White Rappers

Yelawolf

YELA

Birth name: Michael Wayne Atha
Born:  December 30, 1979
Origin: Gadsden, Alabama, United States
Labels: Shady, Ghet-O-Vision, Interscope

BIOGRAPHY

Envision a humid world of slow-rolling Monte Carlos and slaughter houses; meth labs and rusting Mossberg’s, inked up arms and haircuts that look like they’ve been chopped by hatchets. Trunk muzik. Southern Pine trees, smoking pine, and pine boxes. Call him Catfish Billy or Yelawolf, just don’t go make him go pop the trunk on you.

Enter Yelawolf’s Alabama—a backwoods badlands of sinners and salvation. He claims Gadsden, but he’s from everywhere. Born Michael Wayne Atha to an absentee father and a bartender mother, he attended over 15 schools while soaking up slang and spiritualism in Baton Rouge, Antioch, Tennessee, and Atlanta. While trying to stay afloat in a turbulent home life addled by drug and alcohol abuse, he discovered rap music in Tennesee and it soon became an obsession, along with the classic rock (Lynard Skynard, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers) that he was raised on.

“When I lived in Antioch, they’d bus us down to the projects in Nashville to go to school and everything just started clicking with me with rap music and in life,” Yelawolf said. “I felt the connection, these kids had the same problems that I had at home. And the weed, the dope…”

His music is a new strain of soul food, the traditional Southern cuisine that fortified the Dungeon Family, 8ball & MJG, and UGK, but infused by Yela’s unique experiences as a cross-country vagabond with no place to call home. And, of course, his unparalleled ability to snap off double-timed staccato raps unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

His manager bestowed him with the nickname Joe Dirt because his experiences are so unbelievable. There was the stint commercial fishing in Alaska. An attempt to become a professional skateboarder in Berkeley thwarted by various injuries. Time spent in Seattle and New York, and of course, spots all over the South. The cross-country Greyhound tours around the country like a modern-day Jack Kerouac with the rhyme skills of LL Cool J circa the “Jack the Ripper” era.

Finally settling back down in Gadsden, Yelawolf hooked up with Gheto-O-Vision, who helped him land a deal with Columbia in 2007. Suddenly, the last 20 years of life as a vagabond seemed to be at an end. Yet the perpetual state of chaos soon re-emerged, when Rick Rubin took over the label and started cutting artists left and right. Before he had the opportunity to even finish his debut album or prove himself on a large scale, he was unceremoniously dropped.

“It was frustrating. I was just like, ‘you don’t get it? Alright, that’s cool, then I guess I’m extra special,” Yelawolf said. “I had to be arrogant because I could have been fucked up. I mean, Rick Rubin didn’t like me? But that’s just not my style. I refuse to quit.”
The only solution was to go harder, taking his anger at being slighted and turning it into something undeniable. He dropped a flurry of mixtapes, including “Stereo,” which found him riffing on old classic rock cuts from Fleetwood Mac to Pink Floyd to Heart. But while he continued to build a fan base with each release, something was missing.

“Not everybody in hip-hop messes with classic rock. There was no real element of surprise. I’m from Alabama, I’m into classic rock — it was obvious and there was no shock-value to it,” Yelawolf said. “After that, I wanted to focus on making sure that people understood that I respected the craft. “Trunk Muzik” was dedicated to the trunk riders, with 808s and hard ass music. It had a dirty Southern sound, and it opened things up.

Which is something of an understatement. “Trunk Muzik” dropped on January 1st, 2010, and within a matter of weeks, he was the toast of every blog. The New York Times raved about a live performance, describing him as “fully ascendant” and “striking and assured.” The LA Times declared he was “as safe a bet for stardom as anyone out right now — the rare rapper capable of earning respect from both Kid Rock and Kid Cudi fans.” His insanely energetic performances at SXSW were the stuff of instant-legend.
Songs like “I Wish” and “Good to Go” found Yela capable of going toe to toe with lyrical giants Bun B and Raekwon. While “Pop the Trunk” epitomized his 808-heavy trunk rattling sound, full of vivid pictures of rural redneck life and violence lurking around every bend. But Interscope didn’t just offer him a deal only to tell stories about the South. There are a million rappers capable of doing just that. But none of them can match Yelawolf’s versatility.

