Dope rhymes, heavy at 808’s, and skateboards: Welcome to the life of Alabama native Yelawolf. After dropping the successful mixtape “Trunk Muzik” on Janurary 1st of this year, Yelawolf has gone on to ink a deal with Interscope Records, perform on the BET awards alongside of Big Boi, and is currently preparing to release his next project.
Hip-Hop Digital: How’s the Waken Bake’n tour going with Wiz Khalifa?
Yelawolf: The Wake’n Bake’n tour is going really good. Every night it’s getting better, and better. As a performance artists, it’s just really helping me go to the next level. This is my second tour with Wiz, and I’m back out here on the road just vibin’. Just learning how to get through the kinks every night, practice, practice, practice.
Hip-Hop Digital: Since the first time you spoke with 216thetakeover.com in January, a lot has changed including your deal with Interscope Records. What’s the ride been like?
Yelawolf: That’s why we call the new project 0-60, because it just went through the roof for us. We’ve worked really hard to get to this point, and it’s really been in slow motion for a few years. Now that we’ve got some traction we’re just running with it. A lot has changed, we signed with Interscope, dropped the video for “Pop The Trunk”, also shot a video recently with Big Boi for “You Ain’t No DJ”. It’s time to just get out here, and keep working.
Hip-Hop Digital: I know you just rocked the BET Awards with Big Boi, how was that experience?
Yelawolf: It was incredible. I zoned out during it, it didn’t really set in until afterwards. Really, it set in when it got televised.
Hip-Hop Digital: How has the last year of growing, developed you as an artist mentally?
Yelawolf: I think mentally what I’ve gained the most throughout this past year is personal focus. Like, not really letting the little things get to me. When I first started getting exposed online, I would read all the blogs, and comments… It started really bothering me. This past year I’ve gotten a lot stronger with how I handle critics. My focus is a lot different; my energy is a lot better, and more controlled. I’m just learning how to prepare myself for a big future, because there is a lot to come. My scene has gotten a lot stronger. So, we’re just all learning as we go along, trying to better ourselves.
Hip-Hop Digital: Right now you’re currently preparing a few projects, up first is “Trunk Muzik: 0-60” dropping in November. Whom all can we expect on there?
Yelawolf: “I Just Wanna Party” with Gucci Mane will be on there. “Daddy Lambo” which is production from Drama Beats . Another record called “Billy Crystal Meth” with production from Jim Johnson. Also, a brand new collaboration with Malay, and Super Hot Beats.
Hip-Hop Digital: Will the vibe still be similar to the original Trunk Muzik mixtape?
Yelawolf: Yeah, totally. For those who know me closely, creatively, know that I can do anything. I have tried a lot of stuff. With this particular project, we’re going to start taking a real revolutionary approach to the music from here on out. From Trunk Muzik on up it’s going to be gradually growing creatively. So, “Trunk Muzik: 0 – 60” is kind of just taking it to the next level.
Hip-Hop Digital: Your also working on mixtape project with Big K.R.I.T. entitled Trunk Muzik Wuz Here. Can you elaborate on the concept of the project?
Yelawolf: It was actually someone else’s idea online. A dude from XXL called me, and wanted to do an interview specifically for that. He was like “What’s up with this mixtape you’re going to be doing with K.R.I.T.”, and I was like what? He was like “You know, the country cousins mixtape”. I was like I don’t know what you’re talking about. So, apparently the fans mixed up a couple tweets I sent out. I shouted him out on twitter, and I said Big K.R.I.T.’s mixtape stands up next to “Trunk Muzik” like a country cousin. Someone interpreted that to be a mixtape we we’re going to release. So when I told K.R.I.T., I was like man what’s up with this mixtape? He was like “I don’t know, did you say something?”, I was like well it’s a good idea. So, we decided to trade off a couple of records. Like he wants to hop on “Stage Lights”, I want to hop on “Country Sh*t”. We’re going to trade off a couple records, and do some originals also. I just talked to his manager about that, so it’s definitely going down.
Hip-Hop Digital: As supporter of your movement, I’m overly anticipating the March 2011 release of your debut album “Radioactive”. What’s the inspiration behind the title?
Yelawolf: My manager Brother Bear, we were tossing around ideas for the “You Ain’t No DJ” record. At first I was writing a hook for the record with a verse, and the term radioactive came up, and he was like that would be an ill ass title for an album. I was like damn, your right. Let’s elaborate on that. Conceptually I just wanted to put my spin on it. Radioactive as in walking on the edge, contagious, it could be harmful but also like, active on radio.
Hip-Hop Digital: You’ve worked with a few living legends already such as Bun B, and Reakwon. Who’s up next?
Yelawolf: Man, It’s been crazy. I’m so fortunate. I’ve worked really hard though, so I accept it as kind of a payoff. As far as who I will work with in the future, it’s anybody’s guess. Of course I do have a few people in mind… Andre 3000, Anthony Kiedis, Rick Ruben. We’ll see where the music takes me.
Hip-Hop Digital: What’s your next move in branding the Yelawolf name globally?
Yelawolf: I don’t focus on branding. That’s a word I don’t use. I don’t consider myself to be a product, but I do realize as far as business goes that I am. I’m here to make great music and do amazing shows. I’m here for people, so if I could predict the future – I would tell you that Yelawolf is playing The Gorge in front of a sold out crowd and my 5th album has went triple platinum just like the previous 4 albums.
Hip-Hop Digital: I thank you very much for your time. Before we let you go how can the fans, and supporters keep up with Yelawolf?
Yelawolf: No doubt! Go to www.yelawolf.net and follow my on twitter: @yelawolf and hit Yelawolf on Youtube.