconstructs a Life of Hard Labor in “American You”


Published by on May 19, 2015

Yelawolf blends hip-hop with country, which provides us a different perspective on blue-collar life. Many country artists tend to romanticize small town life and blue-collar workers, but there are a few emerging artists who seem to be singing another tune. Yelawolf is one of them. His latest song, “American You,” seems to deconstruct a life of hard labor as well as the middle class who looks down upon them.

Yelawolf American You

Yelawolf – American You via YouTube

Break it Down to Find the Meaning

The first two verses and the chorus seem to tackle the yuppies. In small towns, they’re seen as the good ol’ boys, the kind who Never miss a Sunday service, never got tattoos, and who got a house on a hill, big news, that’s a big deal. The narrator says that Every time we drive by wavin’, I see right through, meaning that their holier than thou attitude may be an act in order to get up in the small town world.

The third verse appears to be focusing on the blue collar workers who are looked down upon by the yuppies. With all these tattoos that you got, it fuckin’ offends them, the song quotes, and yet these people seem to be the more honest out of the two groups. All they need is a house with a nice pool as well as a 6-pack and some good marijuana, and they’re all set. They work slave labor all day, with a night at the factory, and a daytime job at McDonald’s, and despite their perceived disobedience by the middle class, they’re the hardest working people who don’t beg for a better job or quit. You’ve been given nothin’ but shit/But you take it ‘cause you’re patient in this prison, the narrator explains. The reason why they’re trapped in this job may also be also due to them quitting their education for love. And they told you not to go get married/But you went and did it anyway. Odds are, these people have families they’re raising as well.

“American You” is definitely a fresher take when compared to songs that make hard labor seem exciting, and it’s worth a listen if you’re into this kind of music.

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American You Music Video

Tell us what you think this song is about in the comments below.



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