Why Yo Gotti left a major label and reembraced the indie world.
Yo Gotti started 2020 on a high note, posting on Instagram on Feb. 4, “Drop My Album, Out My Deal, Own My MASTERS .... ALL IN DA 1st Month of da year.” After signing to Epic Records in 2013, the rapper released music on his own imprint, Collective Music Group — with backing from the label that helped push him into the mainstream. By 2017, Yo Gotti had scored his first two top 20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Down in the DM” and “Rake It Up,” both featuring Nicki Minaj. “A lot of things I’d never accomplished before, I accomplished with Epic,” he says. “I don’t think of [the contract ending] as a bad experience at all.” Still, the MC wanted more control.
In January, when he released Untrapped, his fourth album on Epic, he fulfilled his contract and obtained an interest in his Epic masters. (Epic declined to comment on the details of his contract.) His new album is the first co-released by Epic and Inevitable II — the umbrella company that Collective Music Group is part of — signaling a return to Yo Gotti’s roots. (He still has a relationship with Epic.) “People from the streets are some of the most business-savvy people you could meet,” the 38-year-old says. “Ain’t no school for the streets, ain’t no textbooks that teach you how to hustle. You learned that shit as you were going.”
There was a bit of confusion online about who owns your masters. After your Instagram post, a fan pointed out that Untrapped was co-released under the imprint Inevitable II.