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MONEYBAGG YO
HAS THE
INFINITY CLIP

Words by: Aron A.
Photos by: Cam Kirk

It’s a bright Monday afternoon in Atlanta following All-Star Weekend, with clear, blue skies surrounding Moneybagg Yo, as seen through the driver’s seat window from a poorly-connected Zoom call. Non-locals are presumably waking up with little recollection of the night before or are well on their way out of Atlanta. Memphis is home, but Moneybagg Yo currently resides in the ATL. From a club appearance with a newly-released Bobby Shmurda, a studio session with Lil Durk, and a Roc Nation-style brunch with the CMG team -- while it may seem like pleasure, this is actually all business.

The sun reflects off the diamond-encrusted bridge of Moneybagg Yo’s Cartier frames from the driver’s seat of his Yukon Denali, although with his Beats headphones over his ears, it seems as if he’s broadcasting live from a chopper. His eyewear compliments the three baguette diamond chains dangling in front of a forest green camouflage Supreme sweater, which, incidentally match the Bape shoes. “Simple but gangster,” says Bagg, who infamously said that he only wears his outfit once. It’s a calculated choice in case he finds himself in front of a camera, a common occurrence in the life of most Black Hollywood celebrities.

Outside of an Atlanta studio, where he records his forthcoming album, Moneybagg Yo, born Demario DeWayne White Jr., sits in his sanctuary -- his car. “I feel like that’s where I can block everybody out at,” he says. “It’s just that I need my space. I need my creative space. People don’t understand it.” His first vehicles, a white Dodge Intrepid that he’d use for extra curricular activities and a burgundy Chevrolet Impala belonging to the mother of his son, both shared similarities to a mobile studio. “I used to just sit in her car all the time and just write raps outside of the apartment. Going through that experience, like sleeping on the floor and all that. Just going through the whole poverty situation, it helped me out,” he recalls of the burgundy Impala. As for the Intrepid, there isn’t much room to elaborate on what exactly he used that car for, but you could assume that it informed the content of his music. “I used to be on some shit I really can’t speak on in that car,” he adds with a chuckle. “I used to be on one in that car.”

These unspoken moments are the cornerstone of his career, and his appeal. He’s from a lineage of trappers-turned-moguls who, on their respective turfs, have become royalty, oftentimes acting as a beacon of hope in overlooked and disenfranchised communities. They offer the outside world a careful glimpse into a place that most would not dare step foot in without a proper escort.

The authenticity of veteran artists such as Yo Gotti, Jeezy, and Boosie Badazz mirrors that of Moneybagg Yo. His shit-talking abilities are A1; a tongue of a pimp. He’ll tug at your heartstrings, describing the death of a loved one as if you, the listener, were his relative. His hustle is unmatched.

The new album amalgamates these parts of his artistry, and strengthens it. The project is set to include 16 songs in total, split into auto-tune-driven R&B-fueled jams, clawing deeper into his vulnerability, and trunk-rattling muddy street anthems. “It’s my gangsta pain side. When I say that it’s a gangsta’s pain, I mean even with the ad-libs, it’s still a gangsta’s pain, like a story. It’s just eight songs of pain, eight songs of the gangsta sh*t that I’ve been giving y’all,” says Bagg. He’s explored this “pain side” on songs previously, including on “Match My Fly” and “Thug Cry.” However, Future’s assistance on his latest single, “Hard For The Next” allows him to tap into this aching feeling even further. “I told [Future], ‘We at the time, like, there's so much going on in the world and it’s like, stuff is going off of feeling. The world is really in their feelings. It’s so much going on, to the point where -- bro, we got to dig more into the melody side of this situation. And I want HNDRXX, you got to give me that,’” Bagg recounts telling Future.

