Mario Talley, aka Da Great Yola, hails from the Allen Temple section of Atlanta, GA. Yola knows his city streets like no one else. He was born into an unstable Household, where his elder brother and younger sister were constantly uprooted, moving from one relative’s home to the other. While most children of his age were enjoying their carefree teenage years, Yola went from living with his aunt to his grandmother to his father to crashing on friends’ couches to sleeping on the floors of crack houses.
By his sophomore year in high school, Yola quit school and later that year partnered with a neighborhood friend to start their own label, All Out Records.
Together the duo released Yola’s independent debut album,”Rise and Shine,” and created a small following with the local favorite "All Out Rider.”
“I was doing talent searches around town-going here and there performing the song, passing out CDs in hoods, taking over the streets like a movement,” Yola remembers.”You can’t help but like it.
It was hard at first ’cause didn’t nobody know me.
When I started making my statement, I had them.”
Realizing that his partner was more of an employee of the label than an actual business partner, Yola parted ways with his former colleague.
DG Yola began with an independent label, Power Hitter Records, which was founded by his boss, Bureasa "Lady B" Rahim, after discovering he could rap at the age of fourteen.
The rapper captures the Southeast with one of the summer’s hottest down South singles,”Ain’t Gon Let Up,”.
After the senior vice president of A&R at Atlantic Records, Mike Caren, heard about the noise the youngster was stirring up in Atlanta, he signed the artist to the label in February 2006 and teamed up promotional duties with Atlanta star rapper T.I.'s Grand Hustle Entertainment.
Yola started his own major label in 2008 and released his major debut,”Gutta World.” He considered the album as a handbook for self-determination:
@“I didn’t need anybody’s record label ’cause I can sign myself and get my own record label,” says the 21-year-old Yola in 2018.”I never wanted to work under somebody, so I did it myself.”
DG Yola arrested for the murder of Atlanta man
Yola was arrested and charged with felony murder, aggravated assault and attempted robbery following the shooting death of a man and robbery of another in Atlanta on March 9th 2014. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta police allege the rapper shot and killed Rodney Walker at the Daron Village Apartments on Harwell Road in Atlanta. The victim was found dead in the back of the apartment building with multiple gunshot wounds. A second victim told police he was robbed and shot outside of the same building. Police are linking both shootings to Yola, who is currently locked up at Fulton County Jail.
He once served a one-year sentence between 2008 and 2009 after he shot a man.
Yola maintained that he was defending himself in the altercation.