Yo Gotti has long been a staple of southern D-boy rap. His career stretched back years before TVT signed him to a distribution deal. Even after signing to TVT, Gotti remained a relative unknown until he dropped his second album on the label with 2006’s “Back 2 Da Basics.” The problem with Yo Gotti was one of timing. Nothing changed between “Back 2 Da Basics” and 2000’s “From Da Dope Game 2 Da Rap Game.” Yo Gotti remained the same, but the landscape of the rap game had changed drastically. In 2000, rap was still a little more lighthearted and party oriented. By 2006 the focus had shifted almost exclusively on dope boys turned rappers and that is Yo Gotti’s element. In fact, Yo Gotti has always reminded me of Young Jeezy, even if Gotti technically came first. He possesses a raspy voice that crawls over the music and focuses on gritty street tales. While dope boy rappers come a dime a dozen, there is something about Yo Gotti’s voice, slang, accent, and stories that makes him more appealing than other rappers doing the same thing. The proof is in the fact that even after TVT records folded, Yo Gotti remained as popular as ever on the mixtape circuit. Yo Gotti’s mixtape popularity rivals that of Gucci Mane, which if you know anything about mixtapes is pretty damn impressive. “Cocaine Music 2” is his latest mixtape/album/collection of tracks and comes to us via DJ Drama and The Orchard records.
If you aren’t familiar with Yo Gotti, you should be warned that this is not going to be a well balanced affair. As the name implies, this album is 13 tracks of dope boy tales with little remorse or variety. The beats don’t even get credited, though they are all original. The music does its job as it should on such a project as you get nothing but pounding bass and driving synths. There isn’t really any one beat I would call single material, but I wouldn’t call any of the tracks wack. The best of the bunch come on “Sold Out” and “Drum Play.” “Sold Out” has an energetic bounce and “Drum Play” slaps you in the face with deep bass and organs.
Gotti himself keeps things interesting on the mic. “Intro” sets the tone of the album with his lyrics:
“Gave you Cocaine 1, here go Cocaine 2
Whip it, whip it, whip it, aye what it do?
This that motherfucking cocaine
You know the shit have you up late catching trains
Homie don’t you confuse it
Lames don’t cop it, D-boys don’t abuse it
I’ve been on the road, doing shows
Getting money, popping malls, fucking niggas hoes
And I just tell it how it is
Half a ticket bought myself up out my record deal
I like that gangsta music, that’s how I live
Man, Yo Gotti say that shit that give a nigga chills
That Yo Gotti nigga must be real
He been giving us that street shit for so many years
And he ain’t never lied
I swear he kept that shit 100 each and every time”
The rest of “Cocaine Music 2” keeps up similar themes of dope and hustling. “Meeting Da Plug” finds Yo Gotti storytelling about meeting up a drug connect. “Sold Out” is as accessible as Gotti gets as he compares the dope game to other aspects of life in a loose fashion.
To the outsider or the person who absolutely abhors street music it will be difficult to find any appeal in Yo Gotti. What Yo Gotti says isn’t very new or different from most d-boy rappers. The way Yo Gotti says what he says is what makes him a superstar. Yo Gotti possesses the timing, delivery, charm, and charisma that all great rap stars have. His deep southern drawl and raspy voice add to his appeal. The intangibles that Gotti possess add up and make him such an engaging emcee despite his shortcomings. He’s one of the few rappers who can keep a narrow minded focus and still entertain. That said, “Cocaine Music 2” is not his best work. The beats on “Back 2 Da Basics” were much catchier and the subject matter was more diverse. “Cocaine Music 2” serves as a nice mixtape/album to help pass the time but lacks the depth and production to make it truly memorable. Still, Yo Gotti fans should peep it as they will find a few tracks to add to the permanent rotation.