DG Yola

EXCLUSIVE – “Ain’t Gon Let Up”: DG Yola Leaves Prison and “Breaks Da Knob” With New Mixtape and Outlook


(AllHipHop News Feature) The last time most fans heard anything about Atlanta rapper DG Yola was in August 2009, as he surrendered to serve time in prison for shooting his cousin in a family dispute gone too far.

Three years have passed since DG Yola, one of the South’s most promising rappers of the late 2000s, was first incarcerated over the incident, and the hours, days, weeks, and months spent locked away – three years in total – were well spent.

According to DG Yola, he used the time to write an enormous amount of material. Then, upon his recent transfer to Atlanta Transitional Center’s work release program, the rapper got crafty about how to work his first “real” job while breathing new life into his rap career.

“I wrote everyday, everyday for like 36 months, everyday, day in and day out. I came out with something like 2,500 songs,” DG Yola told AllHipHop.com in a recent, exclusive interview. “I touched down, I’m at the halfway house transitioning…still transitioning my life. From time to time – we at Raheem’s Seafood – I’ll just drop songs or whatever.

“You know, they let me work and make songs from time to time here in the shop on a laptop. It all plays itself out—while I’m in here cooking, I can still find time to make a song. That’s how I came up with the Mr. Broke Tha Knob situation.”

Mr. Broke Tha Knob (titled for how everyone in Atlanta is “turned up” these days) is DG Yola’s latest mixtape project, which he described as pure street, without the “outerspace swag” that some of his fellow Atlanta artists have been reaching for lately. But, he insisted he wasn’t referring specifically to Future (and his Pluto album), and said he’s glad all types of rappers can gain respect, especially independents.

“I’m doing everything – me and my manager – we’re doing everything out of our pocket. If a label did want to step in and back it up, I mean, that’ll help,” DG Yola said. He was coy about whether labels are actually scouting him now; however, the word on the street is that he is “in talks.”

Known for his Southern, street mentality on past records, DG Yola made his mark with the hit single “Ain’t Gon Let Up” – and those words may ring prolific, if he can avoid the revolving door that often finds former inmates right back where they started.

Said DG Yola, “I got shot in my mouth before, and I was rapping with wires on my mouth, with wires on my teeth. So it’s just that I’m a very determined person, you know what I’m saying? If I want it, I’ma get it, and at the end of the day, if that’s what it is, I’ma have it, you know? I don’t look at myself no different from nobody. It is what it is.”

His cousin has made a full recovery since the shooting, and has forgiven him, too: “You know, I talked to my cousin. I talked to him or whatever; we let everything go. As far as the family, everybody still the same – it’s just something that happened, something we got to dealt with, and something we got to live with. There ain’t no bad blood or nothing like that. In the heat of the moment, there’s no telling what you’ll do. And I ain’t just the person to go for certain things. So, at the end of the day, I feel like it was wrong. I ain’t have to shoot him but I shot him, and he forgave me for it, so it is what it is.”

As for whether his relatively light shooting sentence was a matter of luck because it involved his cousin, DG Yola remarked, “Cuz is lucky it was him, ‘cause somebody else probably wouldn’t have made it through that. I mean, cuz lucky, you know what I’m saying? He ain’t the first person, and he might not be the last, but I mean, I’m not here to speak on who or what I’d do. I mean, cuz just violated. I’m a person who you shouldn’t violate. I got my lines, I got my boundaries. It’s certain things about me that you don’t do, so at the end of the day, he lucky. But, if it was somebody else, I probably wouldn’t have gotten out of prison.”

Yet, DG Yola said he has worked on anger management and is constantly putting life in perspective. At the conclusion of the interview, he shouted out a list of over 25 friends, and most of them were dead or incarcerated.

“The past three years, it’s just really been like a downtime…time for me to get myself together as far as mentally, and evaluate myself, you know what I’m saying?” DG Yola said. “It really just showed who all is gonna be there for you when your back’s against the wall. The last three years have really been like an evaluation process. I got my mind right; I’m focused now, so I guess it was well needed.”

Download DG Yola’s Mr. Broke Da Knob Mixtape

Follow DG Yola on Twitter (@dgyola). Watch his “Neva Gon’ Stop” documentary below:

  • damn son went thru some stuff much success too ya 😉

  • Why did he do 3 yrs when he was sentenced to 1 yr and why did he get jail time if his cousin was trying to rob him?

  • JimJames29

    Will be checking for him, ain’t gon’ let up is a near classic song

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  • dominicancoke

    i dont know dude all i know bout him was that let up song that had no kind of buzz in ny and ny dictates rap music weather you like or not didnt this dude get shot in the face?

    • Raphop71

      Sorry, the South dictates it. NY just plays what the South has poppin. Yola’s song was mostly regional anyway.