“Even in the studio, when we was going through the songs and he was going through the gangsta music. It was all mixed up,” he explains, though “Hard For The Next” was routinely skipped over whenever it played. “He only had the chorus and it kept catching me. I finally just said somethin’, like, ‘Aye, bruh, go back to that one right there. You’re clearly dodging that one. Why is you dodgin’ it?’ He was like, ‘I aint tryna dodge it, bruh. You can get whatever you want. You can have whatever joints you want,’” he recalls with a chuckle, though he knew it was only Future that would be able to give it the exact feeling it needed. “I can’t sing better than Future. I need the GOAT to sing that part,” the rapper admitted.

“I’m finding myself within my craft,” he continued, while discussing the project. This melodic territory is not just a motif that Bagg will explore on his next album, it’s a new tool he’s added to his wheelhouse, one that's propelled his personal growth within his career. “I’m finding myself more and more. With diving into the melody side, I might do a whole album later on in my career, just full of that, because they’re taking a liking to it,” the artist divulged.

The “pain side” of the album, as Moneybagg Yo calls it, will be injected with this sense of melody. In addition to featuring hip-hop’s emotionally-driven Toxic King, Bagg enlists two young artists whose music shares a similar reality, mostly dwelling in the nihilistic streets: Lil Durk and Polo G. The three converge on a song titled, “Free Promo,” which Bagg confidently refers to as “crazy,” and confirms, “I tapped into the melody side on that one too.”

“Hard for the Next” marks Bagg’s fourth collaboration with Pluto, although it’s the first time he’s brought out the HNDRXX alter ego on wax. Future makes two appearances on RESET, including the gritty and sinister single “OKAY” which marked their inaugural collaboration; bringing Super Future and a budding Moneybagg Yo together for a braggadocious record over 808 Mafia’s vicious production. Then, the two paired up again on Time Served with “Federal Fed,” where Future and Moneybagg Yo regale us with their hedonistic ways. “I put that dick in her life, tell her some lies, then fuck up her head/ I want that Activist, they say they out of that purple, I’m sippin’ on red,” raps Moneybagg Yo. You’d be remiss not to acknowledge Future’s influence on that particular couplet, especially when it’s paired with his admission, “I did it by mistake, it wasn’t on purpose, end up fucking your wife” -- a line many perceived to be aimed towards Larsa Pippen.

Whether it’s “OKAY,” “Federal Fed,” or even “Chanel Junkie,” Moneybagg Yo describes the recording process with Future as a partnership, even if the Dungeon Family protegé is leading the direction. It’s the same approach to their latest single, “Hard For The Next” which opens up to a delicate vocal sample juxtaposed with a distorted guitar sliding into Future’s muffled prophecies. “I just bought a chick a Patek/ I ain’t love her, I just wanna show her status,” raps Future through a radio filter. It’s a bar that exemplifies Future’s own self-awareness of his narcissistic and self-indulgent tendencies, no matter the cost. Moneybagg Yo, on the other hand, makes up for the benevolence lacking on Future’s end. “That’s international Bagg. That’s a whole other level of Moneybagg Yo. I don’t even think they're even ready for that side,” he says of the record with enthusiasm.

And right now, is perhaps the first time in Moneybagg’s career where he can relate to the grandiose nature of his fellow collaborator, Future’s life. A lifestyle that continues to set new standards on luxurious spending and relationship goals for LLC-oriented millennials and Instagram influencers; one which Moneybagg Yo both endorses in his personal and professional life.

A few short weeks after targeting the less-affluent on “Said Sum,” Bagg set the Internet ablaze in July 2020 after gifting his girlfriend, Ariana Fletcher, a Lamborghini Urus that was filled with dozens of roses and balloons. For most, these lavish purchases are aspirational. For Bagg, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, as he readily admits in the new single: “They say I started something when I gave you that Lamb/ And other shit they can’t see ‘cause everything ain’t for the ‘Gram.”

“I don’t have no fear of falling off ‘cause I got an infinity clip.”

Moneybagg Yo’s slow-burning journey to success began in 2012, with the release of From Da Block 2 Da Booth and October 20th. Between 2015 and 2020, he released thirteen mixtapes, three studio albums, and an official compilation tape, but it was the Federal and Heartless series that plastered his voice across the South, and the underground circuits of North America. Though his alignment with Yo Gotti helped, he never took the traditional route in his come-up. A spot on the XXL Freshman cover never proved to be necessary to his career, nor has a conventional Billboard Hot 100-topping hit record.

