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Yelawolf performing at Bumbershoot in 2012
Background information
Michael Wayne Atha
Born (1979-12-30) December 30, 1979 (age 39)
Gadsden, Alabama, United States
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter

Michael Wayne Atha (born December 30, 1979), better known as Yelawolf, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Gadsden, Alabama. Yelawolf released his first independent album Creek Water in 2005.[1] Between 2005 to 2010 he released one extended play (EP) and four mixtapes.[2] It wasn't until 2010's Trunk Muzik EP[3] that Yelawolf started to gain mainstream attention. The same year would see Yelawolf sign a record deal with Interscope Records,[4]. His first release would be a somewhat reworked Trunk Muzik, titled Trunk Muzik 0-60[5] which shared 6 track's from Trunk Muzik.

In January 2011, Yelawolf signed a recording deal with Eminem's record label, Shady Records,[6] and released his major-label debut album, Radioactive on November 21, 2011. The album debuted at number 27 on the Billboard 200. Yelawolf released a sequel to his breakthrough mixtape Trunk Muzik, titled Trunk Muzik Returns on March 14, 2013. His second album, Love Story, was released on April 21, 2015. His third album, Trial by Fire, was released on October 27, 2017.

Early life

Michael Wayne Atha was born on December 30, 1979, in Gadsden, Alabama, and is of Cherokee (on his father's side) and White American descent.[7] His mother Sheila, whom he claims was a "rockstar", gave birth to him when she was just sixteen years old. Throughout his childhood, Atha moved often. He spent much of his time in Antioch, Tennessee, and attended Carter Lawrence Elementary School in Nashville, which was located near housing projects and where he says "hip hop started making sense to me. That's where hip hop made sense culturally."[8]

Regarding his stage name, Yelawolf has said, "Yelawolf is Native American. My father is Cherokee and I'm from Cherokee county - Gadsden, Alabama. Yela represents light, the sun, power, fire, hunger and Wolf represents my ability to survive... my fierceness."[9][10]

Musical career

2005-2009: Early career

In 2005, Yelawolf appeared on UPN Network reality series The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott. After his elimination from the show, he released his independent debut album Creek Water in 2005, later the same year he released his debut mixtape Pissn' in a Barrel of Beez. Two years later, Yelawolf signed to Columbia Records and released the single "Kickin'" from his unreleased first studio album, Fearin' and Loathin' in Smalltown, U.S.A.. The album was never released, after Yelawolf was dropped from the label later that year.[11] Yelawolf released two mixtapes following his release from Columbia, titled Ball of Flames: The Ballad of Slick Rick E. Bobby and Stereo: A Hip Hop Tribute to Classic Rock, the two of which went mainly unnoticed. In 2009, he signed with Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment and released his debut extended play Arena Rap.

2009-2011: Trunk Muzik and Radioactive

In 2009, he began to work with Ghet-O-Vision producer, WLPWR, on his breakthrough mixtape titled Trunk Muzik. Released in January 2010, the mixtape created an enormous online following for Yelawolf. Later that year, Yelawolf signed a major record deal with Interscope Records,[4] and began to work on a re-release of the mixtape, titled Trunk Muzik 0-60. It was released on November 22, 2010, under Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment and Interscope Records, which became his most acclaimed work to date.[12][13] For the rest of 2010, he made guest appearance on Bizarre's Friday Night at St. Andrews, as well appeared on albums by rappers Big Boi and Paul Wall.

In March 2011, after speculation of a joint record deal with Eminem, Yelawolf was featured on the cover of XXL's March 2011 issue, with Eminem and fellow new Shady Records signees Slaughterhouse, with the issue confirming his record deal with Shady Records.[14] Yelawolf was also featured among the XXL's Top 11 Freshmen of 2011, releasing several songs on the magazine's yearly Freshman mixtape, along with Kendrick Lamar, Cyhi Da Prynce and Big K.R.I.T., among others.[15] On April 14, 2011, Yelawolf announced the title of his debut Shady release "Radioactive" with a release date that aimed for September.[16] On May 18, Yelawolf announced his album's first single, titled "Gangsta of Love", produced by Jim Jonsin and featuring Cyhi Da Prynce. The song was leaked in early July, although it only featured unfinished vocals by Cyhi da Prynce at the end of the song. The song was later scrapped and no longer appeared on the album. Yelawolf partnered up with the video game Driver: San Francisco to release a music video for the song "No Hands" which was supposed to be included in Radioactive, but was later scrapped. On August 8, 2011, Yelawolf released the first official single from his album, titled "Hard White (Up in the Club)", which features guest vocals from a southern hip hop producer Lil Jon. The album's release date was moved down to October 2011, and later had a final release date to November 21, 2011. On October 30, 2011, Yelawolf released the second single off Radioactive, titled "Let's Roll", featuring guest vocals from Kid Rock.

