The Come Up: Snootie Wild
Riding high after the release of I Am, Yo Gotti is looking to put his CMG roster on the map. Meet his North Memphis newcomer Snootie Wild.
Written By: Christopher Minaya
It is either win or lose, and Snootie Wild has involuntarily stacked up heaps of losses yet has unearthed a way to flip them into lessons and wins, resulting in his rise.
“I lost everything,” the 28-year-old MC says. “I’m still trying to go out of town and do talent shows or whatever, with nothing. Yeah of course, a nigga was like, ‘Fuck this shit.’ Right before a nigga broke down… a nigga get a phone call; a nigga want to pay me for a show.”
While that opportunistic phone call just sprung up last year, Snootie - whose legal name is LePreston Porter - hasn't always been lucky. There have been tougher instances where Snootie hit rock bottom and wanted to quit the rap game. When Snootie was 17, he was pursuing his dreams to become a professional basketball player. He suffered from a major setback when he was stabbed in the knee from being active in the street life, curtailing his newfound aspirations of going to the NBA. Recovering from nearly losing his leg, a few weeks later saw the passing of his father, who was the financial provider for his family. Snootie was forced to become a man quicker than some his age.
The death of his father, who was known in his ‘hood as a “street legend” nicknamed Big Snootie, took a toll on him. With the pressures of being the breadwinner, Snootie was influenced by Big Snootie's life of crime. He was arrested at 18, and then incarcerated for four years at 21. Two months after being released, he was locked up again for another incident. While he chose not to disclose his charges to XXL, the time in confinement was used to earn his GED, as well as build his one-time hobby of rapping into an outlet, skill and serious goal by writing fervidly.
At 25, Snootie was released, and he immediately went to work. He significantly raised his profile with the April 2013 release of “Yayo.” Following in the footsteps of his musical influences (2Pac, Project Pat, Lil Wayne, Yo Gotti and Jeezy), he prefered to not write down his lyrics. This approach sparked “Yayo” when he freestyled bits and pieces of the song on a CD, in a car, while he was unhappy and without one red cent.
Eventually, he went into the studio to tightened up the raw verses and the results have been in his favor. “Yayo” has been remixed by everyone from T.I. to Chinx and captured the ears of his favorite basketball player LeBron James and Yo Gotti. The hit single has even cracked Billboard's Hot Rap Songs at No. 19 as of April 2014.
“I was like, ‘Hey, who this?’" Yo Gotti says once he heard Snootie’s “Yayo” from DJ Larry Live. “I had been on the road for a bit, so once I came back home, I went to 2-6 clubs. They was playing the record in the club, and the club going crazy. I reached out to him, and I told him I wanted to put a verse on the song before we even signed him.”
Although the King of Memphis was excited to meet his newest signee, the young upstart was strictly focused on making ends meet. It didn’t matter who Gotti was or where he came from.
“When I first saw him, I wasn’t excited,” Snootie says. “I got much respect for him, and I do listen to him; I do follow his music. I can relate, but I’m not a child. I got real major issues in my life that numb to the fact of excitement of anybody or anything. So, if anything, it’s strictly grinding, trying to get myself out that hole, trying to take care of my kids.”
In December 2013, Snootie signed on the dotted line with Collective Music Group/Epic Records because of “really seeing who he was.” Since then, he’s been on the road with Gotti during his I Am Tour featuring Zed Zilla, Shy Glizzy and Ca$h Out. He’s currently prepping his debut mixtape, Go Mode, and will appear alongside his labelmates on the forthcoming compilation project, CMG Presents: Chapter 1.
Considering he has overcome so many adversities, Gotti’s made a strong investment in seeing Snootie Wild growing into another force in street rap. With foot-tapping records like “Yayo” and “Stackin’ It, Flippin’ It,” Snootie’s club bangers are just a small part of his journey to the top. At one point in his life, all he knew was yayo, but you can expect the “Wild” part of his stage name to really shine in his music.
“I jump in the crowd and do what I do because I’m delivering a message at the same time,” Snootie says. “I’m a walking testimony. I actually been to jail. I actually lost my dream getting my knee stabbed. I actually been through some shit where everybody else looking at it like entertainment or an act. This not an act to me.”