In a year where an abundance of talent has emerged onto the scene, it’s a name that already holds weight that’s climbed to the top of the musical ladder. Securing the number one highest selling album in America is no small feat, Memphis’s own Moneybagg Yo has had the recipe for success to achieve such a landmark.
April saw the release of his fourth studio album A Gangsta’s Pain – A monster project that displayed Moneybagg’s ability to make hits for every mood possible. Clocking in at 22 tracks long, Bagg blends hard-hitting trap, pain-ridden acoustic interludes, and smooth rap to make his latest body of work well-deserved of its number one spot.
Success breeds hunger, and the Memphis native is ready to outpour his pain from the project, taking on his marathon 22-date tour A Gangsta’s Pain at the end of August.
We caught up with Moneybagg Yo to speak on his successful project, 2021’s summer anthem “Wockesha” and everything else music related!
You currently have the highest selling Hip-Hop album in the U.S. How does it feel to be on top of the charts after such a successful year?
“Man, it’s a good feeling! I’m still hustling, I feel like I can still get to the next level and put up bigger numbers then what I’ve already put out. I just see it as we’re getting warmed up!“
Let’s talk about A Gangsta’s Pain – What’s the idea behind the project and when was the right time to release it?
“It was just a stage of my life where I feel like I was going through some untold stories that the world didn’t know. I just wanted to make sure that I’ve been giving them the moments of my life – The vibes and the pain side and put them together. This project took over 10 months to process!“
We’ve seen high profile performances at the BET Awards and Jimmy Kimmel Live – How was that performing after the COVID restrictions?
“I’m humbled and grateful to be chosen. Everything felt normal because I was still performing during the pandemic. I really didn’t feel nothing when everything was opening up. I want to shout out to those that did and went through what they went through!“
A standout track on the album is “Wockesha” which has been received very well here in the U.K, what was the process of creating this track?
“I wanted to create a vibe where I was speaking on something cultural that everyone can relate to. When I dropped and it took over, it just made sense that it can be about something cultural or something that applies to yourself. Everybody got a “Wockesha”!”
You also created a masterpiece with the visuals which featured a cameo appearance from Lil’ Wayne. Was that your idea?
“I like to create and put everything into my visuals. Having Lil Wayne on the intro, man he’s part of the culture and he’s just a G.O.A.T. overall! He definitely deserved to be in there.“
Another standout from the album is “Certified Neptunes” which features Pharrell Williams – What was it like working with Pharrell?
“That was a great learning experience. I learned some things off of Pharrell. We built a good chemistry in the studio and we made history. We made it come together.“
Memphis has made a lot of talent including Juicy J, Blac Youngsta, Pooh Shiesty and yourself! What makes the state so successful?
“I think there’s just a lot of talent here! You know we set the record straight for a lot of things and we set trends. We’re important to Rap music. I used to look up to the likes of Juvenile, Boosie, Yo Gotti for my inspiration.“
Sticking with Memphis, you have a good relationship with NBA superstar Ja Morant. How is it to have him playing for the city?
“I’m glad that he’s part of the city! He’s a great basketball player and he’s my brother you know what I’m saying. We got a real personal relationship and it’s good that he’s apart of the Grizzlies. I don’t really watch sports like that, but he makes the game fun to watch!“
We’ve seen social media play a part in pushing music sales this year. Do you feel artists need to accommodate more to apps like Tik-Tok to do well?
“Yes, I feel like they should really do whatever works for them. Some are just organically talented and don’t need to. I don’t think they should just be highlighted on one outlet, but whatever helps them put it together they should definitely go for it.
Moneybagg Yo continues to stay consistent and September will see the U.S rapper take to Florida to kick start the A Gangsta’s Pain tour. We hope he brings the eagerly-anticipated tour to the U.K sooner rather than later!