Legend has it that rap and rock birthed into one entity, born in the quiet town for Gadsden, Alabama, where this week's Spotlight Artist hails. “YelaWolf is Native American,” it begins, “Yela represents light, the sun, power, fire, hunger, and Wolf represents my ability to survive... my fierceness.”
Born as Michael Wayne Atha, the story begins with a rockstar mom and a vagabond upbringing, accounting fifteen different schools and a laundry list of different towns. Eventually landing in Nashville, the story of YelaWolf conceived. Three years within the projects, “That's where hip hop made sense,” the story goes.
In 2005, YelaWolf spawned his first indie record Creek Water, following up with four mixtapes and one particular EP, Trunk Muzik five years later which garnered tremendous amounts of attention, Interscope Records adopted the indie rapper and re-released said mixtape later that year.
Establishing a career upon his uncanny blend of rap mingled with rock, alternative folk, and sometimes country, Yelawolf dropped his major-label debut in 2011 with Radioactive, released under both Interscope and Eminem's Shady Records. Listing breakout hits such as “Hard White” and “Let's Roll”, the Nashville emcee's memorable debut exploded onto the US Billboard 200's #27 spot.
The legend echoes ever-louder with his sophomore release, Love Story, which, apart from its iconic, genre-transcending sound, embodied the artist's message with such ferocious passion, as seen on singles like “Bestfriend” and “Till It's Gone”. The album propelled onto #3 on the Billboard charts and sold over 50,000 copies in its initial launch week, not to mention garnering a wide scope of positive reviews, such as Pitchfork's take:
“YelaWolf is a powerful new rap voice, one that draws from all over the map without sounding much like anyone else,” as well as Rolling Stone applauding him as “an MC whose liquid flow breathes life into genre cliches.”
Rap Station holds its own chapter of the legend unfolded with his single “Daylight”, which was featured on the exclusive top ten lists, and if you haven't witnessed such genre-defying madness yet, that would be a great place to start.
Nevertheless, the legend has a name and it goes by YelaWolf, now go check out the good news.
By Jods Arboleda for RAPStation.com