Yelawolf (A.K.A. Catfish Billy) was born in Gadsden, Alabama. He spent much of his childhood in various locations around the southern United States, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Atlanta, Georgia, and Antioch, Tennessee.
Atha is half white and Cherokee, and the name Yelawolf is a reference to his Native American roots.
Yelawolf is an avid skateboarder and made attempts at a professional skateboarding career but was forced to abandon due to injuries. Yelawolf began releasing mixtapes independently in 2007. He was briefly signed to Columbia Records in 2007 and left the label the same year.
In 2009, Yelawolf was featured on the Slim Thug album Boss Of All Bosses, and in the lead single Mixin’ Up The Medicine from Juelz Santana’s upcoming album Born to Lose, Built to Win. In 2010 he appeared in the track Down This Road from Bizarre’s third studio album Friday Night at St. Andrews, in Big Boi’s first solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty track “You Ain’t No DJ” which was produced by André 3000, and his most recent appareance is in Paul Wall’s fifth studio album Heart of a Champion track “Live It” which also features Jay Electronica and Raekwon, produced by Travis Barker. In 2010, Atha confirmed he has signed with Interscope Records, he announced that he is working in his debut studio album with the label, and has a desire to work with Eminem.
In 2011 Yelawolf revealed that he went to visit Eminem in Detroit, Michigan and has subsequently been signed to Shady Records.