Eminem and Yelawolf grew up in very different areas of the U.S., but they clearly share one common bond -- being white in hip-hop and the adversity they've overcome because of it.
Signing Yela to his revamped Shady Records, Eminem is now taking the Alabama rapper to the next level. It seemed it is destiny.
For VIBE's year-end issue, the mag's editor Erik Parker sat with both Eminem and Yelawolf, in Detrit, for their first joint interview ever, in which the pair opened up about their views on race, past issues with substance abuse, similarities and differences.
Below are excerpts, via Vibe.com:
Em and Yela poking fun at their race
Eminem, what advice do you offer, if any, on being scrutinized for being a white rapper. Do you guys ever talk about race in that way?
Eminem: We make jokes about it, but I don't think we talk about it in depth. As I was listening to his music, I am not even thinking about any of that sh**. It's just the music. That's one of the things that's great about it. I'm not even thinking about it when I hear the music.
Yelawolf: We do poke fun of it, because it's funny. Like, he calls me White Dog.
Oh, you called him that on the BET Awards Cypher. I didn't realize it was an ongoing joke?
Eminem: Yeah, or Beige Sheep. [Laughs]
Yelawolf: Cracker Nuts. Whatever, I think it's kinda unspoken.
Eminem: We deal with it enough as it is. So now, let's make music.
Yelawolf: Let's make great records. At the end of the day, that's all there is to do.
Yelawolf's thoughts on White Rappers using the N-Word
When Yelawolf heard the presumptu-ous white female rapper V-Nasty was peppering her sarcastic raps with the "N" word, he called it embarrassing, telling VladTV that an N-bomb-dropping white rapper might find themselves "slapped up, and it might be by a white boy." While he admits to using the word as a child, he says the word term is off limits for any white person, rapper or otherwise.
"[In Alabama], we have a dark history concerning the relationship between black and white people. I'm not a role model by any means, but if I said it around the house, I got popped in the mouth," he says, noting that his black friends used the word as a term of endearment for him as well.
Eminem and Yelawolf talk about their past history with drugs
You mentioned getting yourself right. Are you completely clean these days as far as alcohol and drugs?
Eminem: Except for the heroin I shot up this morning. Except for that, I'm clean. [Laughs]
While you're clean, Yelawolf here smokes weed and--
Yelawolf: No, I don't.
I hear that in your music a lot.
Yelawolf: I started smoking weed at 11. By 12, I was smoking dust. Thirteen, acid, Freon, special k, mushrooms; 16 years old, I was selling X pills at school. Not even because I was a good dope boy, but because I was a scumbag. It was called chocolate chip, and it had heroin in it. I used to take that sh** and go to class. I went so heavy into drugs that I had a bad trip one time that lasted for months.
Eminem and Yela shares the Vibe cover with T.I. It hits newsstands December 6th.