A Conversation With Moneybagg Yo: “I feel like I been a star but I’m just starting to feel it right now.”
27 Jul 2021
Memphis native, Moneybagg Yo, has undoubtedly put the time in and now, emerged out of the ever-bubbling Hip Hop scene as one of its most prominent acts.
Though, the rapper debuted with a mixtape almost a decade ago, in 2012, he is regarded as the leader of the new school with hits that constantly attract virality. It is his raw, rags-to-riches ascension that drives the “Said Sum” hitmaker to work relentlessly and release multiple projects per year – including his most recent studio album, A Gangsta’s Pain.
Moneybagg Yo has carved out a unique lane for himself with the help of his forward-thinking artistry. From booming TikTok anthems to deeper ghetto gospels, Big Bagg has made waves from all angles.
We connected for a conversation – during his chilled studio session – and discussed realising his stardom, working with Pharrell, a possible U.K. tour and more.
“Let’s get into your latest project – it’s doing well so far, I’m sure you’d agree! How have you felt since dropping ‘A Gangsta’s Pain’?”
MBY: I’m just staying consistent. I’m ready to put out more.
“Still in major work mode and here I am pulling you away for a chat. Talk to me about being from Memphis and coming up?”
MBY: It was a struggle. When you come from Memphis, you don’t even get too many options. When you do, it’s all about tunnel vision and it’s just about knowing how to move in every situation.
“As a young’un in Memphis, did you see yourself making it this big?”
MBY: I didn’t think it would be this far but – you know – hey, we get surprised and shocked every day.
“Hard work definitely pays off, because you have dropped a project every year since 2016. Talk about going from Memphis to Moneybagg?”
MBY: Um, it’s just about having a balance. That’s really what it comes down to because you still who you are. It just be me vs me sometimes.
“You’re always saying this in the music! You live in that ‘me vs me’ energy, talk about what that means to you?”
MBY: It’s substance music. I’m trying to be relatable. Of course, it’s not my first year in rap but I do feel like I’m the ‘rookie of the year’ for where I’m at. I feel like I’m going hard. It be like that sometimes and you can feel like it’s you versus yourself.
“I feel you. You just had your first ever BET Awards performance too! How was that experience?”
MBY: It was good experience. I enjoyed it, most definitely, and I learned from it. I learned for next time and how to go about the situation, but it turned out right.
“It was good to see you up there in your all-white! You’re one of the leading acts in Hip Hop right now but have been in the game a while. How did you progress?”
MBY: I feel like the pandemic helped the situation. It sat me down and I thought about where I wanted to go. I always had the music, ambition and everything in me. I just needed it to line it up and get some structure, but I still used the method.
“So, let’s talk about that method… what do you find working for you and where did you learn your methods?”
MBY: You just think and close your eyes. You think this is where I want to go with it and staying on top of subjects. It’s natural, for sure.
“On the topic of viral hits, tell me how it is to be known worldwide?”
MBY: Man, I feel like I been a star but I’m just starting to feel it right now. I’m embracing it and taking it in day by day. Staying humble. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, every time.
“True. Have your family and friends adjusted to your stardom?”
MBY: My team are proud of me, most definitely, because they’ve seen the hard work get put in. Now, they’ve seen it pay off.
“Go ahead and yawn man, I get it! I hope you’re taking some breaks?”
MBY: (laughs) I ain’t taken no breaks yet, I got to though. I’ma take one. I took a vacation – it wasn’t really relaxation like that, but it was cool.
“I mean, I can see why you don’t want to. The ball is rolling!”
MBY: Nah, I can’t rest right now. I got to keep going.
“What is the next step for Moneybagg Yo?”
MBY: I’ve got a movie coming out and the deluxe! I’ve got a clothing line…
“Oh wow! So, you’re giving us a full artist package!”
MBY: We most definitely got to do everything that come with it. Like, I got to be different. You can’t just have the talent or be a celebrity, you got to have the whole X factor. The whole total package.
“Do you have ‘that’ factor, Moneybagg?”
MBY: Yeah, I feel like I’m different from a lot of people. I’m in my own lane, for sure.
“As much as it is ‘me vs me’, you’re also known for getting around and dropping hot feature verses! Tell me – who have you recorded with that has blown your mind?”
MBY: Pharrell. Yeah. Just being in the room with him and the chemistry. It was a real learning experience and um; I took a lot from it. It was a good vibe though; he was a fan of me overall. He knew a lot about me that I didn’t think he knew. It was a good vibe.
“Pharrell is a legend! He definitely wins that. You also collab with your peers quite often, how do you get together with the likes of Lil Baby and J Cole?”
MBY: It just be the vibe and it depends on what the day consists of to make those things happen. It could be being in the same place at the same time or just getting the call. Either way.
“Now, I’m particularly a fan of your adlibs. You hear these little pockets and just throw the adlibs in there–”
“Can you tell me about that?”
MBY: Everything just comes naturally, to be honest. It’s just a skill – like somebody that plays basketball or whatever they do – it’s just how it comes. I can’t really explain, it just happens.
“I wish you could explain it man, they’re so hard! You’ve been looked after by great people in the game – Yo Gotti and Roc Nation – talk about that!”
MBY: I’m blessed to have a team like this at one time. We just be going hard. It’s a good feeling and it makes my job easier. They apply the pressure on their end, and I just do the music.
“They get you on calls with people like me, and you just show up!”
MBY: Exactly. (laughs)
“I’m coming at you from the U.K. so I have to ask – can we expect a Moneybagg show here soon?”
MBY: I got to get with my team, but I hope so because I rock with y’all. I most definitely hope it’s soon, for sure.
Stream Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain above and find more exclusive conversations on Mixtape Madness.