For as volatile as it sounds, the actual dictionary term for “radioactive” leaves a lot to the imagination. But just as he does with every word he spits, Ghet-O-Vision/Shady recording artist Yelawolf gives it new life and meaning. Making it a fitting title for his official debut album.
With a life story that no book could contain, the artist born Michael Atha could have auditioned for the “most interesting man in the world” title. Geograpically, he was born in a state that rests between Missis-sippi and Georgia but mentally he was raised in a state of constant change. Bouncing around between Alabama and Tennessee as a child, Wolf’s upbringing exposed him to the impoverished realities of both White America’s trailer parks and Black America’s ghettos.
The duality would finally define itself on a fateful evening where his mother was playing host to a group of friends who happened to be the roadie crew for rapstars Run DMC. It was that night where Wolf, who was raised on a healthy dosage of Southern Rock, would hear songs like “My Adidas” and Beastie Boys “Paul Revere” for the first time. From that point on he knew that Hip Hop was now in his DNA.
After years of toiling in the rap chitlin circuit, the mixtape matrix and doing hooks for a spectrum of artists ranging from Juelz Santana to Slim Thug, Wolf broke out in grand fashion with his critically acclaimed independent release Trunk Muzik (Ghet-O-Vision Ent.) on New Year’s Day 2010. The excitement, paired with his unforgettable live shows, led to numerous magazine covers a record deal through Ghet-O-Vision/Interscope and then a partnership with Shady Records. The label founded by the man who many naysayers opted to unfavorably compare him to, Eminem.
Though he’s been releasing material since the early 2000’s, Radioactive qualifies as Yelawolf’s official “debut.” Unlike his prior efforts that were recorded in basements and garages, only to be appreciated by his first core of loyal fans, this album was captured amidst rigorous touring, growing anticipation and now, expectation. If his ability to survive the last ten years are any indication, Wolf will rise to the occasion and beyond.