Waylon & Willie, Struggle Jennings, Jelly Roll
536 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, UT, 84101
Santa Monica, CA, July 18, 2016 — Alabama-born hip-hop phenom Yelawolf (real name: Michael Wayne Atha) will hit the road this fall on his annual Slumfest Devils Pass Bike Tour.
In 2015, the release of Yelawolf’s second Slumerican/Shady/Interscope album, Love Story, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and topped both the Rap and R&B/Hip-Hop album charts as the follow-up to his debut, 2011’s Radioactive. Love Story was recorded mostly in Nashville with producers Eminem, Malay, WillPower and DJ Paul. Last September, he released a music video for the track, “Devil in My Veins,” which he called “the rawest song I’ve ever done,” directed by Ryan “Spidy” Smith, who also helmed the video for “Best Friend” from the album, which featured Eminem.
“I’m telling the truth about a lot of things,” he said about Love Story. “I try to be as honest as I can with everything I do.”
The Boston Globe said of the album: “If you scratch his songs’ surfaces, you hear a smart, sensitive outsider searching for some solace… The disc’s best moments come when the songs smolder.” Rolling Stone praised Yelawolf’s “strong embrace of his Southern roots,” while the Knoxville News Sentinel compared him to a “Southern Eminem or an edgier Kid Rock… but that’s selling him way short.”
Yelawolf released his independent debut album, Creek Water, in 2005, followed by an EP and four mixtapes, the last of which, Trunk Muzik, landed him his deal, with Interscope Records re-releasing it as Trunk Muzik 0-60 in November 2010. In March 2011, Yelawolf signed with Eminem’s Shady Records, releasing Radioactive in November 2011. Love Story was released April 21, 2015, with his third effort, Trial By Fire, slated for release later this year.
Yela was featured on the cover of XXL’s March 2011 issue with Eminem and fellow Shady labelmates Slaughterhouse, and was also named among the magazine’s Top 11 Freshmen that same year. His Shady debut, Radioactive, received a coveted 4.5 out of 5 mics from The Source, calling the album a “near-classic.” Eminem served as executive producer, with other contributing producers including Jim Jonsin, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Diplo, The Audibles, Pooh Bear and WillPower. Others who made cameos on Radioactive include Eminem, Kid Rock, Lil Jon, Fefe Dobson, Mystikal, Shawty Fatt, Rittz, Killer Mile and Gagnsta Boo, among others.
With his wealth of tattoos, Southern rapper Jelly Roll is an illustrated man. But the
ink tells the story of who the onetime gangster was — not who he is now. Today, he
is a reformed man, an underdog, a dedicated father to a little girl, an inspiration to
those who grew up hustling like him and, most of all, a groundbreaking artist.
"My tattoos are not a reflection of who I am at all," says Jelly Roll. "But they're a very
good description of who I was. I never thought I'd be what I am now."
Jelly Roll is at the fore of the country rap scene, distinguished by his edgy, lived-in
lyrics (he first went to juvenile detention when he was only 14; prison soon
followed) and a sound he calls "country, rock, white trash rap." To be sure, it's a
unique hybrid, as informed by the Motown Jelly's mother played him as a child as it
is by the Nashville street rap he listened to in his teens. A gifted singer as well as
rapper, to hear Jelly Roll perform songs like the R&B-flavored "Sunday Morning" and
the Southern rock of "Bad Apple" is to believe that the county-rap genre is far from a
"My lyrics are very true to who I am. I'm very real, very honest, very straightforward
and I'm in an industry where a number of artists are not," says Jelly Roll, who was
born and raised in gritty Antioch, Tennessee, just south of Music City. "I don't hide
Including his incarcerations for robbery and drugs. Surviving prison ultimately
motivated Jelly Roll, an all-too-rare case of the system actually working. But it was
when he met composer and producer Jared Gutstadt — aka Jingle Jared, who has
worked with artists from Dierks Bentley and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Nas and Chiddy
Bang — and his creative team the Jingle Punks that helped Jelly launch a proper
"He was a white rapper, and I thought, 'I've seen that before,'" says Gutstadt. "But
then I heard what he was doing. It was fresh, inventive stuff. I think he and I can
create a new sound for Nashville."
With the Jingle Punks creative force onboard, Jelly Roll is eager to explore his fresh
direction via a new EP. Titled Sunday Morning after his popular day-after anthem,
the project picks up where "Kid Rock left off," Gutstadt says. Like Jelly Roll, it's a
combination of all the things that define a man: loving and leaving, winning and
losing, and sinning and forgiving.
"Since I left prison, I don't have the kinds of problems I used to have. I've changed
and so my music is changing with me," says Jelly Roll. "But the good news is my
audience is growing with me too."
And he's excited for them, along with new fans, to hear his country, rock, whitetrash
rap. "I'm excited for everyone to hear my music," he says. "It's real, it's honest
and, dammit, it's fun."