Q&A + exclusive behind-the-scenes Yelawolf jam with Travis Barker, Bones Owens and DJ Klever

Back in September, Alabama-born hip-hop artist Yelawolf released Till It’s Gone off his upcoming album Love Story just to tease fans; make them sweat for new music a little more than they already were. And now, just to make the wait hurt more, he’s released an exclusive acoustic version that he recorded with Travis Barker, Bones Owens and DJ Klever during an impromptu jam session backstage at the House of Blues Hollywood.

But you don’t think we’d give it to you without a little pillow talk, do you? Check out the video below and read on to hear from Yelawolf himself about how the whole thing transpired, what we can expect from Love Story and what’s changed for him in the last three years since his last Shady Records release.

Q: Talk to us about this exclusive video, where is it, what led to this performance and why do you think fans will love it?
A: Travis Barker, Bones Owens, DJ Klever and myself just got together before our show at the house of Blues in Hollywood and jammed backstage. Someone shouted that we should record it so we set up some cameras and recorded the acoustic version of Till It’s Gone … Just four friends chillin’.

Q: Why did you wait three years to release a follow-up to your last album with Eminem’s Shady Records, Radioactive?
A: I don’t have a reason. Maybe it’s what I needed. All I know is I’m proud of the result. I have a vision and I have songs that I want people to hear, in the order I want them to be heard, and with the videos I want to be shot for them. I’ll be happy when it’s on the shelf the way I see it; hear it. This is my vision. It’s important to put this album out the right way. This isn’t a mixtape.

Q: How does Love Story reflect changes you’ve gone through both personally and as an artist over the last three years?
A: You can hear in my voice the growth. You can hear in my content the growth. The celebration and the hardships. This album is a part of my coming of age, as is all the work I’ve done. It’s a piece of my life, kinda like a time capsule. Hopefully though, this one lasts longer than the others. I think that it will.

Q: How is this album different from your last album and how is it consistent with what fans have heard from you in the past?
A: I’m consistent with change. I’m consistent to evolve—always have and always will. My only consistency is constant change. These cowboy boots and this custom hat feel timeless. I just want to feel and look like the music I want to make … be the art and let that all reflect my life. To be real. That’s all.

Q: How do your roots, where you’re from, affect your sound and give you a unique voice in hip-hop?
A: You just answered the question by asking it. My roots and where I’m from affect my sound and that alone makes me unique. That should make all of us unique, but [artists] are not all as honest as we’d like to think. Especially rappers. The older I get, the more honest I’ve become with the world.

Q: What was your first tattoo? When and why did you get it?
A: Eighteen, my arm, and why not? I had no plans of ever conforming to a 9 to 5. I never did. And here I am still getting covered at 35.

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