They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but Yo Gotti’s latest release features the Memphis-based rapper surrounded by snazzy cars, diamond-encrusted hubcaps and a flurry of $100 bills — not exactly indicators that songs about the current political climate or uplifting one’s spiritual self will be found inside. And — surprise! — they’re not. There are, however, plenty of tunes about life in the thug lane: Paper chasing, pimping, bawdy stripper sex, crack dealing and police dodging all figure prominently.
Gotti’s claim to fame is that he allegedly went straight from drug pushing into the rap business. He describes his former career in vivid detail: I got 36 ounces blocked up pure yola/Make it times two once I hit it with the soda/Whip it up good in the beacon and the blender/Have it rock hard plus white as December. Granted, Biggie Smalls offered similar lessons years ago, but Gotti does possess a knack for the insider’s account. Lyrically, then, Life has something to say; it’s the played-out beats, the hoary “Dirty South” shout-outs and Gotti’s perfunctory delivery that hinder the album beyond repair.