For those of us who aren’t lifelong Yo Gotti fans (Gotti-ites, if you will) it may seem like the coke-soaked rapper is relatively new to the scene, rising from Memphis’ infamous Ridge Crest projects to the national hip-hop scene, complete with guest features on the Clipse’s Till the Casket Drops, in a matter of minutes, but in reality Gotti’s been grinding for the better part of a decade, releasing his first album in 2000 and preparing for the release of his fourth album Live From the Kitchen this year. To build anticipation for Live he’s … ...Read the full album review
Fans can also check out Yo Gotti's previous albums: Yo Gotti - I Am
DJBooth Album Review
For those of us who aren’t lifelong Yo Gotti fans (Gotti-ites, if you will) it may seem like the coke-soaked rapper is relatively new to the scene, rising from Memphis’ infamous Ridge Crest projects to the national hip-hop scene, complete with guest features on the Clipse’s Till the Casket Drops, in a matter of minutes, but in reality Gotti’s been grinding for the better part of a decade, releasing his first album in 2000 and preparing for the release of his fourth album Live From the Kitchen this year. To build anticipation for Live he’s dropped the next edition of his Cocaine Muzik mixtape series, pairing up with omniscient rap-entrepreneur and Best of the Booth Award winner DJ Drama for the release of Cocaine Muzik 4: Both Sides of the Story, a project that’s a mixtape in the traditional sense of the word, filled with banging, occasionally stolen beats and content explicit enough to give the FCC a heart attack.
Cocaine Muzik is one of those mixtapes that you’re going to have a very different reaction to depending on your personal preferences, though that doesn’t mean some tracks aren’t just flat out good or bad (not everything’s relative). For example, it’s hard to see anyone who’s not completely overcome by hate not digging the mixtape’s lead single Women Lie, Men Lie. (And yes, I’m aware that sentence was a triple negative.) Point is, thanks in no small part to Brad Young & Seneca, who flip Jay’s classic “women lie, men lie, numbers don’t” line into a perfectly balanced beat, there’s a reason why Women Lie, Men Lie has put Gotti firmly on the map, and I’m not just talking about the average Weezy verse. I don’t want to get too deep into the comparison game, but here Gotti sounds like a less-raspy version of Young Jeezy, dropping verses filled with street focused, chopped lines that bang as hard as the beat. I also couldn’t help but get my head to nodding on Touchdown, a symphonic, cinematic track that finds Gotti letting us inside his life, a life spent grinding to feed his family and friends: “momma gotta smile, brother still wild, I gotta get this money I just had another child.” Gotti inexplicably chooses to mix his sports metaphors – there’s no excuse for shouting “home run” on a track called Touchdown - but ultimately, for my money it’s still the best cut on Cocaine Muzik 4 (pun intended). And it doesn’t stop there: the monstrous Loco (cue the Jeezy comparisons again), the triumphant M-Town, hell, even the entertainingly obscene I Wanna F**k, they’re all the definition of real street rap.
As much as I try to not impose my personal preferences, there are tracks I have no problem saying just aren’t any good, starting with the aggravating Quit Calling My Phone. Not only is the topic annoyingly shallow (guess what it’s about?), the hook’s aggravating repetitive, and by the end the phone ring sample has become almost torturous. Gotti’s flow actually isn’t that bad, but no flow in the world can fix something this fundamentally broken. Still, at least Quit Calling isn’t nearly as ill-advised as Jerk, a quasi-remix of the New Boyz’ You’re a Jerk. Now if someone was to truly flip this beat into a coke rap anthem I’d be banging it as loud as anyone, but unfortunately that doesn’t happen here. Not even close. If there was a way to get back those three minutes of my life back I’d be eternally grateful. I’m not saying that these tracks have to be some Lupe-style meditations on social ills, I’m not expecting that from a mixtape called Cocaine Muzik, but I do want to feel like Gotti’s trying, and on tracks like How I Be and Road 2 Riches it feel like he’s on auto-pilot, taking verses he’d previously written, switching around a few lines and calling it a day. After the fifth time you’ve rhymed “ho” with “dough” in one song, I’m out.
So where does that leave us? In the end it’s simple. If you’re a Yo Gotti fan I’m sure you’re banging Cocaine Muzik 4 right now, and if you’re not, Gotti probably doesn’t give a f**k. For better or worse, he’s determined to make it in the rap game on his terms. What else did you expect from a man who named himself after one of the most brutal mobsters in American history?
Listen to More: Yo Gotti Written by Nathan S.
First DJ Booth Appearance:
"I Got Them" (2006)
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