Royce da 5’9” And Yelawolf Exchange Some Harsh Words Online

The Slumerican mastermind, Yelawolf, is appalled by any expression of racism. He might have been misunderstood before, but he fights against it. “I am a worthy guest in this house”, he says.

In a conversation with Justin Hunte on The Company Man channel, Yelawolf opened up about his past beef with Royce 5’9, revealing valuable lessons learned and a deeper understanding of cultural sensitivity.

We all remember how tension between two artists from the Shady camp shook the scene. Shots were made, diss tracks released, and social media jabs exchanged. The real nature of the beef or the sequence of events that ignited it has never been revealed, leaving fans guessing. The most popular theory involved someone from Yela’s circle and certain language used behind closed doors.

Royce rapped on “Overachiever”:

Yelawolf, this is your first and your last pass
I ain’t gon’ put it on blast, your punk ass know what this about
You think it’s about being loud or trying to be hostile
Till you get found face down on the ground outside of Kid Rock house
Though you are a vulture pundit, I hope you get sober from this
Men like, women lie, so do numbers.

Things have calmed down since, but a bad aftertaste still lingers. So, Yela used this opportunity to talk about the lessons learned while never addressing this incident directly. He started by acknowledging his strong musical bond with Royce, highlighting past collaborations with DJ Premier and their shared experiences:

Royce is my brother. We’ve done incredible music together. I’ve been invited to do records with Royce, with DJ Premiere and I put Roy on records with Ritz. We’ve intertwined music for years, and what I learned from that situation was that it just wasn’t meant for me to carry the torch.

And then Yela addressed his past use of the Confederate flag, a symbol with a deeply racist history. He intended to reclaim the flag, but it came with unintended consequences. He admits his position as a white artist limited the impact and opened doors for misinterpretations:

I was raised around The Dukes of Hazzard and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Dixie flag was a part of my visual reality. I grew up around a mixed family, I’m from a mixed family, for real. If you say something even slightly racist, you get your jaw slapped. You could not do that around me or my family at all. I grew up, and I ended up in Atlanta, Georgia. We started a crew called The Dixie Mafia. There was this turn on the Dixie flag that we were trying to put into culture. Turning it on itself and owning it, so that it could be ours and it could not be held against us. But I became the guy in the crew. It could have been Grip, Plies and all things would have been fine, and I would have been behind. But I’m a white boy, bro. It doesn’t have the same desired effect as it does if Andre 3000 rocks a Dixie flag on his belt buckle. That has a different message. I understand this, 100 per cent. I took it upon myself, and it boxed me in this space. And it also opened up a lot of white boys who didn’t know shit about hip hop or shit about nothing, to be honest. They just saw that Dixie flag, and they thought, “Oh, I’m gonna be a rapper and do this country music shit”. They didn’t get that it was a protest. I got “red” tattooed on my neck ’cause they called me a redneck. I’m trying to create a juxtaposition here. What I realised and what I learned from that is that it’s not up to me. I had to deflate what I took on as a responsibility to help. Because there’s too much ignorance behind that shit, too much dumb shit, there’s too much hate. It’s just too much.

The Charleston church shooting was a turning point. Yelawolf describes reaching out to Killer Mike, expressing remorse and denouncing the flag:

When that motherfucker ran up in that church, killed those people… I called Killer Mike. I was crying. I was like, “Man, I’m so sorry, dude”. He’s like, “Man, you ain’t got to say I’m sorry”. I was like, “No, man, I am. This is fucked up”. I banished everything around me that had anything to do with that motherfucking flag. I was like, it’s a wrap. It’s over. These idiots, they don’t get it. They’re fucking everything. Everything’s fucked.

Yelawolf is moving forward with new symbols, creating the Slumerican flag, a personal symbol of inclusivity:

I made this Slumerican flag, which is a flag that I created off of pen and paper myself. My flag. And that’s for everyone. And that’s it. That’s where I ended it. I wrote this record called “To Whom It May Concern”. If you haven’t heard it, please listen to it. I think I hit every point possible on that.

This experience taught Yelawolf valuable lessons about cultural appropriation and the importance of understanding symbolism. He embraces his role as a guest in hip hop and respects the established rules, but he advocates for his place in the culture:

Culturally speaking, I understand my position. I am a worthy guest in this house. I deserve to be here. I will also say that the rules are the rules, and I get it. I just wasn’t the vessel to carry that on. It just wasn’t for me to do, and that’s it. I got love for my brothers, end of story. That’ll never change.

That’s a story of a life journey and growth. And being the artist he is, Yelawolf documents his evolution in his own songs. That’s why his most recent album, “War Story”, feels like a new page in a familiar, well-loved book.

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