Yelawolf and DJ Paul are no strangers to the hustle. Between joint and solo projects, and getting Three 6 Mafia back in the studio for another album, business seems to be the only thing on the agenda for the Alabama-bred rapper and the barbeque sauce-making DJ. While the mix seems random, the two artists insist that their similar tastes in music and knack for experimentation make this project a no-brainer. Here, they discuss what set the wheels in motion for their yet-to-be-titled LP and name-drop potential features on what is sure to be a rock solid effort...once they start working on it.—Anthony Centeno
VIBE: What’s good with your new joint album? Does it have a title yet?
Yelawolf: We’re playing with titles right now, but I don’t think we’re stuck on something yet. I can speak for both of us to say it just fell into our lap. My homeboy Newport out of New York made friends with [Gangsta] Boo and I had changed my number and was living in Nashville at the time. I guess Gangsta Boo and DJ Paul were talking about getting me on their Triple 6 album so I came out for a session and started vibin' and I threw the idea at Paul that I wanted to do a heavy metal/heavy rock mix tape and I thought he would be perfect for it. He got excited about the idea so it kind of just happened like that.
Paul, what was it that Yela told you that made you commit?
Paul: I was a fan of Yela’s anyways and one thing I like is the way Yela is like me in that he likes to try shit, and I like to try shit you know? Sometimes it’ll hit, sometimes it’ll miss but I’m going to try anyways. When I was looking at his videos, I see that he's straight down south, dirty south, trap-style beats then he’ll have some that are like rock. He switches it up and that’s what I like to do. I was like, 'Man this will be perfect.' From the beginning of time, Three 6 Mafia always incorporated some rock into our music. I always like to make rock instrumental beats. With Yela, we like the same person. Not everyone likes to try that, but you know when you do it, it can really rock and tear shit up in the clubs.
Yelawolf: Triple 6 Mafia and Mystikal in Atlanta was one of my first shows. I remember how sweaty and smashed up everybody was and it was so punk rock. They were doing hits like "Tear The Club Up." They created that whole shit. I’m honored to do it honestly and it makes sense for my fans they already beating each other up in the club (laughing). I’m hoping to get Travis (barker) involved. I’m pretty sure I can say it without even talking to him. I haven’t talked to him fully about it but I know he’s going to want to play on it. Hopefully this shit buzzes around and we can open up some slots for a run. I’d love to do a tour with Triple 6.
Paul: The world ain't ready for what we’re about to give em.
That would be sick. How far have you gotten with the album?
Yelawolf: Shit nowhere. I pulled the trigger on Instagram and was like fuck it, I'm goin for it. I pulled the trigger because I know we’re going to do it for sure and I know how fast it's going to happen.
Paul: Yela broke his phone the other night so I haven’t talked to him till now. But last night I made 16 beats. I ain't going to send 'em to him yet but basically what I did was, my engineer plays the guitar so I got my keyboard and I pulled up a few sounds and started playing some good bass line, piano pieces and what not, and we laid out 16 beats in under 30 minutes.
Besides Travis Barker, do you have anyone else you plan on getting for the album? Any particular producers?
Yelawolf: As far as artists, first and foremost, anybody from Three 6 who’s willing to jump on it, that’s a given. I’ll probably holler at A$AP Rocky. Me and him have been rockin' for the past couple albums. I like him. We’re going to have to get really into it to see which record fits who. Paul is going to come to Nashville too and have a session so we’ll probably lock into the studio for three or four days. I’m probably going to write a majority of it outside the studio and then go to the studio and do all the vocals in a couple sessions. That’s how we’re going to do it, man.
Are you still pursuing the project with Big K.R.I.T. called Country Cousins?
Yelawolf: K.R.I.T.’s coming back down right after I come back from NY. I got a private show with Marshall (Eminem). We’re doing something for Cassie in New York and then right after that I’m coming back to Nashville and we’re going to knock out this project.
When do you think that’ll be done?
Yelawolf: Country Cousins will be out. I don’t fucking know when it’s coming out but it’ll all happen in a sequence. It’ll be Country Cousins, then this album with DJ Paul will follow that then we’ll be hitting the road by then.
Paul: He’s pretty busy man.
Paul, we know that’s not going to be an official Three 6 reunion without Juicy but what project do you have store when it comes to bringing the group together? And to clarify, whom will you be working with?
Paul: For the reunion, it’s going to be Lord Infamous, Gangsta Boo and Crunchy Black. That's the main group. We have just been recording records so I just got to see what direction I’m going to take it but it’ll definitely be something that will come out within the year.