Anticipation for the album increased when hip hop magazine The Source gave the album a rare 4.5 out of 5 mics, meaning the album was "near classic". Radioactive, was released November 21, 2011 under Interscope Records and Shady Records, debuting the following week at #27 on Billboard 200.[17] The album featured production from Eminem (who is also the executive producer for the album), Jim Jonsin, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Diplo, The Audibles, Pooh Bear and WLPWR of SupaHotBeats, and features from Eminem, Kid Rock, Lil Jon, Fefe Dobson, Mystikal, Shawty Fatt, Rittz, Killer Mike, and Gangsta Boo among others.

2012: The Slumdon Bridge, Heart of Dixie and Psycho White

On January 24, 2012, Yelawolf released a promotional track with British singer Ed Sheeran titled "You Don't Know (For Fuck's Sake)". The track was for an upcoming collaborative extended play (EP), titled The Slumdon Bridge. On January 31, 2012, a trailer for the EP was released, it featured both artists in a studio recording the EP. In the video Yelawolf revealed the EP was recorded in 10 hours, and included 4 tracks.The Slumdon Bridge, which was released as a free download on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2012, marking Yelawolf's second EP, and his first collaborative project.[18] On June 16, 2012, in order to commemorate Father's Day, Yelawolf released a song titled "Happy Father's Day". The song was produced by Alabama producer M16. With the track, Yelawolf announced his fifth official mixtape Heart of Dixie.[19]

In August 2012, Yelawolf announced the long-awaited joint EP with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, titled Psycho White. The first single to the EP, titled "Push 'Em" features background vocals by Transplants members Skinhead Rob and Tim Armstrong, and was released as a free download on September 12. After several push-backs, the EP was finally released on November 13, 2012. Debuting at #49 on Billboard 200 with first week sales of 11,000. Yelawolf stated that all the tracks on the album will have a music video and during an article with Rolling Stone, both he and Barker hinted at a sequel to the EP.[20]

2012-2015: Trunk Muzik Returns and Love Story

On March 20, 2012, Yelawolf announced that his recording sessions for his second album under Shady Records will beginning to take place in June 2012, titled Love Story.[21][22] Due to a stage diving incident which caused a ruptured spleen, Yelawolf decided to delay the album's recording process. During an interview with DJ Skee, he revealed that a sequel to his 2010's mixtape Trunk Muzik, titled Trunk Muzik Returns, would be released in August after "the dust settles on the Heart of Dixie" but since then has been delayed. He also shed light on his often delayed collaborative mixtape Country Cousins with fellow rapper Big K.R.I.T., during the interview DJ Skee offered to host the project.[23] In December 2012, Yelawolf addressed the status of all of his projects in an interview.[24] He also spoke on his upcoming second release, Love Story, and how it would be different compared to his debut effort Radioactive. "With Radioactive, I gave up a lot of creative space, and like I predicted would happen, there were some records that didn't translate to my audience." He stated he would record the album in Nashville and go to Detroit so he and Eminem could finish the album. Yelawolf also said that Trunk Muzik Returns would hopefully released in February 2013, with the date later confirmed.[25]

