Yelawolf Recalls His Pre-"Trunk Muzik" Sound

After getting passed on by multiple labels, Yelawolf says he formed a band featuring a banjo and a fiddle player.

Yelawolf’s proper, full debut album, Radioactive, will be available October 25. But in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the Gadsden, Alabama native says he seriously contemplated ditching Hip Hop all together.

“I had tried to get a deal with some rap shit, and everybody was giving me the runaround,” Yelawolf explained. “All these labels were gassing me up but never pulling the trigger. I just felt like, ‘Fuck it, I’m just gonna do whatever I want to do.’”

True to his “Catfish Billy” nickname, Yelawolf embraced a decidedly non-traditional Hip Hop sound. He said he started a band that featured a banjo and a fiddle alongside a set of turntables. After catching wind of Yelawolf’s new, Bluegrass-tinged approach to Hip Hop, his management team asked him to try the more traditional route one more time. The end result was 2010’s critically acclaimed Trunk Muzik mixtape, which was repurposed into a retail offering.

Interestingly enough, one of Yelawolf’s early goals was to have his music heard by Eminem. And after signing with Interscope, Yela was added to the Shady Records roster—effectively knocking out two goals.

“I just feel humbled, but I also feel validated,” Yelawolf added. “When I finally got all my shit together, all my music, it was a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people...I always wanted to meet Marshall and let him hear my shit. I was like, ‘Yo, man, I think that if he heard the shit he would really get it.’ In a sense, man, we’re cut from the same cloth, and it’s almost like country meets city. But there are so many similarities about the steps that I had to take, the steps he had to take in order to get to where he’s at. There are a lot of life similarities that we clicked on.”

RELATED: Yelawolf Pushes Back Release Date For Shady Records Debut "Radioactive"


  • poop = shit

    Yo retard I grew up on Wu Tang and Nas, Yelawolf is gettin' it in! Man how the fuck you gonna say dude ain't go lyrics. You prolly think that Jay-Z is a better story teller than Nas too. Fuck outta here hater, my boy doing it big from fucking middle of nowhere Gadsden Alabama son. Go listen to some swag rap you dumb son of a bitch

  • poop

    Yelawolf has his own style, and it's a breath of fresh air, but his lyrics aren't about shit. I am big on lyrics, and he isn't really saying shit. His voice can be annoying, too. At least he is doing his own thing, though.

  • James Taylor

    yela doin it big, how can anybody say he aint go skillz? shady signd him..wu tang took him on tour with (were i heard with my own ears method man say this is the true future of hip hop) n trunk music was voted mixtape of the year! just sayin it dnt matter black/brown/white or even yellow if ur spittin that true hip hop am gonna listen..... dude tellin his story n tellin it well

  • Jason Nash

    >Trunk Muzik Mix tape" is fucking dope......if u ain't feeling "pop the trunk" , "Mixing Up The Medicine" , or a couple other hot tracks off the mix tape than u r a hater.......if u r gonna ignore talent and good sound......either that or a racist because Yelawolf is hell of a lot better then the true retarded ass rappers like gucci and waka for example. Yelawolf is signed and making money doing what he loves to do.......='s some success. Some people will either adknowledge success or denounce success and hate on other people because they are WEAK as fuck.

  • NONO

    I don't like his music. He just raps fast to take your mind off the fact that he's not saying anything, and when he slows down his flow, he sounds like a 5 year old impersonating his older brother, replacing r's with w's. sawwy--LOL. I gotta pass on this cat for now.

  • Deezy

    i love how everyone on here is just worried about white or black and spelling mistakes in the comments. who gives a fuck. fuck you all. keep doing your thing yela, musics dope with a new sound

  • Billy

    DAMN! You fuckin niggers are now more fuckin racist than the fuckin white people! The IRONY! HIP HOP is 4 ALL RACES you fuckin racist pricks! But ooh God forbid if someone tells yall something cuz then yall gone be like "Is you sayin that cuz Im black?!" SMFH! FUCK YOU!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Most white mcs are extremely terrible and lack flow/style/rhythm and a bunch of other stuff you need in music but Yelawolf is pretty damn nice with it.

  • Anonymous

    LOL @ Catfish Billy, SMH I dunno, not a fan of Yelawolf but out of all the corny white guys getting signed lately, he bothers me the least Kreayshawn Mac Miller Machine Gun Kelly Asher Roth SMH...... Yelawolf looks like 2pac standing next to them

    • thought dog

      Not giving "change" speeches or any other shit and I'm not a huge fan of Yelawolf. But the point he was making in the song is about how senseless murder goes on everyday. For the record, thought dog lives in America as well so thought dog can say whatever the fuck thought dog wants about Americans. A majority of the people in this country are borderline retarded.

    • NONO

      --thought dog you said "Like most Americans do" You mean the same Americans who created Hip Hop? You don't need checking, you need a history lesson...And if people don't like him, they just don't like him, you don't have to start giving Obama "CHANGE" speeches..LOL!!!

    • anonymous

      uhh ya dude actually i do listen to the verses every story was about someone fuckin wit em and them poppin the trunk retard.... in the end they were killin em every time

    • thought dog

      /\ Really? I'm retarded? Did you watch the actual video and what the message of the entire song was? Or did you do what most Americans do and listen to the hook and that's it?

    • TylertheDestoryer.

      "Pop the trunk was stories of people from different walks of life going thru similar shit" WTF>>? U are retarted! Pop the trunk means "dont make me pop the truck pull out a shotgun and blast on ur a$$ watch the film clip u stupid stupid human.

    • thought dog

      /\ Didnt know Yelawolf raps about killing people? Pop the trunk was stories of people from different walks of life going thru similar shit....But other than that I can't remember one time where he glorified murder....Go back to the drawing board on that thought chief.

    • anonymous

      so black ppl rap about killin ppl they get praised for it but a white person does n its corny....? go kill urself

    • V-Nasty

      Kreayshawn isnt a guy nigga!

    • bmoc

      lol Im gunna listen to these "corny" white guys, and black guys, and hispanics, and japanese; enjoying the music. You can stay in your racist box

    • Anonymous

      whats wrong with yelawolf i agree he rest suck but i n ever listened to mgk

    • Anonymous

      ^^^^^ I heard "Pop The Trunk", seen the video Its Corny

    • yo

      u needa get ur ignorant racist ass outta the house once in awhile this is 2011 ur livin in a box dude.... wats better for hiphop than havin different sounds for it and lettin it expand.... wat u think hip hop was gonna stay on the same gangsta shit for the rest of time dude that shit would get played out im glad were gettin different styles.... have u even listened to trunk muzik at all? there is nothin corny about this dude listen to pop the trunk and billy crystal if u dont believe me

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