Mainstream success has been a long time coming for Yo Gotti. Rapping since the tender age of 14, the longtime underground rap stalwart turned hit-making mainstream force certainly deserves all the accolades he's achieved along the way. After experiencing the volatile life of an independent artist, Gotti eventually aligned himself with a major label, before dropping his debut album, Live From the Kitchen, in 2012, and founding his Collective Music Group imprint a short time later. Gotti hasn't looked back since.

The rapper built a solid buzz in his native Memphis and across the South for years before receiving his first-ever platinum plaque with his 2015 single, "Down in the DM." And that wasn't the end of his platinum accolades. Gotti received his second platinum plaque for his Nicki Minaj-assisted strip club anthem, "Rake It Up" earlier this month. Twenty years or so into his rap career, Gotti finds himself on the upswing, collecting new accomplishments left and right. His most recent is appearing on his own solo cover of XXL Magazine.

During his Fall 2017 cover story, which was written by XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten, Gotti lays out his career highlights up to this point.

"My personal career highlights would be getting my first No. 1 record, 'Down in the DM' and getting the second one now with 'Rake It Up.'" he reveals. "What else? Getting my first platinum plaque, double-platinum plaque. Some of the things that mean something to me, they ain’t really financially-based. It’s the things I’ve seen the greater artists having that when I got them, that’s how I knew I was achieving being a successful rapper. When I got a plaque, when I got a No. 1, a cover of XXL, these are the types of things that let me know I’m aligning with the artists I looked up to."

Yo Gotti is just one of the hip-hop acts selected to appear on XXL's 20 special edition covers. Like the CMG boss, these rappers have been documented by XXL through the extent of their careers and have always shown love to the brand that helped raise their profiles along the away. Gotti's fellow cover stars are 50 Cent, the cover king with 15 total XXL covers and a career we’ve been documenting from the start; Diddy, the man who not only reinvented the remix but paved the way for rap moguls; Nicki Minaj, a queen in hip-hop building her own pinkprint in the game; Wiz Khalifa, the cool, calm and collected superstar; Cam’ron, Harlem’s swag connoisseur; Lil Uzi Vert; the face of hip-hop’s new generation; Migos, three rappers who helped redefine the culture; Snoop Dogg, the Doggfather of the game; Pusha T, a success story as a group member, solo artist and record executive; Future, a trendsetting trap god; T.I., rap’s gangsta and gentleman; Fabolous, a highly respected New York MC; Rae Sremmurd, the real crowd-pleasers; Birdman, a No. 1 stunna with a revered empire; Run The Jewels, partners in rhyme and reason; Gucci Mane, the true comeback kid; Tech N9ne; an independent icon; E-40; hip-hop’s in-the-know uncle; and The Lox, a trinity representing for the streets.

Check out Yo Gotti' full Fall 2017 cover story here, watch his interview video below and keep it locked to our exclusive 20th anniversary hub for more content coming in honor of XXL's 20th anniversary.

Travis Shinn for XXL

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