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Born To Be Wild With Eminem & Yelawolf (Pg.2)

“When that ‘Bama’ shit was going around, everybody in Alabama was like, ‘fuck that shit,’ he says about the deprecating term used to belittle his home state. “What the fuck you mean ‘Bama’? I know you ain’t talking about us. That was an era that made us really strong. It really made us proud,” he continues. “You notice, you don’t hear it much anymore.”

To be sure, Yelawolf’s hair isn’t the only thing about him that’s a bit unruly or unorthodox. As the latest signee to Eminem’s Shady Records, at first blush, he’s an oddball among more traditional MCs. Eminem’s previous signing was Slaughterhouse, the slick-talking battle rap cats, comprised of Joe Budden, Crooked I, Royce da 5’9” and Joell Ortiz. Alongside Eminem, they offer an updated, lyrically enhanced version of D12. In this grouping, Yelawolf comes off as a foreign object. His clean-scrubbed all-American good looks clash with a tall wiry frame splattered with body art, which includes the word “red” etched in bold crimson ink across his neck.

Yelawolf and Catfi sh Billy are his colorful aliases, but he was born Michael Wayne Atha, named for two of his mother’s favorite actors—Michael Landon and John Wayne. While he has embraced the origins of his namesakes (both faces tatted on his right arm), he reached for a greater connection for his self-appointed spiritual moniker, Yelawolf.

“My father has Cherokee [blood] and my mom got Cherokee and Blackfoot,” he says. “Yela represents hunger, life, light, fire, power. Wolf speaks to my fi ghting spirit. The soul I put in my music.”

Before he began MCing on a full-time basis, Michael Atha appeared to be your typical counter-culture white kid who journeyed out to Berkeley, Calif., in search of a career as a professional skater. Instead, he collected a bunch of injuries (broken collar bone, a few concussions) and wound up working on an Alaskan fi shing boat in the Bering Sea, braving below zero temperature for money he’d hope to use to make music. He’s lived in Atlanta; Baton Rouge, La.; and Antioch, Tenn., but he called the sleepy town of Gadsden, Ala., home. There, he was raised on a musical diet of classic rock. When he moved to Antioch in the fifth grade, he was bussed to Memphis’ hardscrabble Carter Lawrence School. He was a white kid with a bowl cut and a Randy Travis sweatshirt, an ideal target for bullies.

“There was this kid named Cedric who seemed like he was 6 feet in the fi fth grade,” Yelawolf remembers about a specifi c tormentor, his own D’Angelo Bailey. “I was in class and he said something about my momma. I didn’t know anything else to do but stand up to him and pick my chin up. ‘What!?’ He was like, ‘Please, white boy, I will fucking kill you.’ He grabbed my ankles and held me upside down like a baby. ‘I will drop you on your fucking head right now. Country-ass white boy.’ I was just changed after that. I wanted to get fucking tough, man. I was already culture shocked, straight out the fucking country of Alabama, and I was already listening to hip-hop. N.W.A and Ice Cube and Snoop. I just knew that I had to start making changes about how I was perceived.”

So young Michael did the best he could to fi t in. He shaved his bowl cut, bought himself some Bo Jackson cross trainers and blue Dickies. “Finally, I said, ‘Fuck it,’” he says, remembering when he realized that blending in took too much of a toll. “It wasn’t until later on in life when everything started making more sense about why I went through what I did. I was built to put this on paper. Yeah, I have animosity, a chip on my shoulder. But I love, too. That part of my life was very crucial.”

As a result of his varied life experiences, he’s become a kind of cultural platypus, a mixture of backwoods “redneck” and Southern B-boy ethos. Along the course of his musical evolution, you can hear his dueling sides play out like Aerosmith bumping up against Run-D.M.C. in the “Walk This Way” video. Each extreme fl aring up from within, fighting to be heard on one stage.

Yelawolf’s first big break as a rapper came in 2005 as a contestant on UPN’s talent competition show The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott. He was eliminated when he requested some “fly beats” instead of the one Elliott was offering up. But he kept on his grind, and caught the attention of Kawan “KP” Prather, CEO of Ghet-O-Vision, who helped guide the sound of the legendary ATL-based Dungeon Family collective, Usher, T.I. and others. Yelawolf was signed to Columbia, only to be dropped when Rick Rubin took control of the label in 2007.

“I used that anger, that rejection, to give me rage onstage,” he says. “That translated to the fans. It ain’t nothing against Rick Rubin. But man, having to go back and rebuild is a big blow.”

His mixtape releases tell the story. The playful 2008 Ball of Flames: The Ballad of Slick Rick E. Bobby played up the simplemindedness of the NASCAR comedy starring Will Ferrell, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Yelawolf matches Ferrell’s high jinks with playful song titles like “Beer Buzz,” “Boyz in the Woodz” and “My Box Chevy.” On Stereo, Yelawolf ran lyrically roughshod over tunes by Fleet-wood Mac, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Pink Floyd. He then stretched genres with the ambitious, if experimental, Arena Rap EP, on which Yelawolf rapped alongside a live band—fiddle, acoustic and electric guitars.

