Replay Rating: 4 out of 5
Yo Gotti is one of the sharpest businessmen in these hip-hop streets. As an eleventh grader, the Ridgecrest Projects (Memphis, Tenn.) native had his own apartment and three cars. He bought his way out of two record deals—one of which cost him nearly half a million dollars. Now, as president of CMG records, Gotti is set to roll out his fifth studio album, The Art of Hustle. But before that, the Cocaine Muzik god delivered his mixtape, C8: Any Hood in America—which may be his last Cocaine Muzik series—on Black Friday (Nov. 27). Here, Gotti drops jewels on the morals of hustling and stacking dead presidents like a boss.
Like most of Gotti's projects, his introductions scream out pain, struggle and lots of grind (occasionally inciting thug tears). CM8 is no different. The 10-track project commences with "White Friday." With Greedy Money's production crying out for attention, Gotti talks to his homies doing Fed time, and reminisces about the childhood conditions that moved him to grind so hard.
On the Big Sean-assisted, "Long Way," the Memphis and Detroit connection flows in and out of sixteens about their million dollar dreams—from freestyling in the school's cafeteria to inking multi-million dollar record deals. Now, you're probably wondering why Gotti didn't save the Big Sean feature for The Art of Hustle. Well, this seems to serve as a reminder of how confident Gotti is with his projects standing solo with no big name features, and he’s comfortable with the love he receives from the streets. Furthermore, the Southerner has already proven that he can go bar for bar with spitters. Just peep "Cold Blood" with J. Cole and the Meek Mill-assisted, "F**k You."
Other tracks where Gotti talks big money talk are the Youngstar-produced "Trap of Fame," "Off the Top of the Head," "Bag," "24hrs," and "Legendary." Based on Gotti’s latest mixtape The Return and his talk of what it means to be a legend, it seems that Gotti is at the point in his career where he’s more concerned with saving his fellow hustlers from streets by signing starving artists to CMG (street rapper Blac Youngsta is the lastest to sign with Gotti).
I mean, Gotti's been counting millions since the ‘90s, and beat the streets. So, what else does he have to prove? We’re looking forward to see how Gotti moves after The Art of Hustle hits the streets, and the game he drops on his CMG artists to keep them out the concrete jungle.
–Darryl Robertson, Music Writer