Rapper Wiz Khalifa has shared his thoughts on fellow burgeoning rapper Yelawolf and, more specifically, why he has had a harder road to travel as a white emcee.
Asserting his decision to put Yela on his recent “Waken & Baken” tour despite backlash, Wiz said the Southern emcee would eventually become a rap star.
“Yela is just a talented dude. I wanted to have him on the tour because he’s so homegrown and grassroots. We got the same goals. I believe in him. I know some of the cities were rough but his heart is so huge that he made it work. Later on down the road when he’s a superstar, he can laugh about it. It’s just building character.” (VIBE)
Earlier this year, Yela said he felt it may take decades before white rappers would be considered equal to black rappers.
“Years and years of great white artists. It’s going to take more classics from white artists that make international impacts,” Yela said about clearing out discrimination. “I mean Rock n’ Roll is black music, but there were plenty talented white Rock n’ Roll that just kind of made that line disappear. It’s going to take decades. It won’t happen in my lifetime. The odds are just slim for a white artist in Hip-Hop. This is a black culture… it’s just something you have to respect and appreciate. Have to be thankful that you’re able to do it. Do what you do and love what you do. You have to be passionate about what you do and let it live.” (All Hip Hop)
Hip-Hop pioneer DJ Premier recently advocated his respect toward Yela.
“Yelawolf has a style all of his own,” Premier said in an interview. “He’s kind of spooky and weird and stuff from left field but he’s doing what he’s doing and coming with his own style. And when I asked him who inspired him, he said Ice Cube…I’m glad that Ice Cube was his influence. He didn’t name somebody I didn’t respect. He named Ice Cube. Ice Cube is one of the illest lyricists. He’s definitely in my top 10. Ice Cube is a problem. He’s a lyricist extraordinaire.” (Hip Hop Game)
Last month, Yela talked to SOHH and explained what his music delivers to fans.
“I’m just honest when it comes to what you hear from me. I grew up around rock stars. My mom was 15 when I was born. It’s something that’s a part of my life. Rebellion, growing up as a skateboarder. When I would do shows in ATL, people would wear helmets. I love the energy of rebel music.” (Buy My Record)
Check out Jim Jonsin speaking on Yelawolf below: