Eminem and Yelawolf "The Cover Story of Vibe

Though Eminem and Yelawolf grew up on different sides of the country, the adversity they've overcome is their common bond. It took some close friends to push Marshall onto the music of Alabama's backwoods b-boy, but after one listen it became clear to him Yelawolf was destined for Shady. Now aligned on the same team at Em’s revamped Shady 2.0, Yela's debut LP, Radioactive, rests in their hands.
For VIBE’s year-end issue, we sat Em and Yela down together in the Motor City for their first joint interview ever. Editor At Large, Erik Parker fired away to help us gain some insight on where their paths cross and split. In our exclusive interview, the posterboys of colorless hip-hop opened up about their views on race, past issues with substance abuse, similarities and differences.

**Issue Hits News Stands on Dec. 6th**

Eminem, 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?  
Eminem: 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.
Yelawolf: 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? 
EM: Yeah, or Beige Sheep. [Laughs]
YW: Cracker Nuts. Whatever, I think it’s kinda unspoken.
EM: We deal with it enough as it is. So now, let’s make music.
YW: Let’s make great records. At the end of the day, that’s all there is to do. 

When Yelawolf heard the presumptu- ous white female rapper V-Nasty was peppering her sarcastic raps with the N- word, he called it embarrassing, telling VladTV that an N-bomb-dropping white rapper might find themselves “slapped up, and it might be by a white boy.” While he admits to using the word as a child, he says the word term is off limits for any white person, rapper or otherwise. 
“[In Alabama] we have a dark his- tory concerning the relationship be- tween 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,” he says, noting that his Black friends used the word as a term of endearment for him as well.

You mentioned getting yourself right. Are you completely clean these days as far as alcohol and drugs?   
EM: Except for the heroin I shot up this morning. Except for that, I’m clean. [Laughs] 
While you’re clean, Yelawolf here smokes weed and—   
Yelawolf: No, I don’t. 
I hear that in your music a lot.  
YW: I started smoking weed at 11. By 12, I was smoking dust. Thirteen, acid, Freon, special k, mushrooms; 16 years old, I was selling X pills at school. Not even because I was a good dope boy, but because I was a scumbag. It was called chocolate chip, and it had heroin in it. I used to take that shit and go to class. I went so heavy into drugs that I had a bad trip one time that lasted for months.

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