Yelawolf has worked hard for the better part of this decade, and achieved success in the rap game by being authentic to his Southern upbringing. But now, the “Best Friend” rhymer is on the defensive and firing back at critics of his adoption and love of the Confederate flag. The Stars & Bars have always been a lightning rod for controversy, but it has brought up feelings in particular this year following the massacre at the Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, S.C., the shooter’s use of the flag, and the state of South Carolina flying the flag at full-mast, despite flying their state flag at half-mast.
This renewed fight against the flag got several previous supporters like Tom Petty, NASCAR, and even The Dukes of Hazzard to denounce it. Eventually, the state of South Carolina itself announced it would no longer fly at any official state grounds. But, this move has also had its critics, which now includes Yelawolf.
On Facebook, the rapper unleashed a huge rant on why he disagrees with the reputation the Confederate flag has garnered:
Ain’t no way I’m letting some ones ignorance tear me from my roots .. you f*cking f*ck boys can save it with this anti Dixie SH*T !! .. You media succubus in fashion and news are taking full advantage of yourself’s business .. Not knowing at all the damage you’re creating by giving a false impression of who we are in the South .. We’re GOOD PEOPLE !!! .. We love our small towns and we love our folks .. For me and me only I’ll tell you like this … Rip DIME BAG DARRELL !! and Long live PANTERA !! .. Long live Lynyrd Skynyrd !!… Long Live Dukes of Hazard . .And mother F*CKER … The DIXIE WILL NEVER DIE !!
Do you want Me to mention my black inspirations on the Dixie side .. like Big Gipp who I saw in a full Dixie Flag outfit at Madison Square Garden in 05 ? , or Andre 3000 rocking a Dixie Flag Belt buckle in ” Sorry ms Jackson ? ” , maybe little Jhon or Pastor Troy who rocked the Dixie Flag in a protest against ignorance ? … I saw the GROWTH and the POWER !! NOT THE DEMISE !!! And here we have these f*cking yuppies from the west coast and world wide jumping on this band wagon .. Who know NOTHING ABOUT US .. Other than the movies and misrepresented news reels they see .. Lied too at school and at home .. Further deepening the injury of social perception .. With this wack ass image of a burning Dixie Flag …. F*ck that !! … Well I can tell you that a #slumerican will never support you .. We’re beyond you all .. More open and way more prepared than you are
⚡⚡⚡⚡ DIXIE !!! #slumerican
The thing about Yelawolf is that he’s always been an open book. That’s gotten him pretty far with a lot of hip-hop fans. And the usage of the Confederate flag by rappers like Andre 3000, Ludacris, Lil Jon and The Eastside Boyz and several other Southern rappers certainly warrants discussion. But what’s less debatable is that the majority of folks, not just in the South, but nationwide, find the Confederate flag to be a symbol of hate and fear-mongering. It’s why the KKK waves it at their rallies, or George Zimmerman is selling paintings of the flag to raise money to pay his legal fees.
Yelawolf is absolutely right to feel the South is misconstrued. Small towns can be perfectly normal and harmonious, just like big metropolitan cities can be very ignorant and racist. But symbols, in particular ones like these, gain their meaning from experiences, not individuals. And the history of the Confederate flag includes a lot of experiences that don’t reflect well on the great people who live in the South today.