by jon chattman
photos by evan kaucher
stylist: mickey freeman
assistant stylist: lisa Stapleton
This year has been slightly better for most of us than the horrible clusterfuck of 2020. For Moneybagg Yo, however, it has been more than that. It was a breakthrough. A revelation. A game changer. For Moneybagg, born DeMario DeWayne White, Jr., this was the year he crossed paths with other hip-hop luminaries to score the best-selling rap album of the year with ” A Gangsta’s Pain “. It’s been a year of performing at sold-out festivals, earning nods on MTV VMA and BET, and appearing on countless late-night talk shows. There was also that 28-acre plot of land that he gave as a birthday present to his girlfriend, but we’ll be focusing on his music and, obviously, his tattoo choices (more on that later). Success embodied for Moneybagg Yo throughout the year, but by no means does the artist intend to “stay comfortable”.
Weeks before the release of the deluxe edition of “A Gangsta’s Pain” – aptly subtitled “Reloaded” – and in the middle of a tour alongside Fredo Bang, Big30, Big Homiie G, Blacc Zacc and Tripstar, Moneybagg discussed releasing music in this pandemic time, collaborating with other artists, and the ink that fills most of his body. “I can’t count how many [tattoos I have]The multi-platinum hip-hop artist said. âA lot of people think I don’t have space, but I’m doing my sides and my back. thing I do.
The last thing he will do in terms of tattooing is; his musical career has no expiration date. The first single of her six tracks “A Gangsta’s Pain: Reloaded” is a remix of her hit “Wockesha” with Lil Wayne and Ashanti â the latter of which has her classic “Foolish” flowing all over the place â and the song crushes her. , which does not surprise anyone. The original has garnered over 318 million streams worldwide to date, and well beyond that number by the time this article reaches your eyes. âWockeshaâ was one of three tracks that topped the charts consecutively, alongside âSaid Sumâ and âTime Todayâ.
The deluxe edition of the album will likely add to that tally. Besides the Ashanti and Lil Wayne tracks, there are collaborations with artists such as Lil Durk, Pooh Shiesty, Ja’niyah & Yung Bleu and DJ Khaled, the latter appropriately appearing on the track “Another One”. Moneybagg says he made the deluxe version of the album simply because fans asked for it. âI’m the biggest donor, so I gave it away,â he explains. âI even have a song on the deluxe called ‘Gave It!’ “
Working with other artists is nothing new for Moneybagg, who has collaborated with everyone from Future to Yo Gotti. The benefits of working with other talents are twofold. First and arguably foremost, Moneybagg says it allows him to continue to grow as an artist by being a kind of sponge. âI feel like no matter what level you get, you just can’t stay comfortable,â he says. “You have to stay, like, the student.”
The other advantage of working with other artists – and he sometimes admits that the timing is shifted and that just translates into two-way verse or music swapping – is that it allows him to “tap into them. fan base “.
While Moneybagg enjoys the collaborative process, he doesn’t try to emulate anyone’s careers, just live his own. âNo need for that,â he exclaims. âThis is given by God. [Whatâs] for me is for me. What is for someone else is for them.
While the pandemic has kept so many of us in and out of touch, things haven’t really changed much for Moneybagg when it comes to his musical process, so expect more over the course of the news. year. âI was really in the studio anyway, I’m still locked in,â he says, noting that the work is often therapeutic for him before and during these troubling times. “I’ve usually always been to the studio to find out what I’m going to do [next]. ”
As he travels the world and prepares another album, Moneybagg plans to spend the little free time he has on filling the rest of his body with tattoos. Getting a tattoo is something the artist has been doing since he was 16, and it’s not something he takes lightly. Each tattoo has been well thought out, and in the case of her first piece of art, a stroke of genius. Knowing that his mother wouldn’t be exactly thrilled with his decision, he had his mother’s name emblazoned on his neck. Her mother was still not happy, but it probably relieved the sting a bit.
âShe didn’t want me to get it, but I did,â he recalls. “When I showed it to her, she said to me: ‘I told you not to have itâ¦ ah, you made my name.'” From that moment he became ‘addicted’ to tattoos . He said it became a “weekend” thing where he went to the “hood” and got a new tattoo. And while he doesn’t regret any of his tattoos, he did get some done again. âYou know, I remember thinking, ‘It’s on my skin. This shit must look good, âhe laughs.
One tattoo that was changed was an old nickname. âMy nickname used to be Little Yo,â he says. âSo I touched up that. I had to take the ‘little one’ off. But while he had changed that, Moneybagg emphasizes that every tattoo matters. have, “he notes.” Tattoos are a way of expressing yourself, of telling about what you’ve been through and what you’ve overcome.
Each of Moneybagg’s tattoos carry weight. He just had his arm, chest, and legs done at the same time. âThree days in a row and I got a tattoo for my birthday,â he says. âMy left leg was for my four little girls, my right leg was for my four little boys. It was just unique for the eight to be split in half. I want to show them. They are in a place where I can.
And while he’s not sure yet how he’s going to fill the rest of his body, he’s putting different ideas together very seriously, like everything he does, musically and in life. “No matter what you want to believe in, you have to go hard.”