2020 was a turning point in his career, but that couldn’t have happened without a full circle moment for his fans. The release of 43va Heartless marked the end of the Michael Myers era, but more importantly, Time Served closed out the Federal series. This mixtape series, titled after penitentiary sentences, was rightfully capped off with a project that clearly indicates a conclusion: Time Served. However, it can also act as Bagg acknowledging the near-decade it took to finally reap the fruits of his labor, signifying he’s paid his dues.

"Yup, yup, you're accurate with that, most definitely. I ain't going to lie. But at the same time, I still feel like I’m in my prime," Moneybagg responds to the idea. “They probably thought I was running out, but I was really holding back the whole time. I already knew. This joint was premeditated. I already knew this was gonna happen. I just had to try ‘em ‘’cause I’m in this position. You can’t say something -- once you are in that light, it's on you. Everybody got a chance. When you fall off -- if you fall off -- you still have a chance to bounce back.” As Gotti once told him, “there’s a thin line between love and hate with these fans.”

“Falling off” is a common fear in the eyes of most rappers, though Moneybagg Yo seemingly brushes it off as an unassuming threat. “I don’t have no fear of falling off ‘cause I got an infinity clip. I got something you call an infinity clip,” he says matter-of-factly, laughing in between sentences. “I could shoot forever with this.” He seemingly borrows this terminology from The Avengers, although it’s an apt description. There are six Infinity Stones in the MCU -- Time, Space, Mind, Reality, Soul, and Power -- each with their own characteristic that can alter elements of the universe and grant unimaginable physical and mental powers. All these years of grinding have not only given Moneybagg Yo thick skin, but seemingly, the power to control his own destiny. It’s territory that comes with being a boss, though, especially as he props up BreadGang Ent.

So, how does one emerge from the streets of South Memphis -- Walker Homes apartments, to be exact -- only to wind up becoming a part of viral pop culture moments, including but not limited to figures such as the former President’s daughter, Sasha Obama, and the current President, Joe Biden?

Bagg admits he woke up dumbfounded when President Obama’s 19-year-old daughter lip synced to the “Said Sum (Remix)” in a (now-deleted) TikTok. Unlike many of his contemporaries whose overtly-manufactured viral challenges are hit-or-miss, Moneybagg Yo’s found genuine success in this pocket of the internet.

Equally, “All That” with his ex-girlfriend Megan Thee Stallion found a significant amount of success throughout the club circuit in the tail end of 2019, though its Triller challenge certainly propelled it towards platinum-certified status in the early stages of the pandemic. “When I do songs I just put it out and it’s like, this is how I’m feeling right now. I wasn’t thinking ‘this is how somebody else is feeling right now,’” he says of Sasha Obama’s viral clip. On that same note, “Said Sum” has transcended Bagg’s trap origins even further, diving into pop culture’s politically-adjacent world. Nothing cemented the record quite like the “Moneybagg Joe” memes that surfaced just days after our conversation. After Joe Biden signed off on a third round of $1400 stimulus checks, the Internet erupted with joyful memes of Moneybagg Yo and his girlfriend, Ari, photoshopped with Biden and Kamala Harris’ photos respectively. The viral moment ultimately earned Moneybagg a shout-out from MSNBC’s Ari Melbur. A few days later, Pharrell showered Moneybagg Yo with praise, describing the Memphis-born rapper as “something else.”

It’s his authenticity and honesty that’s earned him fans among people like Pharrell Williams, and even Sasha Obama. Finding balance, and practicing the art of patience was part of the process though, because in that same vein of honesty, Bagg has openly admitted to his stubborn streak.

“I feel like you got to balance it out to where you know what you're doing,” he says of the flipswitch between his patience and stubbornness. “Like right now, I developed patience. When I was telling you I was hardheaded and I was doing all that and jumping the gun, it was like, stuff was happening because it was meant to happen. At the same time, there was stuff going bad, too. But it’s like, I wouldn’t broadcast it. I was taking it to the chin.”