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Cardi B Gets Driving Lesson, Performs For Senior Citizens During 'Carpool Karaoke' Segment

Cardi B was the latest guest on James Corden's Late Late Show segment, "Carpool Karaoke," and as expected, it was a helluva time.

The Grammy nominee ran through some of her hits with Corden, such as "Bodak Yellow," "Money," "Be Careful" and more. She discussed her transition from stripper to MC, which Corden attributed to "grinding and hustling for a long time.”

“A lot of these deejays was sleepin’ on me… they was frontin’ on the kid!” Cardi exclaimed. Cardi also discussed her childhood growing up in the Bronx, which included keeping a razor blade in her cheek just in case some crazy sh*t goes down, as well as her affinity for ASMR videos. She also performed at a senior citizens' home at the end of the clip to a rousing response.

Perhaps the best part of the segment was her attempt to drive. Facilitated by a conversation in which the two discussed her five luxury cars, Cardi hit a few cones and flags while trying to maneuver in and out during a lesson. She said that the car (a Range Rover) was a bit big for her, but her lack of driving skills period resulted in her hitting a camera during her attempt at parallel parking.

“I couldn’t rap about these cars because I didn’t own them,” she laughed before adding, "[Driving] is scary.”

Watch the entire segment above.

READ MORE: Cardi B's Upcoming 'Carpool Karaoke' Segment Looks As Eventful As We'd Hope

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Cardi B and Offset appear at New York Fashion Week: The Shows in February 2018.
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Offset's Father Calls Out Cardi B In Lengthy Post Defending Son

Offset's father Tony has had enough of the family drama between his rapper son and his estranged wife, Cardi B. On Facebook, Mr. Cephus wrote a lengthy post about the devastating effects fame and spotlight have had on his family.

“Right now, my family is going through a tumultuous time,” he wrote in a group for the brothers of the Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha fraternities. “What you see in the media is only the tip of the iceberg. Social media is a powerful tool, but certainly no place for family situations; however, our youth, specifically my son’s wife doesn’t understand that. She seems to want to take everything to social media without regard to the devastation it has on others, past present and future or specifically what it does to the other children.”

While Mr. Cephus admits that his son has done his "fair share of dirt" and isn't innocent in the recent divorce situation, he says the "whole scenario is a never-ending drama session." He also calls out Cardi for posting a picture of Baby Kulture "out of spite," going against the wishes of Offset and the family.

"It's a tic for tack, mudslinging situation fueled by jealousy, envy, insecurities, psychological issues, drugs, etc, etc, etc," he continued. “While he ain’t perfect, he is mine and as a parent I have a duty to protect him. Right now, I cannot do that."

Offset made headlines over the weekend for hijacking Cardi's headlining set at the Rolling Loud Festival in an effort to win her back; the "Money" MC stated she and Offset were separating in early-December.

"We are talking about a 25-year-old with an unlimited supply of money, women chasing him, people at his disposal, etc.," Offset's father continued. "My whole family is in an uproar right now and I can’t fix it. I would not wish this on anyone. I would give anything to go back to simply being a school teacher and coach.”

Read his entire post below.

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Maroon 5 Scrambling To Find Guest Performers For Super Bowl Halftime Show

Between the NFL’s stance on the National Anthem and the league’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick, performing at the Super Bowl halftime show clearly isn’t as alluring as it used to be.

Maroon 5 has reportedly been scrambling to finding someone to share the stage with them at the Super Bowl LIII halftime show in Atlanta next month, but it’s not for lack of trying. The band is having trouble pinning down special guests because, “No one wants to associate themselves with the NFL,” US Weekly reports.

Cardi B,  who collaborated with the Maroon 5 on the hit single “Girls Like You,”  mulled it over, but ultimately turned down the Super Bowl invitation.

“It’s a no right now,” a source told the outlet of Cardi’s decision.

Andre 3000 and Mary J. Blige were approached to perform as well, per a Variety report. Blige was unable to commit due to scheduling issues. Other alleged names being tossed around include Usher, Lauryn Hill, Nicki Minaj, and Madonna.

Since Atlanta is a virtual hotbed of Black artists who were seemingly overlooked to headline the show, focusing on local talent might be Maroon 5’s safest bet. According to Variety, Migos and Lil Yachty could be in the running to fill the empty spot.

The NFL has yet to officially announce Maroon 5 as the halftime act. Meanwhile, a Change.org petition calling for the band to drop out of the show has received nearly 75,000 signatures.

Super Bowl LIII goes down Feb. 3, 2019, at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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