When Yelawolf first met his new boss, Eminem
, the meeting couldn't have been more casual.
"He said, 'What's up? I'm Marshall,' "
Yelawolf recalled to MTV News on Thursday's (March 10) "RapFix Live."
The meeting obviously went well: Yela is the latest recruit to Em's Shady Records empire, along with Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce Da 5'9".)
Yela and Em talked in Detroit after producer Jim Jonsin and Eminem's manager urged the rapper to listen to the upstart's music. They shared similarities in their upbringing, and the partnership paid off immediately when the Grammy-winning superstar bestowed the young lyricist with advice, according to Yela.
"I'm a drinker; I drink a lot," he explained. "My management was concerned about some advice he could give me about slowing down so I don't get caught up in that life. He told me if it gets to the point where you need a drink before you go onstage, like you require that to function, is when you need to check yourself. And honestly, that's where I was at that point. And I've changed. I don't drink before I perform anymore."
The Alabama rapper will stick knock back a beer, but he's given up overdoing it before shows. Now, he says, he's enjoying himself more and his confidence has grown.
And that courage helped when he first played Eminem his debut album.
"I'm super excited about the music and fully confident that it's jamming," he said. "I was a little nervous, but after we broke the ice and really chopped it up, he seemed excited about it. So that makes me twice as excited now."