The benefits of being patient are plentiful, with the outcome not only affecting himself but his fans. To this point, Bagg admittedly regrets releasing the Heartless series and his collaboration with J. Cole when he did -- two pieces of music he says “would've impacted differently” if he were to have bided his time a bit more before dropping.

This idea is seemingly solidified with the feedback he receives from those surrounding him, revealing that often his girlfriend, Ari, will be caught off guard by old records, simply unaware of the song’s existence. “It’s so many good songs and so much good music I made in the past that I put out that I wish I would’ve had at this time right now. I feel like this is the time to be alive. This is the most important time in my life right now. It’s going too crazy, right now,” he says. “A lot of that stuff got overlooked. Like, I be rapping some hard bars -- like, even with my girl. I be rapping some old hard bars and she’s like, ‘This out? Is this out? When are you putting it out? You need to put that out.’ I’m like, 'this is already out. This, like, years old,'” he adds. In retrospect, he says holding on to those records would have resulted in a bigger impact. “That helps me understand that if I would have been patient and not trying to put all this music out because it'll help me get to the next level fast.” He passes these types of hard-learned lessons on to artists like Pooh Shiesty and Big 30, who Bagg describes as his “little brothers.” “They’re gonna start experiencing what I first was experiencing when I came in the game and everything that comes with it,” he says. “I be trying to keep them on point.”

For fans, patience could be the only means of getting Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo locked in the studio for a collaborative project. Bagg says they’ve discussed the possibilities of this happening, twice; once after the release of “All Of A Sudden” and again after the release of “U Played.” Bagg assures us that the chemistry they’ve achieved over the course of just a few records will strengthen with time, just as his relationship with Blac Youngsta has. Many fans were introduced to Bagg and Youngsta separately, but their history runs deep. Beginning as members of Memphis Greatest Unrated, it was Blac Youngsta who jumped off the porch first, before Moneybagg followed right behind him.

“We come from the streets. We come from before music,” he says of his relationship with the CMG signee. Youngsta, Lil Baby, and even Lil Durk, all have a knack for bringing the best out of Moneybagg Yo. These artists who gravitate towards Bagg, then, appear to be the same ones who uphold themselves as authentic individuals, who, like Moneybagg himself, maintain a firm grip on the streets even as their star rises.

“You can take me from around there, but it’s still in me,” Bagg says, admitting that he often heads back to his old neighborhood in Memphis during his off-days. “I still need to touch the heart of the hood and just get that feeling and get that motivation for [the new album], anyway. All my little brothers and cousins and everyone that’s around me right now, and even my homeboys, they're so tapped into the streets. So, everything comes back to me anyway. It’s like I’m not missing nothing. I have my ears to the streets.”

It was over a year ago that Moneybagg Yo referenced the street legends of GS9 as a benchmark for loyalty. “If it came to it, Rowdy Rebel, Bobby Shrmurda/ I’ll serve the time with him,” he rapped on “Thug Cry, '' an acknowledgment of Bobby’s decision to take a harsher sentence in order to reduce Rowdy Rebel’s prison time. The night before we spoke, Moneybagg Yo was celebrating Bobby’s physical release from prison, as well as the significance of such an occasion. “It’s just a good vibe just being in a room with real individuals. The real ones back in style,” the Memphis native says with optimism. Moneybagg’s unwavering determination, matched with his current street authority, has positioned him perfectly for this precise moment. “Look at who’s winning,” Bagg adds with the same sternness that has led to his success. “Everybody that I feel is real is winning.”

0/1000CLOSE
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MONEYBAGG YO
HAS THE
INFINITY CLIP

Words by: Aron A.
Photos by: Cam Kirk

It’s a bright Monday afternoon in Atlanta following All-Star Weekend, with clear, blue skies surrounding Moneybagg Yo, as seen through the driver’s seat window from a poorly-connected Zoom call. Non-locals are presumably waking up with little recollection of the night before or are well on their way out of Atlanta. Memphis is home, but Moneybagg Yo currently resides in the ATL. From a club appearance with a newly-released Bobby Shmurda, a studio session with Lil Durk, and a Roc Nation-style brunch with the CMG team -- while it may seem like pleasure, this is actually all business.

