DG Yola Talks Prison Sentence, Music From Halfway House

By Nadeska Alexis with reporting by FLX

Back in 2006, DG Yola was a force in Atlanta’s underground scene, known for his hit “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up,” but a series of personal and legal issues, like a one-year prison stint for assault threw him off course a bit. Now, he’s getting ready to release the new mixtape Live From The Halfway House and RapFix caught up with him in a halfway house, where he talked about the night that landed him in jail, and gave his take on the industry at present.

Yola, real name Mario Talley, began serving a one year sentence on August 7, 2009 for an aggravated assault charge stemming back to December, 2008. Yola’s cousin attempted to rob him, prompting the rapper to shoot the man in self-defense. “Me and cuz had got into a heated altercation out there in front of my momma house, I’ve been shot in my face, and we had them pistols out there and….I really felt like he was gon’ shoot me, so I shot him before he shot me,” Yola explained, of the series of events that landed him behind bars. “I hit him in the chest and the leg. But like I said, he wasn’t the first n—- I ——, and he might not be the last.”

Yola revealed that he’s been recording music in the halfway house, and that he might be just what the game’s been missing. “The industry’s different, it’s real watered down right now, there really ain’t no gutter music out there,” he said. “Big shout out to Boosie, cause Boosie was holding it down and I was holding it down.”