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Time was on rapper Yelawolf's side for new album

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Yelawolf makes no apologies for taking four years between his last album, "Radioactive," and the new "Love Story."

For the Alabama rapper, who's part of Eminem's Shady Records stable, it's all about quality control.

"I just wanted to take all my earlier ideas and kinda polish them up," explains Yelawolf (real name Michael Atha), 35, who did release a pair of EPs -- "The Slumdon Bridge" with Ed Sheeran and "Psycho White" with blink-182's Travis Barker -- during the interim. "It took me five months just to get the first (single), literally. Everybody was talking a lot of (trash) about how long it's taking for 'Love Story' to come out; it's important the fans know the effort that went into making this album and all the time it took.

"It was frustrating and a...joy at the same time. But it's not something I'd ever throw out there just 'cause people are getting impatient."

The lead-up to "Love Story's" April 21 release was even marked by singles that began coming out as early as January of 2014 ("Box Chevy V"), ans everal others have been released -- including "Best Friend," which features production and a guest apeparance by Eminem (who also co-produced the "Love Story" track "American You"). Yelawolf recorded parts of "Love Story" at Eminem's studio in Ferndale and also contributed to last fall's "Shady XV" label compilation, and he says his working relationship with his "boss" is easygoing but productive.

"He's a really funny guy. It's always light-hearted and just fun when we're together, never too serious," Yelawolf notes. "He puts a lot of trust in me, which is cool. He lets me do what I want, and then after it's said and done we'll sit and critique it together. We'll keep the parts we like, take out the parts we don't like and build it together.

"It's like regular artist-producer (stuff), but luckily it works. If it didn't, we'd be in trouble."


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Tickets are $8.90-$35.

Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

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