The sun reflects off the diamond-encrusted bridge of Moneybagg Yo’s Cartier frames from the driver’s seat of his Yukon Denali, although with his Beats headphones over his ears, it seems as if he’s broadcasting live from a chopper. His eyewear compliments the three baguette diamond chains dangling in front of a forest green camouflage Supreme sweater, which, incidentally match the Bape shoes. “Simple but gangster,” says Bagg, who infamously said that he only wears his outfit once. It’s a calculated choice in case he finds himself in front of a camera, a common occurrence in the life of most Black Hollywood celebrities.

Outside of an Atlanta studio, where he records his forthcoming album, Moneybagg Yo, born Demario DeWayne White Jr., sits in his sanctuary -- his car. “I feel like that’s where I can block everybody out at,” he says. “It’s just that I need my space. I need my creative space. People don’t understand it.” His first vehicles, a white Dodge Intrepid that he’d use for extra curricular activities and a burgundy Chevrolet Impala belonging to the mother of his son, both shared similarities to a mobile studio. “I used to just sit in her car all the time and just write raps outside of the apartment. Going through that experience, like sleeping on the floor and all that. Just going through the whole poverty situation, it helped me out,” he recalls of the burgundy Impala. As for the Intrepid, there isn’t much room to elaborate on what exactly he used that car for, but you could assume that it informed the content of his music. “I used to be on some shit I really can’t speak on in that car,” he adds with a chuckle. “I used to be on one in that car.”

These unspoken moments are the cornerstone of his career, and his appeal. He’s from a lineage of trappers-turned-moguls who, on their respective turfs, have become royalty, oftentimes acting as a beacon of hope in overlooked and disenfranchised communities. They offer the outside world a careful glimpse into a place that most would not dare step foot in without a proper escort.

The authenticity of veteran artists such as Yo Gotti, Jeezy, and Boosie Badazz mirrors that of Moneybagg Yo. His shit-talking abilities are A1; a tongue of a pimp. He’ll tug at your heartstrings, describing the death of a loved one as if you, the listener, were his relative. His hustle is unmatched.

The new album amalgamates these parts of his artistry, and strengthens it. The project is set to include 16 songs in total, split into auto-tune-driven R&B-fueled jams, clawing deeper into his vulnerability, and trunk-rattling muddy street anthems. “It’s my gangsta pain side. When I say that it’s a gangsta’s pain, I mean even with the ad-libs, it’s still a gangsta’s pain, like a story. It’s just eight songs of pain, eight songs of the gangsta sh*t that I’ve been giving y’all,” says Bagg. He’s explored this “pain side” on songs previously, including on “Match My Fly” and “Thug Cry.” However, Future’s assistance on his latest single, “Hard For The Next” allows him to tap into this aching feeling even further. “I told [Future], ‘We at the time, like, there's so much going on in the world and it’s like, stuff is going off of feeling. The world is really in their feelings. It’s so much going on, to the point where -- bro, we got to dig more into the melody side of this situation. And I want HNDRXX, you got to give me that,’” Bagg recounts telling Future.

“Even in the studio, when we was going through the songs and he was going through the gangsta music. It was all mixed up,” he explains, though “Hard For The Next” was routinely skipped over whenever it played. “He only had the chorus and it kept catching me. I finally just said somethin’, like, ‘Aye, bruh, go back to that one right there. You’re clearly dodging that one. Why is you dodgin’ it?’ He was like, ‘I aint tryna dodge it, bruh. You can get whatever you want. You can have whatever joints you want,’” he recalls with a chuckle, though he knew it was only Future that would be able to give it the exact feeling it needed. “I can’t sing better than Future. I need the GOAT to sing that part,” the rapper admitted.

