Memphis has long been underrated as one of the epicenters of hip-hop. While most regard areas such as Atlanta as the defining scope for rap in the Southeast corner of the United States, Memphis has been making plenty of noise. Furthermore, the city is known for pioneering a subgenre of hip-hop known as "crunk." Rising from the gutter of Memphis, Moneybagg Yo went from frequently not affording electricity to one of the city's leading spokespersons. Recently announced a new album, Hard to Love, 2023 is a big year for Moneybagg Yo.
Moneybagg Yo started in 2012, releasing a slew of mixtapes. Like many upcoming rappers, he stayed consistent with the hopes that he'd be noticed by a bigger name. That big break would come when he signed to Yo Gotti's record label, Collective Music Group, in 2017. However, Moneybagg Yo saw moderate success before the deal with Federal Reloaded and ELO: Everybody Lives On. Artists such as Future later revealed that they had been long-time fans of his sound.
Yo Gotti Took Moneybagg Yo Under His Wing
After a decade of patient dedication, he's propelled himself from a 20-year-old scraping together mixtapes to a Billboard chart-topping rapper. Regarding signing the artist, Yo Gotti stated, "From one artist to another, I just think he's someone who's created a real buzz and a real demand for his music. With me being an artist myself, I know how hard it is. Any artist who starts from their own from the ground up, I respect it." With Yo Gotti being a multi-decade-long veteran of the game, he's been able to shortcut Moneybagg Yo to stardom since signing him.
It all started with 2 Federal, a collaborative mixtape between Moneybagg Yo and Yo Gotti. Featuring a signature Memphis sound, the project's booming 808s and street cred bars gave Moneybagg Yo industry-wide notoriety. The mixtape's success further enabled him to work with many A-listers in the hip-hop industry over the coming years. His delayed gratification in the industry adds to his comprehensive lyricism in many ways. From his best friend Elo being fatally shot to sacrificing time with his kids to focus on his music, he's also proven in a short time that he has an endless array of engaging stories to tell.
Moneybagg Yo Is Set for A Big 2023
After the release of 2 Federal, Moneybagg Yo would continue to grow as a solo artist. Projects such as Gangsta's Pain and A Gangsta's Pain: Reloaded featured the likes of Lil Durk and Lil Wayne, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts in 2021. "Wokesha" and "Time Today" quickly morphed into moshpit anthems throughout the trap scene. Even going as far as collaborating with Pharrell Williams in the studio, he's become one of hip-hop's loudest voices out of the South.
That voice is set to return in 2023. Moneybagg Yo also recently announced his new album, Hard to Love: Heartless Edition. The project is slated to release on May 26th. He's already released the lead single, "Motion God," which has surpassed 5 million streams on Spotify in weeks. In addition, Moneybagg Yo has already confirmed that he'll be releasing multiple new albums this calendar year. Well-known for his clockwork output of music, his associates describe him as an obsessive hard worker.
He Plans To Grow Beyond Music
However, his plans go far beyond the confines of music. When asked about his next move, he stated, "But when I say [on top of the game], I'm saying for everything, you're speaking on music. I'm saying clothes, movies, all-around brands, different stuff. This is the space I'm in. Building the celebrity up." It's clear that the likes of Diddy and Jay-Z have influenced the hip-hop space for good, with successful artists now consistently looking to dive into various ventures beyond music. In fact, Moneybagg Yo recently opened his own restaurant in Memphis. Reportedly featuring a $135 steak, he certainly knows how to generate headlines and bring attention to his business.
The 31-year-old's career is just getting off the ground. Sporting a Spotify monthly listener mark of over 10 million, he's also one of the biggest names in the trap game. Now looking to dive into the world of television, it's hard to doubt his initiative and tunnel vision mindset. Slated to release the new album Hard to Love: Heartless Edition and an additional project, 2023 could be Moneybagg Yo's biggest year.