Insight, integrity and influence. Yo Gotti has become one of hip-hop’s most respected street griots just by doing what he’s always done; speaking the truth on his records and being relentless with serving his product. This fall he commences a brand new business venture with the release of his CMG/Epic records debut I Am.

“I Am is an adlib I started using a few years ago,” the Memphis magnate began to explain. “It fits perfectly. I am real, I am a hustler, I am the streets, I am a business man, I am a father, I am a brother, I am success.”

In the 13 years since he’s started recording professionally, Gotti, has been one of hip-hop’s remarkable success stories. While some of his peers have basked in the mainstream spotlight with commercial success, the chiseled street King has become the people’s champ; amassing millions of fans and dollars, largely with his independently released magnum opuses such as the Cocaine Muzik series. With I Amhowever, Gotti says he’s finally found the perfect partner to distribute his music widely to the world.

“I feel good about the partnership with Epic,” Gotti says about his joint venture for his CMG imprint. “All the work I put in, has gotten me to this point where I can elevate my career and the other artists I signed. I had a few deals with major labels, it just took me a while to find the right partnership. The other deals I had, the companies weren’t on the same page with me so it wasn’t worth it.”

The I Am rollout commences with the thunderously thumping club anthem ‘Act Right,’ which features one of Gotti’s closest friends in the industry and multiple time collaborator Jeezy. West coast rapper, YG is along for the ride as well.

“This one is the perfect soundtrack for that nightlife,” Gotti says with a grin of the record. “I felt it was great to launch my album. ‘Act Right,’ can mean whatever you want it to mean really. When I recorded ‘Act Right’ I was just in that I ain’t turning down for nothin mood “trying to break a record like a DJ” I felt like I was at the club turnt up to the max in every element, swag, bottles, women….just everything. It’s a feel good party record!”

The high class revilement continues on “Going Down,” with Grammy Award winner T.I.

“You know, making songs with people like Jeezy and Tip, it’s just natural Gotti continues. They’ve been good friends of mine for quite some time and there’s always been mutual respect both professionally and personally. ‘Going Down,’ we just had fun with it, using different flows, riding on the beat. Tip is always going deliver, so you know I had to come with my best. It’s that party vibe, that will be an anthem for years to come.”

Other hip-hop royalty included on the project is Lil Wayne, who raps “Pray if I ever come out the sky, I’m lightning rod” on “Turnt Up On My Haters.’

But even with the high powered cameos, I Am’s most poignant moments come when Gotti is alone, reflecting on his life’s hardships. “He gives searing commentary on “Ghetto America,’ while “Pride To The Side” details his personal relationships with his girl that led to betrayal and one of his best friends getting addicted to drugs and stealing money.

“That’s a personal joint,” Gotti details. “If you follow my music, you’ll know what I like to do. My favorite music to me, where I’m best at is where I talk about what I’m going through, shit I seen. Records like ‘Pride to the Side,’ all them personal records are my favorites. It’s not tough to make em, because they are so real. It’s like you’re having conversations on the beat. It’s real life. Straight like that. People are going to accept it because it’s nothing I’m going through, they haven’t gone through or couldn’t relate to.”

Gotti was introduced to the Memphis underbelly almost from birth. Both of his parents were hustlers, so were several of his aunts and his older brother. He later followed in their footsteps.

“I remember our family, we had Benzes, six, seven cars, lived in nice areas. Then one day the police came in the house,” he remembers. “I was in second grade. They kicked in everybody’s doors at the same time, my grandma’s house, my aunties’ house, they shut the whole operation down. Like 25, 30 people’s houses. Next thing you know, we don’t have no cars, we don’t get new clothes or shoes, no food in the refrigerator. You notice the drastic change, but you don’t understand why.”

With most of his family in jail, and the remaining members struggling, the then youngster would find himself in the streets as a time to provide for his household. Slowly however, Gotti began to gravitate towards music, especially when he saw he could make music from it. In 2000, he released his first LP From The Dope Game To the Rap Game. Five years later, he got a production deal from Cash Money Records to bring new talent to the label. Meeting Cash Money’s Birdman, was a life altering experience, because it was then that it clicked that you can become wealthy from rap music. In 2012, Gotti released his first ever major label LP, Live From The Kitchen through Polo Grounds/RCA, , but soon decided to split ways with the company after his album was under shipped which resulted in an outrage from fans not being albe to find the album in common outlets. “I believe that if you’re not doing business in good faith that it’s best to move on”.

