Release Date: Nov 19, 2013
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Rap, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
Like so many rappers who play it street level and live and die by the mixtape game, Memphis man Yo Gotti has maintained an uneasy relationship with the official album. His early work was indie to a fault, with long-players sounding patched together from mixtape numbers and other related whatnot, while his mainstream debut, 2012's Live from the Kitchen, suffered from its long birthing process, sounding patched together on the million-dollar level with too much input from the marketing department. Good news for fans who stuck it out this long is that I Am is the moment when the skies clear, as the album comes on strong with a hard-hitting set of openers, and then, the high quality is maintained with a set of easy-flowing supportive songs that broaden the LP spectrum, all without leaving Gotti's comfort zone.
The build up to Yo Gotti’s latest album has been well documented and consistent, with the Memphis rapper having been all over the Internet and Hip Hop blogosphere in the last few months. He’s released successful singles featuring Southern powerhouses like T.I. and Jeezy, recently doling out vlogs of his “I Am” tour via WorldStar, and doing a ton of mainstream radio interviews after having recently inked a new deal with Epic Records.
Memphis rapper Yo Gotti has a lane and, for the most part, he’s stuck to it. His brand of southern-fried street hop has remained relatively unchanged over the past decade, with the only exceptions coming when the 32-year-old rapper has tried—and usually failed—to fit in with the rap du jour. “LeBron James,” a song off his newest album, I Am, is another instance of this, as its Lex Luger-inspired beat and repetitive hook fail to differentiate it from the excess of carbon-copy trap anthems that currently clog the radio.