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Mario Mims (born May 19, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee), better known by his stage name Yo Gotti, is an American rapper signed to Cash Money Records. Formerly known as Lil Yo in the 90's, he released his first album, From Da Dope Game 2 Da Rap Game, in 2000. Since then he has released 2001's Self-Explanatory, 2003's Life, 2006's Back 2 Da Basics, 2008's Cocaine Muzik, 2009's CM2 (Cocaine Muzik 2 hosted by DJ Drama), and The Pyrex King: Street Runnaz Special Edition.
As one of the six epicenters of Southern hip hop, Memphis has always had a thriving underground capable of producing major platinum superstars such as Eightball & MJG, 3-6 Mafia and Project Pat,Skip a.k.a Gianni Booker. All of the above-mentioned artists at one point in time literally dominated the city’s underground rap scene before going on to become national superstars. Next up to bat is Yo Gotti, M-Town’s current underground rap kingpin. Like his namesake John Gotti, the Memphis based rapper has been running the Southern underground scene with an iron fist for the past. Known and respected throughout the South for his skill and finesse on the microphone, Yo Gotti is one the South’s most respected young rappers.
Born Mario Mims, Yo Gotti grew up in the infamous Ridge Crest Apartments in a North Memphis neighborhood called Frazier. His childhood was typical for a poor ghetto youth in the Deep South. Raised in a family of hustlers and exposed to hard times 24 hours a day the Tennessee rap titan soon turned to the only thing that he knew could get him paid, hustling. “Being from the hood things like hustling will come your way,” says Yo Gotti. “Everybody in my family hustled in some kinda way.” Ironically, hustling is what ultimately led Yo Gotti to rapping.
Taking his cue from Memphis rap legends such as Eightball & MJG, Al Kapone, Gangsta Black, Triple 6 Mafia and Kingpin Skinny Pimp, all of whom he lists as influences, Yo Gotti released his own underground tape entitled, Youngster on the Come Up and placed it on consignment at local mom & pop record stores as well as hustling it out the trunk. The tape sold like hotcakes on the street and made Yo Gotti the hottest rapper on the streets of Memphis. From the Dope Game to the Rap Game, Yo Go
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