Michael Wayne Atha was born in Gadsden, Ala., in 1979, but he's lived all over: Tennessee, California, Louisiana, Florida. Better known as Yelawolf, the 32-year-old rapper doesn't call anywhere home right now, though he has his sights set on Nashville next. But in his teens, the young skateboarder spent years living on and off in Atlanta. "I lived in River Bend when I was 13," Yelawolf says. "It's a really famous complex right on the edge of ATL, way South Marietta, close to Cumberland Mall. You ever seen Catch Me If You Can? That apartment complex he lived in was River Bend. Before Atlantic Station, I lived in that neighborhood. They actually kicked us out to build Atlantic Station. It was all gentrified. I was [probably] 18 then."
Yelawolf returns to the Atlanta area this Saturday, Feb. 4, when he and Cyhi the Prynce play Wild Bill's in Duluth, a predominately country-music venue that dubiously self-identifies as "America's Largest Dance Club & Concert Hall." About a week before the gig, he's happy to speak with Creative Loafing about a few of his favorite Atlanta things. "It's my job, to be honest," he says. "That's what I get paid to do."
"This is one of my favorite places to eat and perform. [They've] got these burgers ... [One of the owner's] is from Alabama, and he's got the Not a Milo's Burger. There's a place called Milo's in Alabama that's famous for its burgers and burger sauces. Somehow, he came really close to getting it, so I go there to eat. And Fox Brothers BBQ! It's crazy that both of those spots [share the same owner], and they're both my favorite places to eat. He's a beast, man, that dude. He knows how to run a restaurant. It's good food."
"I'm not into strip clubs, but I do like the Clermont. It's a novelty, man — it's historic. Nobody takes anybody too seriously in there, and that's cool. A perfect dive bar. I know it's, like, super famous and shit, but if you take someone there who's never been to ATL, it's epic. I've done a couple shows there, and at one of the shows, Woody Harrelson came."
"I'd take someone to White Water in the wintertime when it's closed so we can skate on the slides. Fun as shit. I've been once, but every season, skaters are jumping the fence and skating that park. It's brilliant. They're probably gonna be mad I called 'em out about it."
"I love Cabbagetown, all the area around it. I grew up [around] there, skateboarding, and I spent a lot of time on the streets. The city of Atlanta was a playground for me when I was younger. Skateboarders see everything — you spend your whole time scouting for spots to skate. There's pretty much nothing in Atlanta I haven't seen or skated, and I've been to lots of great house parties in Cabbagetown."
"Teenagers are dangerous, man. Straight up. One time when I was 17, I fell asleep on [a friend's] couch, drunk, in my boxers. When he knocked on the window, I jumped out of the window, went to this house party already drunk, and somehow cut my foot on something. I was bleeding all over this person's house, in my boxers, dick hanging out every-fucking-where. At a house party. In the middle of the winter. In my underwear. I use to be a fucking maniac. Before the music, I got it out of my system."Editor's note: Article has been updated. Yelawolf lived near Cumberland Mall when he was 13.
I'm pretty sure he was 19.
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