Michael Wayne Atha (b. December 30, 1979), better known by his stage name Yelawolf, is a rapper from Gadsden, Alabama. He was in the 2011 XXL Freshmen Class. Yelawolf has been signed to Columbia, Ghet-O-Vision, DGC, Shady Records, and currently, he’s independent.
Yelawolf first got started back in 2005, when he released his first album, Creek Water. In 2007, he got signed to Columbia and released his first single “Kickin'”. He went to Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment and released an EP and four mixtapes. The last mixtape he released, Trunk Muzik finally got the attention it deserved at the beginning of 2010. He signed with Interscope shorty later and released a retail version, Trunk Muzik 0-60.
Finally, he released his debut album, Radioactive in November of 2011. He significantly changed his style to gain more mainstream appeal for the album. But after disappointing sales, Yela recently decided to switch back to his old style, with Trunk Muzik Returns, as well a collaborative EP with Travis Barker, called Psycho White.
His second release on Shady and also his most celebrated album combining his adept technical rap skills with a focus on Rock and Country sounds, Love Story dropped on April 21, 2015. The album did relatively well, peaking at number 3 on the US Billboard 200, and was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 units on June 8, 2018 (With two over 1 million sold Platinium certified singles, Best Friend Ft. Eminem and Till it’s Gone by October 29, 2019).
On October 27, 2017, he released his next album, Trial By Fire entirely produced by himself with more roots of Country based on storytelling and the recurring themes of Yelawolf’s hardships, fears, and overall messages about his worldview. The album was released with little promotion and was seen as a commercial selling failure compared to Love Story, but was better received by critics.
Yelawolf announced the third Trunk Muzik series album, labeled Trunk Muzik 3, as his final album with Shady Records, released on March 29, 2019, and has been acclaimed and garnered him a strong following in the hip hop community. Months later, following the release of Trunk Muzik 3, he released Ghetto Cowboy on November 1st, which served as his independent release with his record brand, Slumerican.
2021 for Yelawolf was a hell of a year. After highly working on 2020, on February 19, 2021, Yelawolf released Yelawolf Blacksheep, an 11-track mixtape with fellow rapper Caskey. Yelawolf revealed his upcoming April Onslaught event, in which he announced four album releases in April 2021, to be released weekly, leading to his studio album, Mud Mouth. In order, the releases were TURQUOiSE TORNADO with rapper RiFF RAFF, released on April 9th. Slumafia with DJ Paul, April 16th. Mile Zero with DJ Muggs, April 23rd and finally April 30th release, his 7th studio album Mud Mouth as his last hip hop album.
Yelawolf continued his musical journey to a new chapter by exposing his first rock and roll album named Sometimes Y, which is released on March 11, 2022. Yelawolf teamed up with Shooter Jennings and his bandmates as a rock n' roll band with release of their self-titled debut studio album.