Whether he’s rapping over the beat for Cypress Hill’s “Ain’t Goin’ Out Like That,” Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade,” or The Doors’ “Waiting for the Sun,” Yela has the ability to adapt his style to each song. He doesn’t kick 48-bar freestyles, he re-interprets the song to fit a new meaning. He can spit with the most lyrical underground types or he can write an upbeat party anthem like “I Just Wanna Party,” alongside Gucci Mane.
“I can go any direction – arena rap or even the bluegrass hip-hop shit. I would never sign myself down to any style,” Yelawolf said. “I’m always gonna have the darker edgy music – it is always in my pocket because it comes so natural to me. You’ll never stop getting records like “Pop the Trunk” or “Good to Go” – the crunk south stuff. It will always be a part of what I do in some way. But I plan on evolving. You have to. I’m out to make long lasting records.”

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles
2011
“Hard White (Up in the Club)” (featuring Lil Jon)
“Daddy’s Lambo”
2010
“I Just Wanna Party” (featuring Gucci Mane)
“Pop the Trunk”
Albums


 06. Friday The 13th – 
Kill My Nightmare
Mixtape, 2011

01. Never Thought
02. Kill My Nightmare (Friday The 13th)
03. Shit I’ve Seen Feat. Trae The Truth
04. Alabama Gotdamn
05. Up Up And Away – Peril P
06. XXL Freestyle
07. FU
08. Fulla Shit Feat. Rittz x Big Krit
09. Boyz In The Woodz
10. Get My Paper – Peril P
11. Jimmy Hendrix Freestyle
12. I Wanna Rock Freestyle
13. I Wish (Remix) Feat. CyHi Da Prince x Pill
14. My Attitude Freestyle – Peril P
15. FMS Freestyle
16. Freestyle on Toca Tuesdays
17. Sleeping Giant (Prod. By Southside)

05. Trunk Muzik 0-60 

Mixtape, 2010
Label: Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment,
DGC Records, Interscope Records
01. Get The F**k Up!
02. Daddy’s Lambo
03. That’s What We On Now
04. I Just Wanna Party ft. Gucci Mane
05. Billy Crystal ft. Rock City
06. Pop The Trunk
07. Box Chevy ft. Rittz The Rapper
08. Good To Go
09. Marijuana
10. Love Is Not Enough
11. I Wish
12. Trunk Muzik
04. Trunk Muzik 
Mixtape, 2010
01. Trunk Muzik
02. Stage Lights (Remix)
03. Good To Go (ft. Bun B)
04. Pop The Trunk
05. Box Chevy PT. 3 (ft. Rittz)
06. F.U.
07. Lick The Cat (ft. Diamond)
08. Speak Her Sex (ft. Nikkiya)
09. I Wish (ft. Raekwon)
10. In This Club
11. Love Is Not Enough
12. Mixin Up The Medicine (Remix) (w/ Juelz Santana)
03. Arena Rap
EP, 2008
Label: Redd Klay Records,
Ghet-O-Vision Recordings
01. Back to Bama
02. Candy & Dreams
03. Enjoy the View
04. All Aboard
05. Come on Over
06. Stage Lights
07. Gone
03. Stereo
Mixtape, 2008
download
01. Stereo Intro
02. Brick In The Wall
03. Stereo
04. Rich Like Me
05. Box Chevy Part 2
06. Break The Chain
07. Phone Skit
08. Gone
09. Magic Man
10. Burn Out
11. Brown Sugar
12. Run Johnny
13. In The Cradle
14. Heroine
15. TNT
16. Stereo Outro
17. Take It Easy
02. Ball Of Flames
The Ballad Of Slick Rick E. Bobby

Mixtape, 2008
01.Talladege Dreamin’
02.Doughnuts
03.Shake N’ Bake
04.I’m The Sh t
05.Boyz In The Woodz
06.Run
07.Hey Rick E. Bobby
08.My Box Chevy
09.New Shoes
10.Beer Buzz
11.Victory Circle01. Creek Water
self-released, 2005

01. Intro Featuring Lil Jamie and Omar Cunningham
02. Creekwater
03. G.A.D. Featuring Big Henry and Shawty Fatt
04. Fitz’ Spoken Word
05. Won’t Stop
06. Darehego
07. Makeup
08. Pickin’ Shrooms Interlude
09. Breathe Featuring Fly Friday, Grip Plyaz and Ben Hameen
10. Ride Down the Highway
11. Bible Belt
12. Salik’s Spoken Word
13. Sleeping Beauty
14. Fifty Featuring Grip Plyaz
15. Soul Everyday Featuring Ben Hameen
16. It Ain’t Over

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