“I’m finding myself within my craft,” he continued, while discussing the project. This melodic territory is not just a motif that Bagg will explore on his next album, it’s a new tool he’s added to his wheelhouse, one that's propelled his personal growth within his career. “I’m finding myself more and more. With diving into the melody side, I might do a whole album later on in my career, just full of that, because they’re taking a liking to it,” the artist divulged.

The “pain side” of the album, as Moneybagg Yo calls it, will be injected with this sense of melody. In addition to featuring hip-hop’s emotionally-driven Toxic King, Bagg enlists two young artists whose music shares a similar reality, mostly dwelling in the nihilistic streets: Lil Durk and Polo G. The three converge on a song titled, “Free Promo,” which Bagg confidently refers to as “crazy,” and confirms, “I tapped into the melody side on that one too.”

“Hard for the Next” marks Bagg’s fourth collaboration with Pluto, although it’s the first time he’s brought out the HNDRXX alter ego on wax. Future makes two appearances on RESET, including the gritty and sinister single “OKAY” which marked their inaugural collaboration; bringing Super Future and a budding Moneybagg Yo together for a braggadocious record over 808 Mafia’s vicious production. Then, the two paired up again on Time Served with “Federal Fed,” where Future and Moneybagg Yo regale us with their hedonistic ways. “I put that dick in her life, tell her some lies, then fuck up her head/ I want that Activist, they say they out of that purple, I’m sippin’ on red,” raps Moneybagg Yo. You’d be remiss not to acknowledge Future’s influence on that particular couplet, especially when it’s paired with his admission, “I did it by mistake, it wasn’t on purpose, end up fucking your wife” -- a line many perceived to be aimed towards Larsa Pippen.

Whether it’s “OKAY,” “Federal Fed,” or even “Chanel Junkie,” Moneybagg Yo describes the recording process with Future as a partnership, even if the Dungeon Family protegé is leading the direction. It’s the same approach to their latest single, “Hard For The Next” which opens up to a delicate vocal sample juxtaposed with a distorted guitar sliding into Future’s muffled prophecies. “I just bought a chick a Patek/ I ain’t love her, I just wanna show her status,” raps Future through a radio filter. It’s a bar that exemplifies Future’s own self-awareness of his narcissistic and self-indulgent tendencies, no matter the cost. Moneybagg Yo, on the other hand, makes up for the benevolence lacking on Future’s end. “That’s international Bagg. That’s a whole other level of Moneybagg Yo. I don’t even think they're even ready for that side,” he says of the record with enthusiasm.

And right now, is perhaps the first time in Moneybagg’s career where he can relate to the grandiose nature of his fellow collaborator, Future’s life. A lifestyle that continues to set new standards on luxurious spending and relationship goals for LLC-oriented millennials and Instagram influencers; one which Moneybagg Yo both endorses in his personal and professional life.

A few short weeks after targeting the less-affluent on “Said Sum,” Bagg set the Internet ablaze in July 2020 after gifting his girlfriend, Ariana Fletcher, a Lamborghini Urus that was filled with dozens of roses and balloons. For most, these lavish purchases are aspirational. For Bagg, it’s just the tip of the iceberg, as he readily admits in the new single: “They say I started something when I gave you that Lamb/ And other shit they can’t see ‘cause everything ain’t for the ‘Gram.”

“I don’t have no fear of falling off ‘cause I got an infinity clip.”

Moneybagg Yo’s slow-burning journey to success began in 2012, with the release of From Da Block 2 Da Booth and October 20th. Between 2015 and 2020, he released thirteen mixtapes, three studio albums, and an official compilation tape, but it was the Federal and Heartless series that plastered his voice across the South, and the underground circuits of North America. Though his alignment with Yo Gotti helped, he never took the traditional route in his come-up. A spot on the XXL Freshman cover never proved to be necessary to his career, nor has a conventional Billboard Hot 100-topping hit record.

2020 was a turning point in his career, but that couldn’t have happened without a full circle moment for his fans. The release of 43va Heartless marked the end of the Michael Myers era, but more importantly, Time Served closed out the Federal series. This mixtape series, titled after penitentiary sentences, was rightfully capped off with a project that clearly indicates a conclusion: Time Served. However, it can also act as Bagg acknowledging the near-decade it took to finally reap the fruits of his labor, signifying he’s paid his dues.

"Yup, yup, you're accurate with that, most definitely. I ain't going to lie. But at the same time, I still feel like I’m in my prime," Moneybagg responds to the idea. “They probably thought I was running out, but I was really holding back the whole time. I already knew. This joint was premeditated. I already knew this was gonna happen. I just had to try ‘em ‘’cause I’m in this position. You can’t say something -- once you are in that light, it's on you. Everybody got a chance. When you fall off -- if you fall off -- you still have a chance to bounce back.” As Gotti once told him, “there’s a thin line between love and hate with these fans.”

“Falling off” is a common fear in the eyes of most rappers, though Moneybagg Yo seemingly brushes it off as an unassuming threat. “I don’t have no fear of falling off ‘cause I got an infinity clip. I got something you call an infinity clip,” he says matter-of-factly, laughing in between sentences. “I could shoot forever with this.” He seemingly borrows this terminology from The Avengers, although it’s an apt description. There are six Infinity Stones in the MCU -- Time, Space, Mind, Reality, Soul, and Power -- each with their own characteristic that can alter elements of the universe and grant unimaginable physical and mental powers. All these years of grinding have not only given Moneybagg Yo thick skin, but seemingly, the power to control his own destiny. It’s territory that comes with being a boss, though, especially as he props up BreadGang Ent.

So, how does one emerge from the streets of South Memphis -- Walker Homes apartments, to be exact -- only to wind up becoming a part of viral pop culture moments, including but not limited to figures such as the former President’s daughter, Sasha Obama, and the current President, Joe Biden?

Bagg admits he woke up dumbfounded when President Obama’s 19-year-old daughter lip synced to the “Said Sum (Remix)” in a (now-deleted) TikTok. Unlike many of his contemporaries whose overtly-manufactured viral challenges are hit-or-miss, Moneybagg Yo’s found genuine success in this pocket of the internet.

Equally, “All That” with his ex-girlfriend Megan Thee Stallion found a significant amount of success throughout the club circuit in the tail end of 2019, though its Triller challenge certainly propelled it towards platinum-certified status in the early stages of the pandemic. “When I do songs I just put it out and it’s like, this is how I’m feeling right now. I wasn’t thinking ‘this is how somebody else is feeling right now,’” he says of Sasha Obama’s viral clip. On that same note, “Said Sum” has transcended Bagg’s trap origins even further, diving into pop culture’s politically-adjacent world. Nothing cemented the record quite like the “Moneybagg Joe” memes that surfaced just days after our conversation. After Joe Biden signed off on a third round of $1400 stimulus checks, the Internet erupted with joyful memes of Moneybagg Yo and his girlfriend, Ari, photoshopped with Biden and Kamala Harris’ photos respectively. The viral moment ultimately earned Moneybagg a shout-out from MSNBC’s Ari Melbur. A few days later, Pharrell showered Moneybagg Yo with praise, describing the Memphis-born rapper as “something else.”

It’s his authenticity and honesty that’s earned him fans among people like Pharrell Williams, and even Sasha Obama. Finding balance, and practicing the art of patience was part of the process though, because in that same vein of honesty, Bagg has openly admitted to his stubborn streak.

“I feel like you got to balance it out to where you know what you're doing,” he says of the flipswitch between his patience and stubbornness. “Like right now, I developed patience. When I was telling you I was hardheaded and I was doing all that and jumping the gun, it was like, stuff was happening because it was meant to happen. At the same time, there was stuff going bad, too. But it’s like, I wouldn’t broadcast it. I was taking it to the chin.”

The benefits of being patient are plentiful, with the outcome not only affecting himself but his fans. To this point, Bagg admittedly regrets releasing the Heartless series and his collaboration with J. Cole when he did -- two pieces of music he says “would've impacted differently” if he were to have bided his time a bit more before dropping.

