There are a lot of new acts coming out of south Memphis these days, but Moneybagg Yo has a talent too big for any one city to contain. While he's proud to rep his hometown, stylistically, he doesn’t limit himself to the crunk sound of many local Memphis rappers, and despite his southern drawl, he’s as likely to lace his rhymes over Chicago drill and Atlanta trap tracks as anything from Memphis.
As you’ll see when he joins our line-up of performers at the BET Awards 2021, he brings a bluesy, emotional depth to his tales of trauma and street knowledge. He began dropping mixtapes almost 10 years ago, releasing from “Da Block 2 Da Booth” in 2012, and last year, his album, Time Served, debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200. So when his most recent album, A Gangsta’s Pain, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, it was a success that’s been almost a decade in the making. Here are five facts about Moneybagg you might not know.
He listens to his fans
Whether you’re famous or not, you probably don’t want to read comments people post about you on social media, often just needless cruelty no one would dare say to your face. But Moneybagg Yo is a different type of person. He not only reads what people say about him on the internet, he actually listens and responds. For example, he told HipHopDX that when he was writing songs for Time Served, “I read a lot of my tweets and a lot of the comments that said they wanted the old Moneybagg and the old vibes that I used to give them," he said. "So, I kind of went back and studied my old projects. I closed my eyes and put myself in those elements and moods that I was in when I was making those projects. I just stuck with it.” So who knows? Tweet at Moneybagg and maybe you can shape the direction of his next album.
He’s got serious side hustles
He was born Demario White but you don’t get a nickname like Moneybagg for nothing. Sure, music is his first love, but he’s got ambition to burn and the energy to win. In addition to his rap career, Moneybagg Yo has begun branching out into acting, and has begun shooting a film called 24 Hours. He’s also working on a gaming app, and created a clothing line called Bread Gang Clothing that offers everything from hoodies and t-shirts to hats and face masks. He's also reportedly investing in real estate.
He’s collaborated with many of today’s best rappers
They say real recognizes real, and you can judge a man by the company he keeps. The list of talented names who have shared a mic with Moneybagg is long and keeps growing: Lil Durk and Polo G join him on “Free Promo,” from A Gangsta’s Pain. Elsewhere on the album, “Hard for the Next” features Future, “GO!" features fellow Memphis rapper BIG30, while Jhené Aiko gets Moneybagg in a romantic mood on “One of Dem Night.” And it doesn’t get much bigger than Pharrell, who appears on the fittingly-titled “Certified Neptunes.” And in the past Moneybagg has collaborated with Baton Rouge’s YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Grizzle, Young Dolph, OG Boo Dirty, Quavo, Young Thug, Gunna, and Blac Youngsta--among many others.
He’s a certified daddy, times 8
OK, you probably know that in 2019, he dated Megan Thee Stallion. And you’re probably aware he’s been dating Ari Fletcher (who previously dated –and has a son with — rapper, G Herbo). But we’re not here to delve into his love life. We’re here to talk about his daddy game: and it’s pretty epic. According to reports, he has eight children. We know we’re one day late, but happy father’s day, Moneybagg!
He’s got Yo Gotti in his corner
Yo Gotti signed Moneybagg Yo to his Collective Music Groupway back in 2016, through which the Memphis rapper his own Bread Gang imprint. They’ve collaborated on a handful of singles, and Moneybagg considers Yo Gotti to be both a friend and a mentor. And he puts his money where his mouth is: in May, Moneybagg even gifted Gotti with an iced-out Bread Gang chain for his birthday. Now that’s the way to say thank you!