DG Yola, Yola Da Great, whatever the hell you referred to him as, just know this. He may have never taken off the way many predicted back in 2005/2006, but “Ain’t Gon Let Up” will forever be a classic record. I’m pretty sure this came out around my sophomore or junior year at Hampton University and it served as one of those songs people lost their minds to every damn time. It was just that infectious from the hook, to the instrumental and the manner Yola shredded each verse with a staple of quotable lines including:
“See I don’t know what y’all been told/But I got to get me a big bank roll/Yes, a fat bag of that sticky and some bad ass hoes/When I step out on the scene, suckas already know…”
“I just don’t give a f*ck/Cause I’m all out with it/The game ain’t done it/It’s just the n*ggas in it…”
“Can’t smoke a blunt of kush cause you round too many crabs…”
“You say mothaf*ck me? Nah I say mothaf*ck YOU!!”
I’ve been in parties where this song came on and it sounded like a ghetto choir practice with everyone rapping in unison. I’ve also been in parties where fights broke out over “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up.” Unfortunately, as is the case with so many rappers who strike it big with a single, Yola never really saw much success following this for a variety of reasons. For one, he thankfully survived an attempt on his life in March of 2007. Nearly two years later, however, he began serving a one year prison term for shooting his cousin in the chest after the cousin allegedly attempted to rob Yola of a 2009 Jaguar and unspecified amount of money.
Possibly, Yola’s place in history will serve as nothing more than a minor footnote in the South’s rise to power and continued dominance. Something no one can take from him though is “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up.” And I don’t think anybody could ever deny the power of that record.