The first thing you notice when looking at Yo Gotti isn’t his pearly white teeth or his precisely trimmed hair; it’s his gargantuan jewelry. The Memphis, Tenn., native wears a three-dimensional globe—half a sphere with the words “Yo Gotti’s World” written on it—around his neck. This rapper, like many before him, obviously doesn’t shy away from attention. While his two singles, “Five Star Chick” featuring Gucci Mane, Trina, and Nicki Minaj, and the Lil Wayne-assisted “Women Lie, Men Lie,” speak for themselves, Gotti, whose motto is “I’m from the ‘hood, I’m not Hollywood,” is hoping that his major label debut, Live from the Kitchen, will garner the same attention from fans. With production from Jim Jonsin, Cool & Dre, Toomp, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, and guest appearances by T.I. and Rick Ross, record sales are sure to be in his favor.
Rap-Up.com sat down with the Southern rhymer to learn more about his world, his last words to Lil Wayne before he entered a cell, the biggest turn-off regarding the female persuasion, and his number one rule for fans.
1. First you were signed to TVT Records, now you’re with Polo Grounds Music/J Records. What was the original problem with TVT?
TVT was one of the worst situations because they went bankrupt. When they went bankrupt, I was presented with the opportunity to buy myself out of my contract. I couldn’t wait to do that. I was free after that.
2. Did you have any contact with Lil Wayne before he went to jail?
The last time I talked to him was when we shot the video for “Women Lie, Men Lie.” That was during the Super Bowl. For one, I told him I appreciate everything he did for me. He always looked out for me. As far as him going to prison, he can handle it. At the end of the day, he’s still a man. He comes from strong people, so he’s going to be good.
3. As a bachelor, is there anything that turns you off when it comes to women?
Fakeness. A person has to be them no matter what type of situation they’re in. If a person can’t be themselves, that isn’t worth doing.
4. Who is your favorite comedian?
5. Were you mad that “Women Lie, Men Lie” leaked?
Well, the reason I was mad that it leaked was because it wasn’t mixed or mastered. It leaked at the same time Jay-Z had said, [“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”], on one of the awards shows [2009 AMAs]. He actually said it [first] three or four years ago. But he said it again, and whoever had the leak figured let’s leak it now. It got so much response, and it took off so fast that we just had to catch up with it. We didn’t have time to care about if I was mad about it or not.
6. You’re not going to send music through Gmail anymore, right?
No! Probably the first 20 songs from my album got leaked.
7. Did you find that personal assistant you were looking for?
Not yet. We got over 500 emails in one day! I haven’t checked it after that because I was going through the first 500. [In a personal assistant], you’ve got to be able to go as hard as me. You’ve got to be able to keep up, but I prefer that you are able to go hard.
8. You’re a Tupac fan. What’s your favorite Tupac song?
Man, so many. I like “Dear Mama.” I like the one where DeVanté did the beat, [“No More Pain”].
9. You have a lot of fans, and some may approach you the wrong way. If you had a rule book for the way fans come at you, what would be the number one rule?
The most important rule is: We’re making street music, but [don’t] come to us on some street business, like trying to buy something from us. C’mon, man. You can’t think I’m in your city; I came away from my city. You in the streets, you should be smarter than that. You could be the police. Be for real!
10. What is the best thing you’ve received for free?
Yo Gotti’s fifth studio album Live from the Kitchen will be available April 27, featuring the singles “Five Star Chick” and “Women Lie, Men Lie.”