He hails all of the way from “M” Town — Memphis, Tennessee, Ridge Crest to be exact. He is the mastermind behind the infamous single, “5 Star Chick,” which pays homage to the independent woman. He is also responsible for penning the hustler’s anthem, “Full Time,” “Gangsta Party” and “Vibe,” which features Pleasure P. He is Yo Gotti, if you haven’t figured that out yet.
Since a young age Yo Gotti has always had a passion for music, but growing up in a household of hustlers, Gotti’s focus was strictly streets and hustling. While many people fall victim to the wicked ways of the streets, Gotti used his personal life experiences to help build his now thriving career. Today, you can find Gotti in the lab prepping for his a brand new album, entitled Live from the Kitchen, which boasts features from Miami’s own Rick Ross and the Louisianimal Lil Wayne.
Tennessee has birthed many legends — 8 Ball and MJG, Three 6 Mafia, Gangsta Boo, Project Pat and presently the King of Memphis, Yo Gotti. He is quickly gaining recognition across the board. Yo Gotti represents reality and his storytelling skills are exceptional. To put it in layman’s terms, “You’z a industry n**** and he’s a in the streets n****.” Up next, Cocaine Muzik 4 and 4 ½.
BallerStatus.com: Your new album is entitled Live from the Kitchen. What is behind the title and what is the official album release date?
Yo Gotti: Live from the Kitchen is basically where I’m preparing the plan. The kitchen is one of my favorite spots. We ain’t got the exact date right now, you know, we just got it in the oven on preheat. We ain’t gonna take it out too early or too late.
BallerStatus.com: Why did you choose “5 Star Chick” for the first single? How did you team up with Rick Ross for the video?
Yo Gotti: “5 Star Chick” was really supposed to be like a record we just put out like a pre single or a warm-up song and the sh** just took off. Rick Ross is my homeboy. I’ve been knowing him since he first dropped that “Everyday I’m Hustlin’.” We always reach out to each other if we are in Miami or if we’re in the same city. It was just a matter of calling him to see if he was in Atlanta and he was there, so I told him to come through the video.
(Watch the music video for the “5 Star Chick (Remix)” right here Icon – Video)
BallerStatus.com: What makes Gotti a “Grade A” guy?
Yo Gotti: Me, a “Grade A” guy? Uh, everything … the way I walk, talk, speak, hustle. Everything I do is top notch. I like fast cars, big houses and fast money, so I gotta have me a “5 Star Chick.”
Yo GottiBallerStatus.com: You grew up in a family of hustlers and at one point in time, you hustled as well. Was there a specific incident that prompted you take your rap career more seriously?
Yo Gotti: There wasn’t a specific incident, but it was an opportunity. Like you said, my whole family were hustlers — my momma, daddy. I mean, everybody has been to jail, so I already knew the consequences even when I was hustling. Once I had an opportunity and I seen that I could make just as much or more money doing this, it was time to swap it over.
BallerStatus.com: In your past albums you made mention of Big Jook and Lil Harold, who are they to you and how do they inspire your music? What is their current status?
Yo Gotti: Jook is my brother and Harold is my brother’s best friend, so he’s just like my brother too. They’re both a couple years older than me, so when I was younger they were running together and they both kind of raised me. Even when my brother went to jail, Harold was still like my big brother.
BallerStatus.com: So are they both out of jail?
Yo Gotti: Yeah they’re out right now and they’re here with me counting this money and cooling.
BallerStatus.com: Producers Cool & Dre appear on Live from the Kitchen. What was it like working with Cool & Dre? What songs are they responsible for on the album?
Yo Gotti: Well, when we got to laying out the album, we just wrote down all of the producers we wanted to work with and Bryan Leach went and set the whole thing up for me. Cool & Dre are real musical people. They did the beat and I laid the track and when I came back the next day, they had changed the whole beat and enhanced it. They take what they do very seriously, just like I take what I do serious, so it was a good experience. I have two records with them that I know are gonna make the album, one is called “Teenage Numbers” with Rick Ross and one is named “Jail Pictures.”
BallerStatus.com: Why rap? Is it for the love of money or fame? Who or what inspires your music?
Yo Gotti: I always liked making music even before I knew I could make money off of it. Once I started to make money off of it, as much money as I was making hustling, I started liking it even more. It’s like I got deeper and once I made enough money, to me it was like a competition almost, I just wanted to win. At this point I’m not doing it for the money no more, but I’m doing it for the success. It ain’t about the money, I don’t make moves for money no more.
BallerStatus.com: How do you manage to stay out of the negative spotlight? Some artists get caught up in porn tapes and DVD beefs, but yet you never seem to get mixed up in all of that why is that?
Yo Gotti: How do I manage to stay out of the negative spotlight? I don’t know, I guess I’m positive (laughs). I just stay away from bullsh** I guess. No, I don’t believe in all of that fake beef sh** man. I’m from North Memphis and it’s like in certain cities rappers can beef all of the time and it’s just like a hip-hop thang. Where I’m from, people rap about each other then they’re fighting and then shooting. If you’re beefing with a person, you are beefing for real where I’m from. Everywhere I go, I’m probably ten or 15 deep, but n****s know how to handle themselves. We go to other cities and we know what we’re there for, we’re there to take care of our business and get our paper and then it’s on to the next city. We ain’t just on no extra bullsh**.
Yo GottiBallerStatus.com: On some of your past mixtapes you mentioned Three 6 Mafia didn’t really acknowledge your efforts. What is your relationship with them like today?
Yo Gotti: I really don’t have a relationship with Three 6 Mafia and I never did. It’s just they’re from Memphis and I’m from Memphis, they don’t rock with me and I don’t rock with them. But, I wouldn’t consider it beef. I never ran around looking for them nor do they ride around looking for me so. I was coming up and they was doing they thang and I guess they feel like you know, you do you and I have done me and I’m here.
BallerStatus.com: Do you ever feel like you don’t get adequate credit for your talent?
Yo Gotti: Nah. I’m a person who don’t believe in excuses. Like my grind may take longer than the next n****’s grind, but that’s just how it is. Everybody’s sh** ain’t the same. I’m not a complainer. I feel like where I come from and what I was doing, I’m already in a better situation because I could be in jail for a long time like the rest of my partners, so I really don’t have to worry about n****s not giving me credit for music and sh**. To me, it’s self explanatory. If they pay me to come to your city and all of these cities, they ain’t paying me for no reason.
BallerStatus.com: But no hopes or dreams of opening up for BET or MTV awards or any venues like that?
Yo Gotti: Oh yeah, I want to go all of the way to the top, past the top. I want to be bigger than I have ever been. I most definitely don’t want to just stay at this level. I’m in this sh** to grow.