Memphis representin’ Moneybagg Yo has been making massive waves and hits in the rap and trap tracks since his breakout mixtapes that were released in 2012 and have been racking up streams like crazy on platforms such as SoundCloud to Spotify. Speaking of streams, Moneybagg Yo has a strong following with over six million followers on Spotify, with tracks such as “Said Sum”, “U Played (feat. Lil Baby)”, and “All Dat (with Megan Thee Stallion)” averaging unique streams between 45 and 15 million unique streams, which are all from his studio albums. It’s safe to say, Moneybagg Yo is on his way to being a streaming superstar. His mixtapes have also been on fire with many of his tracks having streams anywhere from two million to eight million streams per individual track on each one. Moneybagg Yo could have easily gotten lost in the shuffle of trap and rap emerging stars, especially in the digital age, but with his eye for tapping rap game heavyweights like Megan Thee Stallion and Lil Baby and his playfully menacing approach to his delivery style that has been compared to Gucci Mane, Moneybagg Yo is proving that he is here to stay and elevate the rap game.
Moneybagg Yo was born Demario DeWayne White, Jr. on September 22nd, 1991 in the southside of Memphis, Tennessee where he also grew up and cultivated his sound. Growing up in Memphis allowed White to surround himself and influence his sound with Memphis Rap, which was starting to take off around 1990, one year after White was born. It should go without saying that Moneybagg Yo was born into this new style of rap.The Memphis rap scene that would cultivate Yo’s sound consisted of crafting lo-fi beats with a repetitive production all while being produced on a low budget. Other characteristics of this southern grown sound include subtle synth melodies, and 808 drum machines, half-time rapping, and even folds in samples from classical music, funk and soul, and even classic and popular music from classic horror films.This homebrew subgenre of rap music was brought to the mainstream by the likes of cultural icons Three 6 Mafia and even influenced and brought about the creation of phonk, trap music, and crunk. Because of Memphis Rap’s popularity and vast influence, it was no wonder that Moneybagg Yo was able to use this style to create his flow that is making him a star in the rap community. He would use this influence to create his mixtapes that would catapult his career.
Early Career and Mixtapes
Moneybagg Yo started producing his mixtapes in 2012 with October 20th and From Da Block 2 Da Booth, which was released on April 16th and October 6th, respectively. Both albums were released by Bread Game Entertainment and were only available as digital downloads. As of 2020, From Da Block 2 Da Booth has over 200,000 downloads from mymxtapez.com and can also be listened to in its entirety on YouTube. Moneybagg Yo continued to release other mixtapes such as La Familia (with Slpy), Relentless, Federal, Federal Reloaded, ELO (Everybody Lives On), All Gas No Brakes, and 4 The Hard Way were then released in succession from 2015 through 2016 and were also produced by the Bread Gang label and were download exclusives only. These mixtapes did well for streaming as most of them averaged anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 views across different streaming websites and platforms. Moneybagg Yo’s continued success with mixtape downloads and streams would eventually catch the eye of Yo Gotti and his record label, Collective Music Group, which was formerly known as Cocaine Muzik Group. Yo Gotti saw Moneybagg Yo’s star power and decided to tap him for his label, which Moneybagg Yo is still listed under this label to this day.Moneybagg Yo’s Halloween released 2016 mixtape 2 Federal was not only his first album released under the labels of both Bread Gang and N-Less but Collective Music Group as well and even featured tracks with Yo Gotti as a guest artist. This mixtape marked Moneybagg Yo’s entry on the Billboard Top 200 when it rose to the number 97 spot. 2 Federal also saw success on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart when shot to the number 48 spot. After 2 Federal’s chart-topping entries, Moneybagg Yo continued releasing all of his other mixtapes that would go on to enter the charts as well. All of Moneybagg Yo’s mixtapes produced under Yo Gotti’s label would also enter the Billboard Top 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and the Top Rap Albums charts with each album premiering at various spots on these charts. Moneybagg Yo’s chart success with his fire mixtapes would pave the way for his future studio albums.
Heartless was released on February 17th, 2017, and was a hit out the gate, especially on the charts. The mixtape debuted at the number 181 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart but would eventually rise and peak at the number 177 spot. Heartless also featured influential trap and rap stars such as Lil Durk and YFN Lucci and production from the likes of Atlanta producers TM88, Zaytoven, and many others.
The second installment from the Federal mixtape series, Federal 3X saw the most chart success of all Moneybagg Yo’s mixtapes when it reached the number five spot on the Billboard Top 200, number four on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and the number three spot on the Billboard Top Rap Albums chart. It also garnered over $30,000 in sales.
Fed Baby’s (with YoungBoy Never Broke Again)
Released on November 17th, 2017, the mixtape was released again under the Bread Gang and Collective Music label but was also released under Atlantic Records and Interscope Records too. Fed Baby’s also saw chart success when it peaked at the number 21 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and charted even higher than that on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Although the mixtape was a smash, it eventually caused some beef between NBA Youngboy and Moneybagg Yo, who collaborated on the album. The day after the mixtape dropped, Youngboy took to his Instagram in a since-deleted post by dissing the mixtape. The mixtape continued to ignite the charts due to this drama along with Quavo also being featured on some of the tracks.
Moneybagg Yo’s thirteenth mixtape album 2 Heartless was released on Valentine’s Day and was announced via Moneybagg Yo’s Instagram in 2018. 2 Heartless would again be produced by Collective Music Group, Bread Gang, and Interscope Records. This would be the second album Moneybagg You would release with Interscope and is the sequel to his 2017 mixtape, Heartless. This trap and rap royalty-packed mixtape would again feature Yo Gotti along with Quavo making his second appearance on Moneybagg Yo’s mixtapes. Lil Baby, JB, and BlocBoy would also make guest appearances on the mixtape, which would go on to peak at the number 16 spot on the Billboard Top 200 and the number nine spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
By this point in his career, Moneybagg Yo had an underground following and his success was rising due to his mixtapes’ popularity and them landing and peaking high on the Billboard charts for pop and r&b/hip-hop charts. Because of this success, his labels knew it was time to get him to produce his first studio album. This all led to the creation of Reset, his first studio album.Reset was released in early November 2018 and was pumped full of superstar guest artists such as J.Cole, Future, Kevin Gates, Jeremiah, and many more notable rappers. When the album dropped, it was so successful and hyped up that it debuted at the number 13 spot on the Billboard Top 200. The single released from the album was “Okay (feat. Future)”, which dropped in September 2018 and the music video came later in November when the album was finally released. Music videos for “Say Na (feat. J. Cole)“,”Reset “, and “Lower Level” also dropped in November, December, and February 2019. The album was also a critical hit, with many critics praising it for its high energy showcase of Moneybagg Yo’s talents and potential to take on the trap and rap game. In addition to being a critical success, Reset also accumulated over 33.1 million streams for the album that week alone. Reset was Moneybagg Yo’s grand entrance into the trap and rap mainstream, and he came out hitting a homerun.
Moneybagg Yo’s wasted no time with his sophomore follow-up studio album, 43va Heartless, which was released in May 2019 and was again produced by his highly regarded producers and long time collaborators, Collective Music Group, Bread Gang, and Interscope Records. This album was the third and final installment of the Heartless series mixtapes that he dropped years before. Moneybagg Yo enlisted more trap and rap talent by tapping Gunna, Blac Youngsta, Offset, and many other stars to co-collaborate on the album. 43va Heartless would drop jaws by debuting at the number four spot on the Billboard Top 200, the highest spot any of Moneybagg Yo’s mixtapes or studio albums would ever debut at this point in his career. He would also score another milestone when 43va Heartless would also debut at the number three spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, making himself a familiar entry on both charts. His number three spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart would also be another career first for him, having been the highest spot any of his other albums and mixtapes had debuted so far.
Moneybagg Yo’s third and most recent studio album, Time Served, would debut in January 2020 and would add Roc Nation to the crew of his seasoned producers to help produce the album. Moneybagg Yo would repeat his successful collabs with past guest artists such as Lil Baby and Future while also featuring other new talents like Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Fredo Bang, and Summer Walker who also appeared on tracks on the album. Before dropping the album, Moneybagg Yo teased fans by posting hints about this album’s drop on his Instagram.The first single that was dropped from Time Served was “All Dat (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)”, which premiered in October 2019. The music video would also be released the same day. Following that single was “U Played (feat. Lil Baby)”, which was released in January, the same month the album dropped. After “U Played”, Moneybagg Yo then dropped the album’s third single, “1 2 3 (feat. Blac Youngsta), which would go on to be played on Top 40 radio stations.Because of Time Served debuting at the number 3 spot on the Billboard 200, this became Mongeybagg Yo’s third top-ten album debut. Time Served would also go on to generate 84.1 million streams in the first week alone. By August 2020, the album went certified gold due to having combined album sales and equivalent sales equal to more than 500,000 units alone in the United States.
Moneybagg Yo has been praised for weaving his lyrical flow in streetlife realism and his ability to intertwine the trials and tribulations of growing up on the southside of Memphis with humor and wisdom beyond his years. Yo’s vocal style has also been noted as his delivery is warm but dirty, which makes listening to him even more engaging. His emotional vocal range has also been pointed out for being able to drip his words with emotional turmoil to the opposite end of the spectrum where he is jubilant and even sounds manic. All of these facets of his style have shown that Moneybagg Yo has a distinct style and unique delivery features that make it almost impossible not to listen to what he has to say.
In addition to Time Served going certified gold, Moneybagg Yo also won The Memphis Hip-Hop Award for Mixtape of the Year in 2016. With the commercial and critical success of his albums and mixtapes, we are sure his list of awards and nominations will skyrocket soon. Be on the lookout for upcoming nominations, you’ll most likely find Moneybagg Yo’s name among the other nominees.
Moneybagg Yo currently has seven kids with several different women. According to numerous interviews, he has a pretty good relationship with both his kids and his kid’s moms. Yo also dated Megan Thee Stallion in 2019. However, they both split sometime before January 2020 when Moneybagg Yo made it official that he had started dating Ariana “Ari” Fletcher.Moneybagg Yo and girlfriend Ari were also involved in some drama recently when Love and Hip Hop star K.Michelle supposedly shaded Moneybagg Yo on Instagram Live when she was talking trash about Moneybagg Yo while she thought she wasn’t being recorded. Moneybagg Yo found out and the two had a back and forth with girlfriend Ari weighing in on her own Instagram where she called out K.Michelle for her trash talk. K.Michelle finally gave up and posted on Instagram that she had learned her lesson and apologized.