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Yelawolf: Q&A

Yelawolf is back in full throttle after a short hiatus due to a ruptured spleen. The injury, which was the result of his antics during an energetic performance, put the Alabama rapper out of commission for a little over a month, resulting in the cancellation of a few shows. But don’t think that a little spleen injury is going to slow down this bama boy, he has already kicked off his new tour, which will be making stops in Detroit, Miami, Manchester England, Paris and Tennessee for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. In addition to performing at BamaJam this June Yelawolf will begin working on his sophomore album entitled Love Story, and let’s not forget the highly anticipated Travis Barker x Yelawolf EP that was announced in late January.

Inked: Your spleen ruptured not too long ago, how are you feeling?
Yelawolf: I’m getting back to normal; my performance has been affected by it though. I kind of have to chill out. I almost jumped in the crowd the other night because I had almost completely forgotten. The doctors told me that it’s going to take three to six months for my spleen to fully heal all the way back to normal, but I still feel symptoms from it. I’m all right; I’m back so I can’t complain.

Inked: Are there any long-term ramifications?
Yelawolf: I’ve got to for the rest of my life just chill the fuck out. I can’t just do whatever… right now it’s just weak. If it burst again it can be worse, bleeding internally. It sucks so I just have to watch out. I can’t prevent shit from going down but instead of just throwing myself right into situations I have to be more hesitant.

Inked: How did you get into music?
Yelawolf: I was just born into the lifestyle. My mom is just 15 years older than me, and you’ve got to imagine being 7 with a 22-year-old mom, plus she was really pretty and super wild. Sex, drugs and rock n roll is pretty much how she lived and was always on the stage surrounded by it. On the stage with anyone from Ted Nugent to Alice Cooper and Randy Travis. The music business is small. She dated a road manager for a while and you know they switch artists all the time, they go to work for different artists, different tours different music. That kept a lot of different music coming in and out of the house. I don’t know what draws you to music. You can’t really put your finger on that. What really makes you want to do it; I don’t know it’s inside of you.

Inked: It was recently announced that you will be performing at BamaJam this year, are you excited to perform in your hometown?
Yelawolf: Yeah I’m glad I get to perform with Kid Rock, that’s going to be sick. Going home is always scary for some reason [laughs]. I love going home but I’m always afraid of it, I want to do the best at home and I want to have the biggest shows but home is always tough. I don’t think Alabama as a whole would favor me to be the voice of Alabama, Alabama is still so conservative you know? I don’t fit the image of what I think the state as a whole would want, they don’t want me to be the mascot [laughs]. I think that’s why it’s been so tough getting on the radio or getting on local television. [We’ve] got little local news channels, I did Letterman before I did that, and that’s like 10 miles from my house. I’m always excited to go back and play but I’m always nervous playing in front of family you know.

Inked: Last month you announced that you will be recording your sophomore album this summer; who will you be working with?
Yelawolf: The album is called Love Story and I’ll be working with WillPower and Malay, lay money. I’m definitely not going to give up any features that I plan to have on this project. I’m going to keep everything super low key. As far as my crew just the same crew, same as I always do. The focus of the album is the experience since Radioactive and just putting all that into a project.

Inked: What made you decide to start working on another album so soon?
Yelawolf: I just started getting really inspired to record another album and it just felt like it was time again. I’m bringing the same squad but of course we are going to be in Nashville so there is no telling what could happen, what kind of musicians we’ll be pulling in from the city, who might stop through the studio, who knows but we are definitely going out there to make something special.

Inked: What will Eminem’s involvement be with the next album?
Yelawolf: Well you know it’s Shady Records, and of course that’s the homie, so the door is always open. I’m not sure when or if he’s going to be available during that time, but I’m positive that we’re going to be working together on a project. [I] always keep him in the circle because you know it’s important to keep it in the family.

Inked: What made you decide to title the album Love Story?
Yelawolf: Well I’m going to let the music tell that. The title, that is the question really, I know everyone is going to ask that and that’s the whole point.

Inked: You recently got Johnny Cash tattooed on your dome with the name Fefe, how did you two meet and what is the significance behind the piece?
Yelawolf: Fefe held me down, she’s become my best friend and I love her. I’m not afraid to show that. This is my way of expressing that dedication. It’s a metaphor Johnny and June, Johnny Cash and June Carter, their relationship and how I feel that reflects my relationship with her. That’s my way of showing my appreciation for her.

Inked: Do you have any tattoos meaningful to your career?
Yelawolf: My career is built around experiences. All of my music relates directly to my life and all of my tattoos are a reflection of my life also, so they are all meaningful to my career.

Inked: Have any that you regret?
Yelawolf: No not at all.

Inked: What is your most meaningful tattoo?
Yelawolf: The one that says beer grip on my hand [laughs].

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