Few are surprised that the Internet’s latest sensation MC and skateboarder Yelawolf is drawing comparisons to rap legend Eminem. But after recently wowing crowds at this year’s South By Southwest, the Los Angeles Times joined numerous fans in declaring the Huntsville, Alabama, native “the best White rapper since Eminem.”
Unfortunately, Yelawolf, 27, doesn’t read the LA Times—or anything about himself, for that matter.
“I don’t go online. I would prefer not to hear people’s opinions, good or bad,” Yelawolf told VIBE. “It just helps me [stay] where I’m supposed to be as an artist.”
Yela—who worked as a deep sea fisherman in Seattle before his music took off—missed much of the hoopla over his South By Southwest sets, which included a Fader stage, and a Nahright stage. He also claimed to have miss the Eminem comparison.
“I haven’t heard that. Oh, that’s great, man!” he said. “I swear on everything on my life, that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that. But that’s awesome, man. Eminem is a fucking robot. He’s the greatest recording artist I’ve ever heard, period. When it comes to rapping words, it’s like he’s a robot. Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Mystikal, Twista, Pharoahe Monch…these guys got this robot-precision, and Em’s got that. He’s just phenomenal. So for anybody to say that, it’s just the highest compliment and I appreciate it.”
While Yela hasn’t met Em yet, he assures, “If I’m ever in the same room with him, I definitely would holla at him. I’m sure in the near future we’ll cross paths.”
Besides working on a follow-up to his mixtape, Trunk Muzik, Yelawolf is currently on a 20-date tour with Wiz Khalifa. —Linda Hobbs