The Tennessee city of Memphis is having somewhat of a renaissance concerning hip-hop, and Moneybagg Yo is one of many rappers who have emerged out of the area in recent times. The South has become the new beating heart of hip-hop, with the focus primarily on Atlanta. However, Memphis has remained very much in the background until recently. Artists such as GloRilla, Pooh Shiesty and Moneybagg Yo are actively reinvigorating the city’s music scene, and Memphis is quickly becoming a revived and exciting city.
Moneybagg Yo was discovered and initially signed by Memphis record executive Yo Gotti in 2015; the emcee (real name Demario White) released several mixtapes before and after signing with Collective Music Group, including, From da Block 2 da Booth, October 20th, La Familia and Relentless. White is far from a lyricist but is famous for his smooth and melodic delivery of drill music which is beginning to make a comeback in the US.
Moneybagg Yo has had a lot of success and has collaborated with many people in the industry, from Future, Lil Durk, Jhené Aiko, and even Pharrell Williams. Many learned of Moneybagg Yo through Atlanta rapper Future, who once admitted he was a fan of the Memphis rapper. The artist, akin to Lil Wayne, released an unfathomable amount of mixtapes at the start of his career to lay down a sturdy foundation. However, in 2018 White released his debut album, Reset. The project peaked at number 13 on the Billboard 200. However, he would later have a number-one album with his fourth studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain which debuted at number one.
As his career began to take off, White would brush shoulders with other artists and even dated the Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion for a period of time. However, they did end up parting ways. When asked why by Ebro Darden on his podcast, Rap Life, the Memphis rapper stated, “I just look at it like two strong personalities just bumping heads a lot. It didn’t work but I always wish her the best. I’m really of her proud of her. The Megan y’all know and the Megan I know are two different things. Still love! No bad blood, we just didn’t see eye to eye.”
Growing up in Memphis one would imagine that all of Moneybagg Yo’s favourite rappers and influences would be from the South. However, that is not the case. In a 2021 conversation with DJ Khaled for Interview magazine, White was asked to list his influences and top five rappers right now. Speaking on who he listened to growing up, the act referenced artists such as Diddy, Biggie, Common, Boosie, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Future and even Yo Gotti. However, concerning speaking with regard to contemporary and current emcees, White listed himself, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Pooh Shiesty, and Polo G.
Moneybagg Yo’s favourite rappers:
- Biggie Smalls
- Boosie Badazz
- Lil Wayne
- Yo Gotti
- Lil Baby
- Lil Durk
- Pooh Shiesty
- Polo G