Yo Gotti - (Set time: 9:15 PM)
"Yo Gotti is among the many hardcore rappers who came out of hip-hop's Dirty South school in the late '90s. He is also one of the hip-hoppers who derive part of their stage names from the late New York mafioso John Gotti; others have included Big Gotti, Don Gotti, Juan Gotti, Bazooka Joe Gotti, and Irv Gotti. Not all Dirty South recordings are gangsta rap, but Yo Gotti has favored the thugged-out gangsta side of the Dirty South, and he gets his inspiration from both Southern and non-Southern rappers. Master P and his New Orleans-based No Limit posse are an influence; so are N.W.A., Dr. Dre, and the late Tupac Shakur. Gotti's more sexually explicit lyrics also owe something to Oakland native Too Short, who was never a gangsta rapper but did a lot to popularize X-rated rap lyrics.
Yo Gotti, however, isn't from the West Coast any more than he is from New Orleans; his stomping ground is Memphis, the city that gave us the Three 6 Mafia, Gangsta Blac, Eightball & MJG, Kingpin Skinny Pimp, and quite a few other Dirty South artists. When Gotti boasts that he is "straight from the North," he doesn't mean the northern part of the United States; he means the northern part of Memphis, where he lived in the infamous, crime-ridden Ridge Crest housing projects. And Memphis' more dangerous neighborhoods have inspired many of Gotti's lyrics, which often describe the dangers of life in the 'hood. Gotti, however, doesn't always rap about crime and inner-city thug life; he also raps about sex quite a bit.
After performing around Memphis in the '90s, Gotti started building a catalog in the early 2000s. His first album, From da Dope Game 2 da Rap Game, came out on the Inevitable label in 2000; His subsequent Inevitable releases included 2001's Self Explanatory and 2002's Block Burnin', Vol. 1. After that, Gotti signed with TVT and recorded Life, which came out in 2003. TVT released "Dirty South Soldiers" (a duet with Atlanta crunk star Lil' Jon) as Life's first single. After having his track "Full Time" featured in the film Hustle & Flow, he released Back 2 da Basics in 2006. A series of Cocaine Muzik mixtapes carried the rapper to 2012 when his first major-label release, Live from the Kitchen, landed on RCA." - Alex Henderson, AllMusicGuide
Zed Zilla - (Set time: 8:45 PM)
Memphis-born rapper Zed Zilla is looking to collect on all the hard work he's put in over the years with the release of his new street album Rent's Due. The young entertainer has been laying the foundation for his nationwide debut under the tutelage of his mentor Yo Gotti, and represents the first official release on Gotti's Cocaine Muzik Group (CMG) imprint.
In October 2011, Zed released his Rent's Due mixtape, hosted by Bigga Rankin and featuring Yo Gotti, 2Chains and R&B crooner Pleasure P. In January 2012, he will release his follow up mixtape project hosted by DJ Drama.
"I'm blessed to be working with Yo Gotti," Zed Zilla explains. "He has been down the road I'm headed, and he holds no punches. We came together with a plan, and watching the plan put into effect and to be working is all I could ask for. With the Rent's Due project, I was given complete control over what songs and features I wanted. I worked mostly with my in-house production team Quantum Sounds, and I was in my comfort zone. I'm ready to show the world who Zed Zilla is."
Zed Zilla has been creating music since he was just 15-years-old, and his stage name was bestowed upon him by a friend who felt his rhyme style flowed fierce like Godzilla, the fire-breathing monster who lit up everything in its path.
Rent's Due was Zed Zilla's first label release, although he did have four critically acclaimed independent CDs under his belt and dozens of cameos to his credit. The clever wordsmith also appeared on all six installations of Yo Gotti's popular Cocaine Muzik mixtape series.
In 2011 alone, Zed Zilla completed a 20-city tour, hitting major markets like St. Louis, Atlanta, Richmond, and New York for sold out venues. He is continuing with more performances throughout the U.S. as the new year arrives, and has sincere appreciation for the energy fans bring at live shows.
When he isn't on tour, Zed lives in the studio, gracing hot tracks with his lyrical mastery. Who can forget the way he ripped it with Yo Gotti on the club hit "Bang Bang"? He left no doubt who he was on "I'm Da Boss," and explained exactly how he did it on "No Chorus." Zed Zilla guarantees there is much more where that came from.
"My music has a lot of variety – you'll find soulful tracks as well as club bangers. I put a lot of different emotions in my music. You can ride to it, drink to it, club to it, some of it may even make you cry."
Confident, yet modest, Zed Zilla has a mic in one hand with the other outstretched ready to take his cut. It's been a long time coming, but true talent can't be denied. The landlord has arrived and the Rent's Due!