Yo Gotti built his reputation as a fierce street rapper pushing independently released albums and mixtapes on back blocks across Memphis. On his ongoing, six-volume Cocaine Music mixtape series, and with his gnarled, bulldog growl and syrupy Southern accent, he rapped about pushing more white than Noriega, taking no prisoners and trusting no one. But, like so many rappers nowadays, Gotti got bamboozled after signing with a major label. After more than two years of delays, his debut album, Live From the Kitchen, was finally released in January by RCA. And Gotti doesn’t conceal the fact that he’s pissed off about what went down. “Fuck the record labels, man, I’m in this shit to win this shit,” he raps on “Killa,” a trapper’s odyssey that poetically shifts from the kitchen to the murder scene to the courtroom to the booth. Gotti has many stories to tell, and there’s wisdom in each bar.
Wed., May 16, 7pm. With Gillie Da Kid + Zed Zilla. TLA, 334 South St. 215.922.1011. tlaphilly.com
PW's Music Issue 2014