Ed Sheeran is no stranger to the rap game, having collaborated with a variety of artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, Young Thug, Travis Scott, Skepta, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Cardi B, and Chance The Rapper. He's actually prone to spitting bars of his own from time to time, even stepping up to kick a freestyle on The Breakfast Club. As it happens, one of Ed's earliest hip-hop collaborations was among the most unlikely: a pre-Shady Records Yelawolf, riding high off the release of his breakout mixtape Trunk Muzik. 

Following the conclusion of his April Onslaught, we actually had the chance to catch up with Yela for an extensive interview, in which a variety of topics were discussed. Between breaking down projects like his new studio album Mud Mouth and reflecting on the interesting musical history of Future (formerly known as Meathead), he took a moment to reflect on his collaborative EP with Ed Sheeran, The Slumdon Bridge. 

Yelawolf

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Originally released in April of 2012, the four-track project has somehow managed to elude many fans, to the point where its existence can hardly be considered widespread knowledge. Boasting songs like "You Don't Know (For Fuck's Sake)" and "Faces," there's an interesting vibe found throughout Slumdon Bridge, and it's evident that Ed and Yela were able to quickly find creative common ground despite their stylistic differences.

"I did an EP with Ed Sheeran back in the day," he reflects, speaking on his ability to connect with his collaborators. "We just vibed one night, did the album in one night, and that was it. At the time no one knew who Ed Sheeran was -- including me. I had no clue who he was, and my manager was just like, yo, there's a new kid who signed and they really believe in this kid. He wants to meet you, he's trying to do a record."

Ed Sheeran

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"The label offered him to do a song with a rapper, his favorite rapper or whatever, and it was me at the time," he continues. "He was a big fan of Trunk Muzik. He loved that record, and he loved "Daddy's Lambo" and "I Just Wanna Party" and "Pop The Trunk." So he wanted to do a record with me. I think part of that at the time was to get some credibility in hip-hop because you know, there's a part of Ed that's a rapper. He's really part rapper, and back then he would do bars. He would sing a little bit and he would spit bars -- it was like atmosphere. He was like hippie hip-hop, you know, hippie-hop or whatever."

"He was a super nice kid, man," says Yela, speaking on his former collaborator's character. "I couldn't do anything but respect him. He's super talented. He wrote quickly and could sing really well and we just vibed and made it happen. I'll tell you, though, I didn't hear from him for six years pretty much after that day. [Laughs] It was like, Oh, shit. And then next thing I knew, it was like, fuc*ing three nights at Wembley Stadium. He's the man, though!"

For more from Yelawolf, be sure to check out our full interview with the Mud Mouth emcee right here. Are you still keeping Yela and Ed's Slumdon Bridge project on steady rotation after all these years?

LISTEN: Ed Sheeran & Yelawolf - "You Don't Know (for fucks sake)"