NBA All-Star Shaquille O’Neal has revealed his top five favorite rappers and said although newcomer Yelawolf did not make the list, he is still a strong contender.
Despite snubbing Yela, Shaq included a list of Grammy-winning stars like Eminem and Kanye West.
SI.com: Top five favorite rappers? O’Neal: Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Clipse, The Game. And off the bench is this cat from Alabama called Yelawolf. He’s f*cking nasty. (Rap Radar)
Following the co-sign, Yela shared his reaction and admitted to feeling surprised by the praise.
“Shaq, thank-you,” Yela said in an interview with Angela Yee. “That’s just too much. I think that’s the biggest [surprise], no pun intended.” (“The Morning After”)
Earlier this year, producer Jim Jonsin said Eminem praised the rapper’s talent.
“I’m really excited about Yelawolf, he just signed to Interscope and I actually played a video for Eminem of Yelawolf, ‘Pop The Trunk,’ and he really liked it,” Jonsin revealed in an interview. “It was really cool because I’ve been a fan of him for a long time, he’s like a little brother, I really have love for that dude. And seeing him come through, struggle and all, I played him the video — he watched the whole video and was really impressed and I told Yela about it and he was like, ‘Get the f*ck out of here!’ and I was like, ‘No, no, he watched the video and loved it.’ It’s cool that he signed to Interscope because Em’s on Interscope…I played him the video and played him [another] video after and he was like, ‘Wow, that’s the sh*t.’ He really liked it, he was honest with his opinion on it and I like that…he was like, ‘Yo, this dude’s serious.'” (Rap-Up TV)
D12’s Bizarre previously denied speculation that Yela was trying to copy Em’s style.
“Let me tell you something about Yelawolf,” Biz said in an interview. “He is not Eminem and he’s not trying to be like Eminem. He is a country dude from a hick town in Alabama and he is himself. His music is who he really is and he’s totally different than Eminem. He is real dope though, and the lane he got nobody else has that right now or ever.” (Baller Status)
Check out Jim Jonsin speaking on Eminem & Yelawolf down below: