Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and Alabama rapper Yelawolf certainly share some passions: hip-hop; tattoos; fast, aggressive music; and fashion — Yelawolf runs his own line, Country Fresh, through Barker’s Famous Stars and Straps brand. Until recently, the artists also shared an executive in Paul Rosenberg. (Yelawolf is signed to Rosenberg and Eminem’s Shady Records, and Barker was long repped by Rosenberg.) So sharing an EP shouldn’t come as a surprise.
On Nov. 13, the duo will release “Psycho White,” a collection ranging from reggae-rap to mosh-pit hip-hop to near-dubstep, all in just five songs. The project will arrive through Barker’s LaSalle Records/Killer Distribution. While the music often blasts with teeth-rattling intensity, it couldn’t have been a more casual affair. And Yelawolf and Barker intend to keep it that way.
While Barker has a punk-rock background, as a kid he played along to “Whodini, Beastie Boys, Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh albums, while also playing along to Master of Puppets,” he says. With enough Blink-born notoriety under his belt (the band has sold 13.6 million albums, according to Nielsen SoundScan), he began producing hip-hop tracks for artists like T.I. and Paul Wall.
Three years ago, Barker’s manager turned him onto Yelawolf’s “Trunk Muzik.” “He said, ‘Check this kid out. He looks like you but he’s a rapper,'” Barker recalls. “I thought he was fucking ridiculous.” A week later, the two met at Rob Drydek’s Fantasy Factory in Los Angeles. Talking shop, Yelawolf whistled an eerie melody that stuck in Barker’s head. He laid a snare beat underneath it that day, and the duo’s first track was in progress.
Read more: Justin Jacobs, Billboard