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CD Review: Yo Gotti – Back 2 Da Basics

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I’ll get to Back 2 Da Basics, Yo Gotti’s current album, but I wanted to touch on DJ Drama and Yo Gotti’s “I Told U So," a “The Real King of Memphis Gangsta Grillz Extra.” Unfortunately I couldn’t find it on Amazon. Maybe it’s just so underground that I’m the only one who has it. But it does feature the turntable stylings of DJ “the fuck” Drama. I like that. Can I introduce myself as Berkeley “the fuck” Joe from now on? Why the fuck not, right?

I’ll admit, I have virtually no idea who these guys are, but DJ Drama says he makes sure everybody eats. Something about him being called “Mr. Thanksgiving.” Nice! I’m hungry. Any applesauce in the house?

Yo Gotti’s got this gravelly voice mixed with a smooth flow that the paradox of which has a little knack for drawing you in.

I’m not sure if DJ or Yo is the real "king of gangsta grillz" or if together they make up that entity. Also not sure if this is some kind of response to that Nelly grillz track? Have I uncovered some Memphis Lou war of words and or substance encrusted teeth? Mysteries abound, answers to which I am not privy.

Actually on further listening, seems like there’s a beef with Three-6 Mafia. Interesting thereby the whup that ho sounding like “whup that trick,” you know, from that movie, the one homey got nominated for best actor for, and triple-6 won the Oscar for? If you don’t know, holla at me and I’ll explain.

Continuing with album analysis, it’s all very dramatic. There’s quite a bit of pomp and circumstance about this album, which can be fun, and can also bog down the noggin with pressure about just what we’re getting into. To have DJ Drama and Yo Gotti put the grain to the salt, what you are about to listen to may be the single most important recording in the history of mankind, and by the way, nobody thought they could do it. PS: they are the real kings of the streets.

So there’s that, and that’s something to consider.

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the cover of Yo Gotti’s album Back 2 Da Basics, is that he has a giant gold platinum and diamond encrusted medallion saying “Yo Gotti” hanging from a large chain. This is in case people forget who he is, or in case someone is coming down the street looking for him and can’t find him, I presume.

I kid, I kid. I understand the cultural, er, well, industrial (not goth, as in the rap industry) trend towards giant bling: I’m not some country bumkin looking at the rap game like “Oh, those crazy kids with their iced-out laces.” No no, I know. No, really, I know.

Sigh. It’s a nice-sounding rap album – what can I say? That Southern sound. Codeine references. Baby and Wayne show up for a track. What is fishscale? Haven’t figured that out. The latest Ghostface album references this also. Is it a drug thing? Someone fill me in. Is a bird now a salmon? I thought the bird ATE the salmon. What the fuck up with that?

It takes about 800 years to get thru the intro. There really should and might soon be a law about long intros. I mean you don’t hear rock groups riffing for 15 minutes about “We’re the dopest, we the flyest,” with the same breakbeat just dropping over and over and over again.

Li'l rant over. I like the first two tracks, the aforementioned Wayne and Baby guest shot: nice beat, flows nice – always liked Wayne’s flow, even though his pubes poppin have dropped the tenor a bit, and Baby’s always funny. "Full Time": nice single, it works. The hook sounds like Eminem but it just can’t be, they’d be advertising that shit to the gills, unless modern 2006 izms is to have the most famous people on your album and tell no one so as to appear underground.

Don’t get me wrong. Yo Gotti’s got something going here. The production is tight. His raps are funky, his oatmeal’s lumpy. I think I’m just jaded and old and it takes something beyond the realm to really knock me out of my psychosis-laced staring at the wall with spittle dripping down my chin; and even then half the time I don’t notice it.

If that ain’t a grain of salt then Betty Crocker can’t make a cake for shit. That’s about the best thing that can be said. You’d think that this was a wherewithal coded and confused endorsement of Yo Gotti and his musical wiles, but honestly, I heartily recommend it. I like it quite a bit. I wanna say it reminds me of Young Bleed, but I have no idea why, they’re quite different; maybe the nonstop rappin that sounds like he doesn’t care even though you know he does.

If there’s a horse’s head in my bed when I wake up with a blank expression and no breath emanating from my frame in the morning, tell Yo Gotti and DJ Drama good job and that Benjamin would be proud.

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  • Eric Olsen

    Joe, this is hilarious and all existential and shit at the same time – thanks!