Yelawolf revisits conflicts with Royce 5’9 and discusses his evolving views on the Confederate flag.

Yelawolf reflects on past conflict with Royce 5'9 and his perception of the Confederate flag

Yelawolf, the Sl-American poet, vehemently opposes all forms of racism and rejects any misunderstandings about his stance. “I am a respected guest in this house,” asserts the artist.

In a candid conversation with Justin Hunt on The Company, Man, Yela reflected on past disputes with Royce 5’9, emphasizing the lessons learned and his growing awareness of cultural sensitivity.

The clash between the two Shady camp artists created a stir, marked by diss tracks and social media exchanges. The exact cause of the conflict remains undisclosed, fueling speculation among fans. Popular theories suggest tensions arose from a minor altercation involving someone from Yela’s inner circle.

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.

Since then, tensions have cooled, but a lingering unease remains. Yela seized the moment to reflect on lessons learned, though he avoided delving directly into the incident itself. He started by acknowledging his deep musical bond with Royce, underscoring their collaborations with DJ Premier and the meaningful moments they’ve shared.

Royce is my bro. We created incredible music together. I was invited to record with Royce and DJ Premiere, and I connected Royce with Ritz. This is how we intertwined our music for years, and from this situation I realized that I simply was not meant to carry the torch.

Yela then addressed his use of the Confederate flag, a symbol fraught with racist connotations. His intention was to reclaim its original meaning as a Southern emblem, but this effort led to unintended repercussions. He acknowledges that as a white artist, his stance inadvertently caused misunderstandings and blurred the intended message.

I grew up surrounded by great guys like The Dukes of Hazzard and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Dixie flag was part of our visual identity. I grew up in a diverse family, I come from a diverse family, really. If I said anything even remotely racist, I would get an uppercut to the chin. You couldn’t do that at all surrounded by my family. I grew up and then I was brought to Atlanta, Georgia. We created a team called The Dixie Mafia. There was this twist with the Dixie flag that we tried to introduce into the culture. To turn it against itself and take possession of it so that it can be ours and cannot be opposed to us. But I became one of those guys on the team. It could have been Grip, Plies and everything would have been fine and everyone would have just left me alone. But I’m a white guy, bro. This will not have the same desired effect as if Andre 3000 hung a Dixie flag on his belt buckle. This is a different message. I understand this, 100 percent. I took it all upon myself, and it locked me in this space. And it also opened up a lot of white guys who honestly didn’t know a damn thing about hip-hop or anything. They just saw this Dixie flag and thought, “Oh, I’m going to be a rapper and make this country music.” They didn’t understand that it was a protest. I got “Red” tattooed on my neck because they called me Redneck. What I’m trying to do here is create a contrast. What I realized and learned from this is that it is not up to me. I had to give up what I had taken on as an obligation to help. Because there’s too much ignorance behind this shit, too much stupid shit, too much hate. This is all too much.

The Charleston church shooting was a turning point. Yelawolf talks about how he reached out to Killer Mike, expressing remorse and rejecting the flag.

When that bastard ran up to the church and killed those people… I called Killer Mike. I cried. I was like, “Man, I’m so sorry, man.” He was like, “Dude, you don’t have to apologize.” I said, “No, man, it’s me. This is n#$%^ts.” I banished everything around me that had anything to do with that damn flag. I thought: this is the end. Everything is over. These idiots, they don’t understand this. They send everything to hell. Everything is in the ass.

Yelawolf is trying to recreate a symbol that is very meaningful to him.

I made this Sl American flag, I created it myself with pen and paper in hand. My flag. And this is for everyone. That’s all. I’m done here. I wrote this record called “To Whom It May Concern.” If you haven’t heard it, please listen. I think I’ve covered every possible angle on this.

This experience taught Yela a lesson about the importance of symbolism. He accepts his role as a guest in hip-hop and respects the established rules, but asserts his place in the culture.

From a cultural perspective, I understand my role. I am a worthy guest in this house. I deserve to be here. I will also say that rules are rules and I understand that. I just wasn’t the vessel to convey it. It just wasn’t for me, that’s all. I love my bros, end of story. This will never change.

This is a tale of personal growth and artistic evolution. Through his music, Yelawolf chronicles his journey, making his latest album, War Story, feel like a fresh chapter in a beloved narrative.

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