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[FEATURE] MY FAVOURITE MIXTAPE – YO GOTTI

  • In a new web-series, Viper reached out to some of the most popular artists around to name their favourite mixtape, and what it means to them both as artists and individuals. For our inaugural feature we asked the Grand Hustler, Yo Gotti, about the significance of his favourite tape on his life and career….

    My favourite mixtape ever would have to be my very own Cocaine Muzik, the first one. That joint is legendary!

    It was the start of my brand; without that mixtape I don’t know if I or any of my people would be here today. That was a tape where the music was powerful, the branding was powerful and the messages were powerful. Back then, everybody was doing ‘Gangsta Grillz’ with DJ Drama and I hadn’t yet had one and Drama was my homie.

    So when I went to his studio, it was like a factory to me, and I respected his hustle so much as a hustler myself, I couldn’t see a hustle like that and not get involved. I was just trying to figure out how I could not be on the waiting list for a ‘Gangsta Grillz’ joint, but then I decided to make my own brand that was as hot as ‘Gangsta Grillz’ and that’s how we created the Cocaine Muzik series. The first one was the start, and it worked.

    At the time I felt record labels didn’t really understand me or who I was to the game, so putting out a studio album at the time was on pause, and mixtapes were the only way of putting out music for free and using it as a promotional platform. That’s all we needed.

    At the time I felt record labels didn’t really understand me or who I was to the game, so putting out a studio album at the time was on pause, and mixtapes were the only way of putting out music for free and using it as a promotional platform. That’s all we needed.

    The first Cocaine Muzik mixtape was one of those things where, when you heard it back, you knew that shit was going to touch people, and the whole marketing behind it was genius. I had a CD cover but we put the physical CDs in sandwich bags; we had a white CD, put it in a sandwich bag, tied the knot, like we did in the hood to sell whatever we were selling, straight from the factory.

    Our first batch of CDs was 50,000 and then we had to go into grocery stores and buy 100 or 200 bags for 99 cents. We had bags by the cases and went from hood to hood to give out the first Cocaine Muzik mixtape, and we were fucking niggas up just off that!

    We were going to every trap, city to city, with street teams that my boys and I hired in every city. We didn’t need them to hand out the CDs for us, we just needed to know where to go, so we would come to their city, pay whatever they wanted and we would ask them where the hoods were at. They would give us a list of hoods and ride with us, but we wanted to go to the real traps, where they were swinging at.

    But some of these niggas were scared to go to the hood in their own cities, and would ask us if we were sure we wanted to go, “the mall is over here” etc. But we were like “nah, we want to go where the street niggas are at”. We would pull up to the traps, introduce ourselves and our product, and niggas were like “damn”. I think they respected the fact that we came up to their block like that and from the way we would hand them the CD in the sandwich bag, niggas had to give it a try and listen to it. Some of them said that exact thing.

    I liked the cover, it was a playoff of money, with my face in the middle. We had a couple trucks and cars covered with the artwork, but to me it was more about the marketing. The sandwich bags plan was the ultimate masterpiece to me.

    My favourite song on the joint is probably the intro, ‘Talk To ‘Em’. I love all of my intros, off every tape. I think I created a wave of intros with all of my tapes starting with the first Cocaine Muzik, where the intro had to be super powerful.

    Cocaine Muzik I, in three words –  is legendary, authentic and classical.

    Words by Yo Gotti.

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