Yo Gotti Talks Growing Up in Memphis, Getting Into Rap & Making History
Since breaking into the rap game in the new millennium Yo Gotti has received some major co-signs from the biggest acts out. Drake, Rick Ross, Jeezy, T.I., the list could go on. However, there’s one co-sign he’s received that can’t be replaced, and that’s the respect of his city. In Complex TV‘s latest episode of “The Neighborhood,” the “King of Memphis” gives viewers an in-depth look at the city that raised him and what he’s doing to pay that back.
He first visits his grandma’s house in North Memphis. Her home is modest in size but it played a key role in shaping Gotti’s interest in music. “I actually wrote my first rap right here in this living room,” he says. “Me and my little sister used to run around here playing and putting on all my momma’s jewelry, like rope chains back in the the day. We called them dookie ropes. We would go around and put it on and act like a rapper way back then.”
Later on he takes us to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Memphis. The venue holds historical significance for Gotti, who became the first rap act to ever perform there. “Growing up there was a lot of concerts here, but there was never no hip-hop shows,” he says. “I wrote it down as one of my goals to perform here, ’cause I performed at every other venue and this was the last one that I hadn’t done.” Gotti was finally given the opportunity this past June to perform at the Orpheum. The concert was certainly one to remember as he rocked a sold out crowd with guest appearances from Jeezy, Nelly, Jadakiss and Travis Porter among others.
Watch the full episode above, where Yo Gotti visits Christyles, his favorite barbershop in town, as well as explains his business structure as an entrepreneur. He also stops by Ridgecrest Apartments, which is a spot that holds many memories from the past. For him and the cops. “If I get caught out here I get arrested on-site,” he states.
With features from J. Cole, Meek Mill, Jeezy, and more, Yo Gotti’s album I Am is out now on CMG/Epic Records.