Em and Yelawolf cover VIBE’S year end issue (out Dec 6th). Check out some of the excerpts below…
Em, 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?
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 shit. 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.
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?
Yeah, or Beige Sheep.
Cracker Nuts. Whatever, I think it’s kinda unspoken.
We deal with it enough as it is. So now, let’s make music.
Let’s make great records. At the end of the day, that’s all there is to do.
YELAWOLF ON WHITE RAPPERS SAYING ‘NIGGER/NIGGA’…
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
I personally happen to totally disagree with Yelawolf’s stance and it seems most people’s stance on white people in general using the word ‘nigga/nigger’ by the way. I disagree because it’s all about CONTEXT. If a white person is say, quoting a black rapper, should the white person not be allowed to utter the very word? that’s absolutely ridiculous.
50 Cent and Snoop Dogg were not enslaved, and neither was any black PERSON (period) alive today. African-Americans may be more closely related to those ancestors that did get enslaved for racist reasons, but they are not eternally connected through them just as all white people do not share the same historic merit or shame of all previous white people.
Also remember that all humans are related, as is all life. All that changes is the degree to which we’re related, and whilst it’s true that African-Americans are more-so direct descendants of those enslaved, all white people alive are also theoretically related to all those people too. Making a separation based on race or closeness of relation is actually biased, slightly racist (ironic) and irrational.
A black person of today has no more right to be offended or take ownership of that word than a white person should be apologetic for the history that ‘white ancestors’ happened to take part in. You see, by emphasizing our connection through race, we’re ironically, still being racist, by making it a noticeable and definable attribute. To be truly colour blind we have to disassociate ourselves from the colour of our skin. That isn’t to say we should ignore or hide the history. Acknowledge it, absolutely. But the black people that were enslaved are PEOPLE, totally different people than the black people of today. And the white people that enslaved those black people again, totally different people. The fact the enslavers were white and the slaves were black is not relevant now, in this day and age. It’s only relevant historically.
None of us should be victim to our chance attributes.
Beyond all of this, banning a word is childish and frankly, insane. Ignoring or trying to, censor or ban things rarely does anything but put a much more emphasized focus on that thing. Awkward CNN presenters continuously saying “the n-word” isn’t helping the issue, it’s in fact totally exaggerating it. If we all said it out in the open, we would take its power away, we musn’t magnify and ‘respect’ it. That ironically, still gives the word a racist edge, for racist’s to use.
And please remember, the word is only racist – in, context. I do not think it’s acceptable for a white person to use the word as a racist slur toward a black person, so do not confuse my stance here. What I am saying is, outside of that context (the only context in which the word is racist), it is not offensive. The word itself has a meaning and until you give it the negative context in which it appropriates its negative meaning, it’s simply a word. Society’s current stance on this issue is babyish, confused and absurd.
Anyway, look out for the issue on December 6th.