Release Date: Feb 19, 2016
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Rap, Pop/Rock, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
Nobody expected that the man who taught the world the difference between the Internet and the real world would be Yo Gotti, but that's what he did with his social media anthem "Down in the DM," a deceptively simple, entirely infectious hit that finds its proper home here. The fine album The Art of Hustle also comes two decades after the Memphis MC made his debut -- on cassette -- but going from the street to 22-million views hasn't spoiled this raw, gutsy, veteran artist. Maybe his previous effort, 2013's I Am, flowed better and came with more of a sense of purpose, but this loose LP is still well above satisfying and features highlights that stand with the man's best.
“Down in the DM” had all the makings of a viral smash from a one-hit wonder: a catchy chorus, a topic that references technology that will likely lose relevance within a year or two, and a simple, danceable beat. But Yo Gotti has put in work before this, and he’ll continue to do so afterward. The Memphis rap stalwart boasts a 15-year career with 19 mixtapes and five retail albums.
Yo Gotti has been a Memphis rap star for so long that you can hear his voice deepening over the years even as his subject matter hasn't. If you listen to his first regional hit, 2000’s "After I Fuck Your Bitch," and then his recent viral breakout, last year’s "Down in the DM," you’ll hear the same guy rapping about pretty much the same thing in slightly different registers. But at the age of 36, and after two decades in hip-hop (he first released music under the name Lil Yo when he was 14), Gotti has finally firmed up his status as a major-label rap artist.
After two decades as a Memphis hip-hop mainstay, Yo Gotti's greatest charting success came this past fall with "Down in the DM. " And while it may act as the lead single of his latest LP, The Art of Hustle, it's not enough to carry the load for the entire project, nor is it wholly indicative of the album's sound. For the most part, the Hustle stays true to its title, dominated by tales of hard and fast living.
In the midst of today’s increasingly popular fake gangster facade, one rapper has consistently proven his authenticity: Memphis’ very own Yo Gotti. Ever since his independent debut, Youngsta’s on a Come Up, back in 1996, he has surfaced as one of hip-hop’s most cherished and genuine street rappers. Fast forward to 2016 and Gotti has a brand new project and perhaps the biggest hit of his career with The Art of Hustle.
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