He chronicles his journey both with illegal and legal lifestyle on “Been Through It All.”

“I got hustling in my blood,” he added. “In any situation I can adapt. Although I’ve been making music for just about a decade and a half, I’m still young, but have that experience. It’s definitely exciting to give my loyal fans this great music and I’m also looking forward to showing my new following just how consistent I’m going to be.”

With some of the biggest singles (2010’s gold “Toot It & Boot It,” 2011’s “Up,” 2013’s “My Hitta” with Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan) and high-powered mixtapes (2011’s Just Re’d Up, 2012’s 400 Degreez, 2013’s Just Re’d Up 2) of the last few years, YG knows the impact he’s made on the streets is significant.
“I’m giving off that same energy that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were giving off to the world,” YG explains. “I really brought that back. I’m doing that and living that. That’s what you’re going to get on the album.”
YG is talking about My Krazy Life, his debut studio album, which is slated for a 2014 release. The hard-hitting collection features the Compton, California rapper breaking down the intricacies of Southern California living over the hard-hitting production of DJ Mustard, who has helmed several of YG’s biggest hits, as well as cuts for Tyga (“Rack City”), 2 Chainz (“I’m Different”) and Jeezy (“R.I.P.”), among others.
“It’s basically all my life on 10,” YG reveals of My Krazy Life. “It’s all Mustard on 10. Mustard feels it’s his best production so far and I feel like it’s my best songwriting so far. I’m giving everyone the young, black, West Coast culture. I’m giving you that in its rawest, purest form.”
My Krazy Life is buoyed by the Platinum “My Hitta,” a Top 20 single featuring Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan. The music video has garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube. YG says that “My Hitta” has resonated with people because of it represents brotherhood. “That’s a friendship record, so everybody feels that,” YG says. “Everybody’s got homies that they feel like they’re down for. All the females got their homegirls, their best friends, so that’s just a song the whole world can relate to.”
YG shows his depth as a songwriter on My Krazy Life’s “BPT.” An abbreviation for Bompton, YG’s nickname for his Compton hometown, the song depicts YG’s tumultuous life in the streets. “I’m basically giving you the lifestyle of a young brotha that was gangbanging,” he says. “I’m walking you through when I got jumped on. When you get put on, you got to fight. I’m taking you through different elements of the gangbang life. I’m talking about going to jail and they’re bringing in different cases on me while I’m in jail. I didn’t say anybody’s name. I didn’t snitch. I held it down.”
As much as he gives listeners a look behind the curtain of Los Angeles street life, My Krazy Life soars because of YG’s creative reach. He varies his subject matter throughout the collection, making sure not to cover the same topics and similar themes more than once.
YG shines a light on a variety of topics because the 22-year-old rapper has lived a remarkable life. He grew up in gang-infested Compton, California, but also lived in several other Southern California cities, spending time in Long Beach, Paramount, Bellflower and Inglewood.
Regardless of his location, YG repped his set and began committing crimes and going in and out of jail. Short for Young Gangsta, YG earned his nickname in the streets and simply kept it once he began rapping. He started Pushaz Ink, a collective of MCs, artists, filmmakers and producers who were throwing house parties, having picnics at neighborhood parks and handing out CDs.
“I really came up through the streets of LA,” YG says. “That’s why a lot of people out there respect me. Most of the people my age and even a little older, they’ve seen me and my movement happen.”
In 2010, YG exploded with the release of his The Real 4 Fingaz mixtape. The 25-cut collection featured the single “Toot It & Boot It” and guest appearances from Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hu$$le, among others. Thanks to the success of The Real 4 Fingaz and “Toot It & Boot It,” YG was named a member of XXL’s 2011 Freshman class and earned a spot on Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa’s “Mac and Devin Tour.” That time proved crucial in YG’s development as a person and an artist.
“I grew and my work ethic did, too,” YG reveals. “People were talking about that I was a one-hit wonder, but I had records prior to that, but the world didn’t know that. That’s when Mustard started making beats. We just locked ourselves in the room and went ham. That’s when we created that new sound recording the first Just Re’d Up.”
Just Re’d Up proved to be another successful endeavor, spawning the hit singles “I’m Good,” “Up” and “Bitches Aint Shit.” The 2011 mixtape was downloaded more than 275,000 times and its videos earned more than 10 million views on YouTube.
Signed to Def Jam, YG linked with labelmate Jeezy at the top of 2013. The two shared a mutual admiration for each other’s material and decided to join forced in order to help YG further penetrate the Southern and East Coast markets, and to shift the focus of YG’s debut album. Jeezy asked YG if his original I’m From Bompton concept was big enough for his vision.
“I’m From Bompton was an album title that was only talking to a certain crowd of people,” YG explains. “Young Jeezy was asking me in the studio, ‘Are you trying to have the world or just a certain crowd of people?’ I was like, ‘I want the world.’ He was like, ‘I’m From Bompton, you’re talking to a certain crowd.’ I took his advice, ran with it and came with My Krazy Life.”
Now, with a broader vision and the impending release of My Krazy Life, YG is looking forward to seeing the impact of his work.
“The time that I’ve put in and the work that I’ve put in, it’s leaving the West Coast and bleeding into all the other states,” YG says. “Everybody’s seeing it. I want people to say that YG brought the West Coast back, as far as what people used to know the West Coast for, like Dre and Snoop, some street stuff with the LA lifestyle. I am the face of that.”

