Jupiter to host rapper Yelawolf

Francie Johnson

He’s been rapping about the Crimson Tide for years, but Alabama native Yelawolf has never played an official concert in Tuscaloosa until now.

Michael Wayne Atha, better known by his stage name Yelawolf, will headline at the Jupiter this Friday.

Jeremiah Jones, owner and talent buyer at the Jupiter, said Yelawolf couldn’t have chosen a better time to play in Tuscaloosa.

“It’s the perfect time of year for him to perform,” Jones said. “People are already pumped for the gameday coming up, so combined with the energy of his live performance, it should be a pretty wild show.”

Born in Gadsden, Ala., Atha spent much of his childhood moving around. He independently released an album, an EP and a series of mix tapes before signing with Interscope Records in 2010 and Eminem’s record label, Shady Records, in 2011.

“It’s definitely special [to perform in Tuscaloosa], but I don’t let where I’m performing dictate my energy,” Atha said.

Atha has collaborated with artists from numerous genres, including ASAP Rocky, Big K.R.I.T., Blink-182’s Travis Barker, Kid Rock and Ed Sheeran, to name a few. His next album, “Love Story” should drop by the end of this year, and his newest mixtape, “Trunk Muzik Returns” will be released in March 2014.

Jones said although he doesn’t listen to much rap, he appreciates Atha’s talent and ingenuity.

“I have a lot of respect for what he does,” Jones said. “I can imagine that it took more courage than most artists in his genre, especially going against the social norms of the traditional Southern culture. It takes a lot of talent to be an artist of his caliber.”

Yelawolf will perform at the Jupiter on Friday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 on the day of show and they can be purchased at jupiterbar.com or at the venue after 6 p.m. daily. Doors open at 9 p.m.