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Album Review: Yo Gotti – The Art Of Hustle

2 min read

There’s no denying that Yo Gotti is a prolific rapper. Over his 15-year career the Memphis-born artist has released 19 mix tapes as well as five albums. His latest, The Art Of Hustle is a high-octane record which, although pleasing enough, lacks the ambition of his earlier releases, providing instead a neat little collection of songs with average-sounding beats and fairly standard lyrics.

yo-gotti-the-art-of-hussleGotti’s lascivious ode to Instagram flirting, 2015’s viral release Down in the DM, is sure to please listeners, especially the remix featuring two glorious verses care of guest Nicki Minaj. Indeed, often the best moments on the album arrive in the form of guest artists. Lil Wayne makes an appearance on Bible over a ping-ponging backing track and a standard trap beat, transforming what would have otherwise been a pretty pedestrian song into one of the album’s standout tracks, and opener My City is a genuinely wrenching duet with Michelle K which laments the inherent violence on the streets of Memphis. The entire album feels very club-ready judging from the thumping bass underpinning tracks like Smile or Law.

Overall, the album seems to lack that last inch of charisma which would otherwise carry it to true heights. There are plenty of crisp trap beats and thudding basslines but often the music feels unambitious and, more to the point, slightly formulaic, and the occasional inspiring moments are undermined by repetition and lethargic rapping. Gotti admitted in a recent interview with podcaster Rap Radar that he is “making three, four, five songs a day…I’m not even dwelling into the music that long”, which is only too obvious on listening to the album.