21 year-old Fulton County, GA Native John "Ca$h Out" Gibson is living by a simple but weighty mantra; "bases loaded, get ready for something epic." Having just been signed by legendary mogul/producer/ television personality Antonio "LA" Reid and Epic records, Ca$h Out already has a couple of homeruns in his stat sheet with "I Got It" and the new anthem "Cashin' Out."

"DJ Spinz (acclaimed Atlanta producer and DJ) did the beat," Ca$h explains of the origins of his crowd motivating single. "I just started humming the melody to the hook immediately. A few minutes later, I concocted the words and decided to run with it since Ca$h Out is my name. And the vibe of the record is so universal because everybody is cashing out on something whether it is with luxuries such as jewelry, cars or cribs or a necessity like a light bill or student loan. This record makes you want to go and make that money."

"I was playing around in the studio," he says of his stage name's origin. "I wasn't into the rappin' like that back then. I always used to make it my hobby when it was nothing to do. When the trapping was going slow, I'd go to the studio. I was freestyling a verse and in one of the lines I said 'I'm cashing out.' One of my friends told me 'that's your name right there.'"

"Got a condo on my wrist girl, I'm cashing out," he sings on the song's hook. "Got a condo around my neck girl, I'm cashing out./ 36 Os so I'm ridin' round with that nina./
My diamonds talk for me they say 'hi can I meet ya?'" the infectious chorus calls out.

"Cashing Out" is a term the young MC came up with for spending money without discretion. The catchphrase earned him his stand out moniker.

Ca$h Out has been allured by money since he was barley out of elementary school. At 13 years old, Ca$h followed in the footsteps of his older brother and started hustling in the streets. By the time he was 16, Ca$h's mother was horrified to find out what her youngest child was doing and kicked him out of their family home. However, by then Ca$h Out had already been pulling in a substantial amount of money that he was able to pay for his own apartment. That home eventually turned into a drug haven where narcotics were sold. While the then teenager had a lucrative run, he would soon find out the harsh lesson all trap stars eventually find out. At 18 years old, Cash Out was arrested on a myriad of charges which saw him standing trail and facing a decade in jail if convicted.

"I had to provide for my daughter, which is really no excuse," Ca$h Out explains. "At the time I wasn't really in search for a job. I saw what was going on when I was in the streets. All my big homies in the street were getting money and that really caught my eye. It was really good at first until I caught my major charge. It really woke me up. I had a baby turning one and I was looking at going away for 10 years. My heart broke at the thought of not being in her life."

After spending over $280,000 in lawyer and court fees, Ca$h Out was given a second chance at life and luckily found innocent. He immediately changed his life around. The craft that he once dabbled in his downtime, became Ca$h's priority. For the past three years he's been honing his skills while releasing a string of regional hits. Earlier this year, he had his breakthrough with the club smash "I Got It."

"That was a song all the DJs were drawn to," Ca$h Out explains. "Basically on the record I'm letting them know where I'm coming from. Some artists may talk about a certain lifestyle but never lived it. They say things in their rhymes just because they sound good. With me, everything I put in my music is 100 percent authent

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