Memphis Star Moneybagg Yo Talks Independent Success & New Distribution Deal: Exclusive
After winning the hearts of Memphis with his unabated work ethic, Yo Gotti is now hoping that 25-year-old Moneybagg Yo can follow his blueprint to success. With a new distribution deal with Interscope Records and the tutelage of Yo Gotti in tow, Moneybagg is hungry to usurp the crown as hip-hop's top independent artist.
"From one artist to another one, I just think he's someone who created a real buzz and a real demand for his music," Gotti tells Billboard. "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. If I could give him advice, mentor him and help him get to where he's going faster, or just put him on game and give him information about this game that I've been in for nearly 20 years, that's what I like to do.
Despite being tangled in the trenches early on in his life, Moneybagg's ability to voice his harsh realities on paper is what makes him such an alluring act on the independent circuit. His transition from 2 Federal to his newly released project Federal 3X tracks the expansive progression of Moneybagg. Songs like "Vent" and "Trending" display a more polished artist in contrast to his previous efforts.
"I'm still talking that talk," says Moneybagg. "I'm giving fans exactly what they need to hear. It's just on a bigger scale now. Everything is just on a bigger level."
Prior to reaching out to Moneybagg, Interscope's evp, Joie Manda, explored the fascination behind one of Memphis' brightest gems. He ventured to various clubs to see what the hype was about and later found himself entranced by the "Pull Up" star's popularity.
"After spending time in Atlanta and hearing Moneybagg's music come from clubs, cars, in the stripclubs and then coming back and doing my research and seeing the numbers that his albums were doing with little or no promotion, the way his shows were selling and the tickets, we just came in and pitched on why we would be the company to distribute his next few projects," Manda says. "His trajectory is amazing. What he's done is phenomenal."
Even with Interscope Records backing Moneybagg, his desire to remain independent is a key factor for him. "I keep growing my fan base. My last project Heartless sold more mixtapes than some big artists on major label albums. So right now, I'm just focus on giving my fans more mixtapes."
Currently, Moneybagg is signed to N-Less Entertainment, an independent label in Memphis. As for the management front, his "big brother" Yo Gotti is at the helm, making sure every move he makes will be best one moving forward. "Gotti my mentor. He like a big brother that helps manage my career," says Moneybagg.
"He had my best interest from the beginning, like the conversation that I first had with him. Then, a lot of people were talking me not to do it. Like coming up, I was a little hard-headed, so I always wanted to do what I felt was right. I wanted to see why everybody was telling me not to do that. It was the total opposite. It turned out good."