This idea is seemingly solidified with the feedback he receives from those surrounding him, revealing that often his girlfriend, Ari, will be caught off guard by old records, simply unaware of the song’s existence. “It’s so many good songs and so much good music I made in the past that I put out that I wish I would’ve had at this time right now. I feel like this is the time to be alive. This is the most important time in my life right now. It’s going too crazy, right now,” he says. “A lot of that stuff got overlooked. Like, I be rapping some hard bars -- like, even with my girl. I be rapping some old hard bars and she’s like, ‘This out? Is this out? When are you putting it out? You need to put that out.’ I’m like, 'this is already out. This, like, years old,'” he adds. In retrospect, he says holding on to those records would have resulted in a bigger impact. “That helps me understand that if I would have been patient and not trying to put all this music out because it'll help me get to the next level fast.” He passes these types of hard-learned lessons on to artists like Pooh Shiesty and Big 30, who Bagg describes as his “little brothers.” “They’re gonna start experiencing what I first was experiencing when I came in the game and everything that comes with it,” he says. “I be trying to keep them on point.”

For fans, patience could be the only means of getting Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo locked in the studio for a collaborative project. Bagg says they’ve discussed the possibilities of this happening, twice; once after the release of “All Of A Sudden” and again after the release of “U Played.” Bagg assures us that the chemistry they’ve achieved over the course of just a few records will strengthen with time, just as his relationship with Blac Youngsta has. Many fans were introduced to Bagg and Youngsta separately, but their history runs deep. Beginning as members of Memphis Greatest Unrated, it was Blac Youngsta who jumped off the porch first, before Moneybagg followed right behind him.

“We come from the streets. We come from before music,” he says of his relationship with the CMG signee. Youngsta, Lil Baby, and even Lil Durk, all have a knack for bringing the best out of Moneybagg Yo. These artists who gravitate towards Bagg, then, appear to be the same ones who uphold themselves as authentic individuals, who, like Moneybagg himself, maintain a firm grip on the streets even as their star rises.

“You can take me from around there, but it’s still in me,” Bagg says, admitting that he often heads back to his old neighborhood in Memphis during his off-days. “I still need to touch the heart of the hood and just get that feeling and get that motivation for [the new album], anyway. All my little brothers and cousins and everyone that’s around me right now, and even my homeboys, they're so tapped into the streets. So, everything comes back to me anyway. It’s like I’m not missing nothing. I have my ears to the streets.”

It was over a year ago that Moneybagg Yo referenced the street legends of GS9 as a benchmark for loyalty. “If it came to it, Rowdy Rebel, Bobby Shrmurda/ I’ll serve the time with him,” he rapped on “Thug Cry, '' an acknowledgment of Bobby’s decision to take a harsher sentence in order to reduce Rowdy Rebel’s prison time. The night before we spoke, Moneybagg Yo was celebrating Bobby’s physical release from prison, as well as the significance of such an occasion. “It’s just a good vibe just being in a room with real individuals. The real ones back in style,” the Memphis native says with optimism. Moneybagg’s unwavering determination, matched with his current street authority, has positioned him perfectly for this precise moment. “Look at who’s winning,” Bagg adds with the same sternness that has led to his success. “Everybody that I feel is real is winning.”

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Coach McGirk
top comment
Coach McGirk
Mar 26, 2021

this got me looking forward to his next tape

Asia
Asia
Mar 27, 2021

He came sooo far , I’m really proud of him. Finally getting what he been speaking into existence. If niggas really like this Bag ,people would have loved the old Bag . Been putting out 🔥 for years . #albumOTW

Coach McGirk
Coach McGirk
Mar 26, 2021

this got me looking forward to his next tape

123meneer
123meneer
Mar 26, 2021

all of alex zidels ad revenue goes into articles like these

Rose Lilah
ADMIN
Rose Lilah
Mar 26, 2021

excited for moneybagg yo's new album? whatchu guys think?