On February 5, 2013, Yelawolf released the first song from Trunk Muzik Returns, "Way Out" and announced a release date of March 14, 2013 for the mixtape.[26] In February 2013 Shady Records president Paul Rosenberg confirmed Yelawolf was recording the album in Nashville currently and it would be released in 2013.[27] On February 26 Yelawolf released a second song from Trunk Muzik Returns titled "F.A.S.T. Ride".[28] On March 12 a third song from Trunk Muzik Returns was released titled "Gangster" featuring fellow rappers ASAP Rocky and Big Henry.[29] The mixtape contains ten original tracks and features guest appearances from Raekwon, Paul Wall, Killer Mike, ASAP Rocky, and is entirely produced by his go-to producer WLPWR.[30] On October 18, 2013, Yelawolf revealed that he would be releasing a mixtape titled Black Fall on October 31, 2013. The mixtape was entirely produced by DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia.[31] The first song from Black Fall, "Light Switch" was released on October 21.[32]

On January 28, 2014, Yelawolf premiered his debut single from Love Story titled "Box Chevy V" on Shade 45. During the interview Yelawolf stated Love Story would be released in May 2014,[33] however the album was delayed until 2015. Eminem is the only featured guest on "Love Story" and also serves as an executive producer alongside Yelawolf. This album also marks the debut of Yelawolf as a record producer and features Till It's Gone, Yelawolf's most commercially successful song to date.[34]

2015-2018: Trial By Fire and Hotel

On August 25, 2015 Yelawolf defended the confederate flag[35] before reconsidering his stance with a non-album track titled "To Whom It May Concern" on October 30, 2015.[36] The single also addressed the Charleston church shooting, a racially motivated mass shooting.

On October 10, 2016, the free EP, Hotel was released.[37] Hotel is an acronym for "House Of The Endless Life".[38]

Despite being announced on September 22, 2015, Yealwolf's third album, "Trial By Fire" would take over two years to see the light of day on October 27, 2017.[39] Unlike "Love Story", "Trial By Fire" featured several guest artists including Travis Barker, Eminem and Kid Rock and features lead single Daylight. The tour to support the album was announced on July 18, 2016 and was due to run from October 13 to December 4.[40] However, during the Oregon show Yelawolf was seen destroying equipment, this was followed by an altercation with a fan at the Sacramento show resulting in Yelawolf leaving the stage and cancelling the remaining seven dates[41]. A second string of performances, titled "5150 Tour" was due to run from October 7 to December 7, 2017[42], however once again on December 2 during the Minneapolis show Yelawolf left the stage after one song, seemingly related to exhaustion[43].

Towards the end of December Yelawolf announced via social media that he was dropping the "Yelawolf" stage name in favour of his birth name, the removed Instagram post announced "I decided to sober up and rebrand my new music as Michael Wayne Atha MWA"[44]. Despite dropping his old stage name for several months the "Yelawolf" moniker is once again in use.

2018-present: Trunk Muzik 3

Trunk Muzik 3 was first hinted at early in 2018.[45] Several months later Yelawolf took to twitter to announce the first single off Trunk Muzik 3 would be titled "Catfish Billy (Part 2)"[46][47], although no release date for the album was given.


Yelawolf has cited Detroit-based recording artist Kid Rock as a major influence in his mixing of country music, rock music, and hip hop.[48]


Founded2012 (2012)
GenreHip hop
Country of originU.S.
LocationNashville, Tennessee

Slumerican is an American independent record label specializing in hip-hop music. The label was founded in 2012 by hip-hop artist Yelawolf. Slumerican's roster includes DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia, Bubba Sparxxx, and more. It is also responsible for helping launch the career of Rittz.[49]



  • Yelawolf and DJ Paul - Black Fall (EP) (October 31, 2013)
  • Yelawolf - Love Story (April 21, 2015)
  • Bubba Sparxxx - The Bubba Mathis (EP) (October 7, 2016)
  • Yelawolf - Hotel (EP) (October 10, 2016)
  • DJ Paul - YOTS: Year of the Six, Pt. 1 (October 28, 2016)
  • Struggle Jennings - Return of the Outlaw - EP (November 11, 2016)
  • DJ Paul - YOTS: Year of the Six, Pt. 2 (November 25, 2016)
  • Yelawolf - Trial by Fire (October 27, 2017)

Personal life

In July 2013, Yelawolf got engaged to his girlfriend and a recording artist Fefe Dobson.[50] He has three children from a previous marriage to Sonora Rosario.[51]



