Yelawolf, a white rapper from Alabama, shares his perspective on race, police violence, and the confederate flag in this radio interview with Hot 97:
The interview is about half an hour — most of the conversation about race and politics is in the first 10 minute of the video (although the interviewers bring it up again toward the end at about 23 mins.)
We’ve been talking a bit in rehearsals about Pinnacle’s relationship to the police and how growing up as a white person around black people influenced his views on race. In this interview, Yelawolf talks about his own experience growing up white in small town Alabama, but he seems uninterested in discussing the privileges his race has afforded him, like why rock radio is more likely to play him over other rappers, and doesn’t want to grapple with the racial dynamics that will come into play for his kids, who are half black.
Later in the video, around the 18 min mark, there’s also some discussion about the way Yelawolf has evolved as an artist — Pinnacle’s growth as an artist and his understanding of his “brand” and the way it’s shifting are interesting to think about in this context. For Yelawolf, it seems his race affords him some genre crossover that might be unavailable to artists of color. How might Pinnacle’s career trajectory as a white artist be different from the other POC artists trying to come up at the same time?