Hailing from the north side of Memphis, the gangsta rapper Yo Gotti first made a name for himself in the local hip-hop scene in the 1990s.
Recording a series of underground tapes with support from Memphis icons Kingpin Skinny Pimp and DJ Sound, Gotti was able to secure a deal with Select-O-Hits for his 2000 breakthrough LP, From da Dope Game 2 da Rap Game. Signing to TVT in 2003, he released Life and three years later, collaborated with Dirty South heavyweights Lil Wayne, Bun B, and Jazze Pha for Back 2 da Basics. Moving to major-label Epic, Gotti made regular appearances in the Top Ten of the album charts beginning with 2013's I Am, which featured an all-star cast of features and a pair of gold singles, "Act Right" and "I Know."
After performing around Memphis in the '90s, Gotti started building a catalog in the early 2000s. His first album, From da Dope Game 2 da Rap Game, came out on the Inevitable label in 2000; his subsequent Inevitable releases included 2001's Self Explanatory and 2002's Block Burnin', Vol. 1. After that, Gotti signed with TVT and recorded Life, which came out in 2003. TVT released "Dirty South Soldiers" (a duet with Atlanta crunk star Lil Jon) as Life's first single. After having his track "Full Time" featured in the film Hustle & Flow, he released Back 2 da Basics in 2006. A series of Cocaine Muzik mixtapes carried the rapper into 2012 when his first major-label release, Live from the Kitchen, landed on RCA.
Gotti then moved to Epic. The album I Am followed in 2013 and featured the singles "Act Right" with YG and Jeezy, and "King Shit" featuring T.I. In 2015, he returned with the single "Errrbody" and the mixtape Chapter One, both of them promotional tools for his fifth studio effort and 2016 release, The Art of the Hustle. 2 Federal, a collaborative mixtape with emerging Memphis rapper MoneyBagg Yo, was released around Halloween 2016. White Friday (CM9), Gotti's first commercially available mixtape, appeared at the end of the year. I Still Am, his third proper album through Epic (and sixth overall), was released in 2017, just after the Mike WiLL Made-It collaboration "Rake It Up" (featuring Nicki Minaj) went Top Ten pop and was certified platinum. The set entered the Top Ten on the Billboard 200, R&B/Hip-Hop, and Rap charts. After guesting on a handful of tracks in 2018, he returned with "Put a Date on It" featuring Lil Baby, which landed on his 2019 effort Trapped. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi