Since announcing the CMG label partnership with Epic Records, Yo Gotti hasn’t stopped putting in work for his next album. The self-proclaimed King of Memphis, who steadily releases hood anthems like “Check,” chronicles his progress, as well as gives us a taste of his wild lifestyle on Instagram. XXL tapped into his account with over 500,000 followers, where Gotti explains his street motivation notes, his obsession with canary diamonds, and getting back into the studio with Scott Storch.—Eric Diep (@E_Diep)

Gettin It$ @seankingston @JustinLaboy12 #NYC #CmgEpic

Yo Gotti: Sean Kingston is my homeboy. We got a record together on the album too. We got a big record. It’s a smash. I was just out in L.A. with him. Probably two, two and half, three weeks ago. I have a studio out there. I threw a little house party out there. He see me and came through. I [am] most definitely rocking with Sean. We do a lot together.

We were turnt up on this actual day. We were at Epic. Turnt up on the floors of Epic, you know? We are most definitely cool. I rock with Sean. I’ve been into his music forever, but I’ve been rocking with him for a few weeks now. I’ve been chopping it up with him on the phone too. We get into things like jewelry. We are both into nice, quality stones. A lot of people are into jewelry, but they aren’t into the quality of stones. Watches and different cars.


Yo Gotti: That make sense. I don’t work. I don’t got no credit. I got money. If I want something, I cop it. You feel me? That’s how we living life. As far as the house thing, I feel if you work hard, you play hard. I got a few spots, and they all gonna be similar wherever you touchdown so if your girl with me and she go to the crib, it’s going down. ASAP.

These are street motivations. That was a couple of lines from Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” remix. It’s off of that. It’s all street motivation, too. I want a young dude in the hood to read that and feel like, ‘Yeah, that’s how I am gonna get my money. I’mma cash it out.’ I’m gonna get the biggest crib, I ain’t trying to settle for nothing less. I got some of them bagged up. I got plenty of them street quotes to motivate the streets.

D.C..... Was A Movie!!!!!!!! #IAM #CMG #SoldOut We Doin #'s -What U Doin??

Yo Gotti: I think that one of the things that it’s gonna come with this album and to the world is that I am the king of the streets. It’s bigger than Memphis. Memphis is my hometown and I am the king of Memphis. I’m gonna hold Memphis on my back, but things like Instagram and these pictures show people we king of the streets. Anywhere we go, whether it’s D.C., Baltimore or it’s Oakland. Or it’s L.A. Anywhere we go, it’s the same turnout. The same response. They coming out. The show selling out. People walking up close and personal. That’s how we moving.

This was a crazy show. D.C. A lot of people came out. It was the first time I reached out to Shy Glizzy. An artist from D.C. It was one of the things I remember being there that day. D.C. got them girls too. There’s always good memories with that.


Yo Gotti: I was in ATL at DOA. I came in there. I don’t even know what I blew that night. Pretty sure the bills got paid and whatever we were trying to do that month. We coming up to break bread. She got on her the Yo Gotti, CMG body paint. I like that. I probably went overbudget because of that. And that was just me in there taking a cool little pic with the glow in the dark Don P. We stay turnt up. We don’t turn down.


Yo Gotti: I’m actually in a mansion in L.A in this picture. This one here wasn’t mine, but I was actually out there and we were staying in this joint while we was out there. They got the pool looking over the city. I am reflecting on life because I come from nothing. I am coming from Ridge Crest apartments where people struggling. The average person isn’t even turning into the gates. I go to these places, and I take my little homies with me out the hood, and I let them see what life got to offer. There’s money out here to get. There’s things to experience. Everywhere I go that’s how I am livin’. Wherever I am at, I am going to be in the nicest cities we can be in. And we are going to work. We don’t owe it for nothing though. We are going to get there. I am just sitting there reflecting on where I come from. From the projects to just being on the top of the hills of L.A, looking over the city.

Just Went Picked Up My Old Jewelry Dis Shit 6-7yrs Old.... #WeDontDoTradeIns

Yo Gotti: That’s my old jewelry. I posted this picture and I say I picked up my old jewelry. That’s jewelry like six, seven years old. That’s the first Brighton watch I ever bought. That’s the first real yellow diamonds—no treated stones because it’s different—in the Yo Gotti chain.

About the average jeweler don’t have real yellow canary diamonds on hand. They got them in their store most likely they treated diamonds. A lot of rappers don’t even talk about that. You get what I am saying? You gotta give them the money first and then go get the diamond brought over to them. Then, they create your piece. Then I got that Memphis Tigers piece representing our college out there. I went up there with that picture to show them that I ain’t sold nothing. Everything that I ever bought I still got. Every car I ever bought. Every piece of jewelry I ever bought. You don't see me swapping for something else. I ain’t trading in. I ain’t selling to the car note. We aren’t doing none of that. We bought it. When we are through with it. We put it to the side. We cop something new.

Just Finish Playin L.A Reid & Da Team Most Of Da Album!!!! #CmgEpic #Classic #Nyc

Yo Gotti: I’m still working. Everyday I can, I am going in the studio. You never know what records you are going to come up with. Last minute. Fourth quarter or whatnot. Music is my hustle. I am going to do it day in and day out. I love music. When I was in the street, I hustle day in and day out. First one up and I was the last one out. I treat this music game, just like that. Everyday. I am going in. I ain’t chillin’ doing nothing to be doing nothing. The good thing with my deal with Epic is they believe in the type of music I am making. They let me do what I do and they going to put the force behind that. I think that’s been the whole part of what we been doing. CMG, getting it to the top. High as we can get it.

There is no middle with me [when I am creating music.] I have to be at a scenery where it’s at the top or it’s the bottom. I think to make my best music. Meaning like, when I go to Memphis, I just can’t go to Memphis. I gotta go to Ridge Crest when I go to Memphis. I got to go to the hood where shit happening right there. I am standing out. Police just pulled up. Niggas run. Shot just went off. It’s got to be that atmosphere or I got to be at the top of the hills in L.A. Feeling that I am ready to take over the world type shit. I got to be at one of those settings to motivate me from the bottom to the top.

In Da Studio Wit Scott Storch... #WeWorkin #AintSleepin #CMG

Yo Gotti: I got a spot in Miami. I am actually in Miami on that pic. I was in the studio and he was working in the same studio in another room. He heard I was in the room, so he came and hollered at me. I had him play me some joints and we went in from there. I done a track with Scott Storch a long time ago. When I shouldn’t even been doing all that. When the budget wasn’t big. And I was blowing it on a Scott Storch beat.

When I done my first record with him, I remember that like yesterday. He pulled up in like six cars, man. Every car you could name. From McLaren to Bentleys, anything you want to see, he pulled up in it. I was thinking like, ‘Damn, I got to get me some money like that.’ We had a good session. This time, we were in the studio chopping it up. You know it’s been a minute and we are going in on some new shit.

She Thuggin #FamilyOvaEverything!

Yo Gotti: Yeah, that’s my little girl Mariah. She’s got this chain that I got on. She like to play with my jewelry. She like diamonds and she like money. She like to play with jewelry and the money. So when I come home, she wants to know where the money at. Where that bag at? [Laughs.]

My daughter just knows I’m daddy before I'm a rapper. She hears the music on the radio. She got to because she hears everybody music on the radio. When it comes on, she be singing Nicki Minaj. Lil Wayne’s “No Worries.” Everything. When she seen the video on TV, that’s when it started coming to her.


Yo Gotti: Giuseppe. The snow boys. White with the gold buckle on them. You know what I am saying? I think I was on search for them joints. I got them on All-Star Weekend in Houston. Turnt up that weekend. I went all white everything. I had all the cars out there. Everything was white. That was perfect to match and find them. Jewelry already gold. Come in there and find the white Giuseppe with the gold buckle. Me and Future had a show that night. Pull in the phantom all white everything. Jump out white Giuseppe. Gold accessories. Let’s get it.

Aw Shit Look what i Found.. 9th Grade @ Da Senior Prom.. #VersaceVest I Been on Dat Boss Shit!

Yo Gotti: Oh, you come up with that joint? 9th grade at the senior prom. I got on a Versace vest with the big cellphone. I got on the maroon gators. Big block gators. I was in the 9th grade though, you feel me? I do this all for my haters, you hear me? All the way. Bossed up. Everybody around me, say they were on their way out of school, they probably follow me. Ain’t no telling.

I was turnt up in high school. Getting money. Swag, before the word swag came about, I think things like that come in your bloodline, just being a fly nigga. You are into certain things. You are into being neat. You are into being clean. Keeping your haircut and your shoes clean. I think that’s like a talent. You gotta be born with that. I know niggas with money. They can’t buy swag. You can’t go to the store and pick up that shit.

I got the vest at this store called Milano’s in Memphis. They were like coming up, all the big time dope boys shopped at Milano’s. That’s where you bought the Coogi sweaters from, the Versace, and the gators. If you were in a little hustle, you knew that you had to get your money up, if you weren’t doing shit, you would go to Milano’s. The other cats on my age level wasn’t even on that shit. They were wearing Polo and shit. I was trying to go to Milano’s.