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"It's crazy, it's been a long road," Yela reflected. "Five years ago I was sitting in a parking lot in Rrainbow City [Alabama], talking to my cousin about 'I wonder if Eminem would get it? I wonder if he would sign me?' It's crazy how this world turns."
Despite asking him about meeting Eminem when we spoke several months back, Yela hid the news, giving no indication that he had been in talks with Shady about signing to the label. "I've known for a while now honestly," Yela admitted, "and I've had to do so many interviews where people were asking me about comparisons to Eminem and how I feel about it. It was on the tip of my tongue, I wanted to yell out 'I'm on Shady! Shut the f--- up!"
While the Gadsden, Alabama rapper may share a similar nasally voice and comical machine gun flow as his new boss, he believes his signing may put an end to their supposed similitude. "As far as the comparisons go, I'm wondering where its gonna go now. Like what are they gonna say now that I'm with Shady?" Yelawolf ponders. "I'm excited to take these records I'm doing here in Vegas out to Detroit in a couple weeks, and let 'em hear the records and critique it."
Yela's debut, 'Radioactive,' is already showing signs of being different than his previous 2008 EP, 'Arena Rap' and breakthrough mixtapes, 'Trunk Muzik' and 'Trunk Muzik 0-60.' He says he's been saving his best material for the debut. "I'm in the studio writing records for the sake of making a great album," he says. "All the records that we've put out prior to 'Radioactive' have been strategic. We never put out a song that we felt like was super album worthy. We've been sitting on records that we felt like could work on a big album for a while, just holding 'em and waiting for that moment to get that real backing; someone to put a stamp on it so we can put it out. That's why the project is called 'Radioactive.'
Although the album doesn't drop until the spring, Yela knows how he got into this fine predicament. "S--- just pays off, man. Blind faith, hard work, determination, prayer, focus -- these are the results you get. Never let off."
Watch Yelawolf's 'Kickin'