Yelawolf is a man who likes to keep busy.
Aside from working on material for his upcoming sophomore album, the Alabama rapper – born Michael Wayne Atha – is often collaborating with other musicians on various projects.
In fact, he and rapper Big K.R.I.T. are working on music to be released later. Before that comes out, Yelawolf will release an EP with Blink 182’s drummer, Travis Barker, in November. The EP is titled “Psycho White.”
“It just seemed to work out for us,” Yelawolf says during a recent phone interview. “Every time we’d get into the lab, we’d knock something out. It was a meeting of the minds and we’ve come up with a lot of cool stuff. It’s like we had this kindred bond and we just got each other. We didn’t really plan on putting out an album, but as we would record more and more songs, it seemed like the songs could all go cohesively together.”
Aside from working with Barker, Yelawolf also got the chance to work with Rancid’s frontman, Tim Armstrong.
“Tim and Travis have known each other for years,” he explains. “I came into the studio and said we should do a song that is ska, reggae and punk. Travis thought of Tim, and he happened to be recording at that time. It was a case of being in the right place.”
Yelawolf burst onto the music scene with mix tapes in 2005 and has worked his way up the ranks in the rap game, releasing more mix tapes.
With Rittz, Trouble Andrew, DJ Vajra
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4
WHERE: Sunshine Theater, 120 W. Central
HOW MUCH: $17.50 at www.holdmyticket.com or 886-1251
His breakthrough album, “Radioactive,” was released in 2011.
“It’s been a long journey for me,” he explains. “I grew up wanting to be a rapper and just be in the music industry. I’m getting the opportunity to work with some heroes.”
Barker and Yelawolf had worked previously together on the song “Let’s Go” from Barker’s debut solo album, “Give the Drummer Some,” in 2011. And the duo wanted to work together more.
“I’d sit there and take in the beats and come up with some lyrics,” Yelawolf says. “Some of the songs are harder than others, and each one started from a different point. Sometimes it was from a riff, other times it was from a lyric. But each song is very melody-driven.”