  1. ^ "YelaWolf - Creek Water".
  2. ^ "Yelawolf Mixtapes @ datpiff".
  3. ^ "YelaWolf - Trunk Muzik".
  4. ^ a b "Yelawolf Announces Deal with Interscope".
  5. ^ "YelaWolf's 'Trunk Muzik 0-60? Tracklist Revealed".
  6. ^ "Eminem Signs Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf To Shady Records".
  7. ^ "Eminem Signs Cherokee Rapper Yelawolf -". 2011-01-16. Retrieved .
  8. ^ "Exclusive: Yelawolf Speaks On His Childhood". YouTube. 2010-11-21. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Susman, Nathan (27 June 2013). "The Stories Behind 15 Rappers' Rap Names - Yelawolf". Complex. Archived from the original on May 25, 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ ICTMN Staff (7 June 2012). "Yelawolf Addresses Cherokee Heritage". Indian Country Today Media Indian Country Today Media Network. Archived from the original on December 31, 2014. Retrieved 2016.
  11. ^ "Hip Hop has been no 'Love Story' for Yelawolf".
  12. ^ "Yelawolf On Meeting Eminem". Rap Radar. July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  13. ^ "Yelawolf Shares Meeting with Eminem". Retrieved 2010.
  14. ^ "Eminem Covers XXL; Signs Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf". Rap Radar. January 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ "Download: XXL's Freshman 2011 Mixtape - BPM". Beats Per Minute. Retrieved 2015.
  16. ^ "Rap-Up TV: Yelawolf Shares Details on Shady Records Debut". April 14, 2011. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Drake's Take Care Drops to No. 4, Yelawolf's Radioactive Debuts at No. 27".
  18. ^ Beware (January 25, 2012). "New Music: Yelawolf Feat. Ed Sheeran - "You Don't Know (For F*ck Sake)" | The Smoking Section". Retrieved .
  19. ^ "Yelawolf's fifth's mixtape review "Heart of Dixie"".
  20. ^ "Travis Barker and Yelawolf on Rolling Stone".
  21. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. "Yelawolf Reveals Sophomore Album Title, Explains Johnny Cash Tattoo | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Yelawolf Reveals Name of Sophomore LP | XXL". March 29, 2012. Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Blog Archive » Yelawolf & SupaHotBeats Posted @". The Fast Life. July 5, 2012. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "Yelawolf interview on his upcoming projects Dec. 2012".
  25. ^ HipHopDX (March 14, 2013). "Yelawolf "Trunk Muzik Returns" Mixtape Download & Stream". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2015.
  26. ^ Andrew Martin. "Listen: Yelawolf "Way Out"". Complex. Retrieved 2015.
  27. ^ "Eminem". Billboard. Retrieved 2015.
  28. ^ "Hip-Hop News, Rap Music - XXL". XXL Mag.
  29. ^ "Yelawolf f. A$AP Rocky & Big Henry - Gangster | New Hip Hop Music & All The New Rap Songs 2011". HipHop DX. 2013-03-12. Retrieved .
  30. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2013-03-14). "Yelawolf "Trunk Muzik Returns" Mixtape Download & Stream | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved .
  31. ^ "Yelawolf announces "Black Fall" mixtape". 2013-10-18. Retrieved .
  32. ^ "Yelawolf and DJ Paul release first single from "Black Fall" mixtape". 2013-10-24. Retrieved .
  33. ^ "Audio - Yelawolf on Sway in the Morning". Shady Records. Retrieved 2015.
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "Yelawolf - Hotel - Download & Listen [New Mixtape]". Retrieved 2016.
  38. ^
  39. ^, HipHopDX -. "Yelawolf Announces Third Studio Album". Retrieved 2016.
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^
  45. ^
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^ Lacy, Eric (November 19, 2014). "Yelawolf on Shady XV contribution, Eminem's loyalty: 'It's an honor ... There's nobody like him'". MLive. Retrieved 2017.
  49. ^
  50. ^ "Rappers Boo'd Up on Instagram". February 14, 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  51. ^ "Yelawolf Says He Couldn't Live With Being A Bad Father". February 25, 2015. Retrieved 2015.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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