      • thuglifefukdapolice

        the south dont dictate nothing nobody does the fans dictate

      • dominicancoke

        im not talking bout ny rap music i am talking bout the media in ny djs and who ever from elsewhere are nobody unless is ny or l.a think about it who you see hosting mtv shows? ny djs who has talk shows ny djs. wendy williams or dj envy or funk flex or charlamange the god ny is the capital of mass media howard stern ect

    • thuglifefukdapolice

      no i disagree lil boosie ti david banner bg hot boys camoflauge bone thugs n harmony nwa ice t game tupac all did it big without ny

      • dominicancoke

        nope they all did it with ny or at least l,a because these are the biggest media outlets in the country if boosie was just the biggest rapper in louisiana and some parts of the south that would not matter internationally or even nationally you are dumb 2pac became famous through ny hip hop and also hes from new york..ice t became famous through ny hip hop documentaries about break dancing. game was sign to g unit and really famous in ny bone thugs were famous due to l.a ruthless records nwa are from l.a another mass media

    • thuglifefukdapolice

      ny dictates rap music thats going to be played in ny but the rest of the world ny is small like pac said even if ny dont support me i got all the other 49 states on lock ny is dead its been dead once the west coast came out it was over biggie came out took pac style and set him up pac got out drop bombs on ny and ny was down again after big died ny was coming back but the south came in the old cash money the old no limit by had ruff ryders jay had def jam but they all messed it up inow maino n nas the only hot ones out i feel bad 4 ny

      • dominicancoke

        im not talking bout ny rappers you got me twisted im talking bout ny radio and media dictate the whole country.weather is funk flex or pete rosenberg or howard stern wendy williams look at all the vjs in rap shows on mtv and ect is all ny djs ny dictates hip hop plus in ny they mostly play southern rap anyways but if you aint popping in ny you aint make it go ask jeezy wayne or who ever l.a media its also giangantic people make it how i mean make it big how? ny hollywood or miami

      • thuglifefukdapolice

        it was like that back in the 80s but master p open the doors in the south he learned from the bay area look at e40 he gets no play in nyc but he sellin records n been out since 93 oh yea tupac got famous ini cali digital underground= oakland cai bay area look at spice 1 legend sold platnuim records double plsats spice 1 albums all sold i never heard dude music in ny spice 1 welcome to the ghetto the south mid west west coast we go independdant we dont need majors

      • dominicancoke

        Love spice 1 yeah im not talking bout selling records im talking bout mass appeal not just the radio spice 1 and e40 aint jay z.or lil wayne famous u have to break out in the big cities thats how snoop and pac did it no one cares about marine city where.pac hails from or snoops long beach untill ny or l.a broke them on the.scene

      • thuglifefukdapolice

        bruh wane was big off the hot boys they did it big without ny master p did it big without ny slim thug pastor troy outkast did it big without ny goodie mob trick daddy lil boosie lil webbie camoflauge soulja slim alot of artist u hear from other places dropped albums made alot of music but when yall hear of them they alreadyold to the orld look at the rapper teck 9 he been out since 02 ny never knew but now he freestylin at the bet awards

      • thuglifefukdapolice

        lil boosie lil webbie 4 example yall only heard wipe me down n girl give me that boosie beenn rappin since he was 15 dropping albums why u think when he wason trial the whole ny was like i hope he stey in jail n the rest of the world was like free boosie yall never heard lil boosie songs lllike bottom to the top/ project baby/ mind of a maniac/ back in the days/ devils/chill out/i wonder if god love me/ i remember/i represent/ feel me ny dont kno bout that u dont need ny pac wasnt sellin in ny but pac was killin all the other states

  • In Atlanta, “Ain’t Gone Let Up” was that sh!t! Looking forward to what he will do next artistically.

    • thuglifefukdapolice

      i like that song but aint too much talent came out atlanta beside bob outkast killer mike ludacris goodie mob r.i.p camoflauge from sav he was sick hit man sammy sam pastor troy thats it no other talent

  • Nemo hos

    He Kool I stay around the korner from Rahims…lol they b taxing and the food don’t b enough food

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  • Slaughtr

    Most of yall don’t know what the fck your talking about.This is an example of trash if you like shit like this you like garbage.I’m sick of niggaz getting locked up the same fcking story like it’s kool to be an ass target and points given because you been locked up caged like a vet dog.All this shyt about what the south runs corporate boys run you niggaz to keep up the ignorant shit we listen too with no substance so if that is what the south runs then you can keep it.NY invented this shyt so don’t go holdin your balls to long.Every region has contributed to hip hop in good and bad ways but some of us have smashed the integrity of creative creation.

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  • youngplaya

    .