Nowadays, it seems like there are more artists choosing to go independent rather than signing with a major label. Some people even believe they are “more superior, or bossed up, or some sh*t if you’re independent,” explains the Memphis rapper Yo Gotti, who also questions what that truly means.

On Wallo and Gillie Da Kid’s most recent podcast episode, the duo interviewed Memphis-born rapper Yo Gotti, also known as Mario Mims, who spoke about what it’s really like being an independent artist, and why it’s important to “know both sides” in order to “understand and respect the game.”

“I see a lot of shit being said,” he explains, “I’m like damn they don’t speak on the other side though. It’s just like glorifying the streets but never talking ‘bout the consequences.” 

Record executive Yo Gotti has been in the music industry for nearly 26 years with a 14-year-old label, Collective Music Group, formerly known as Cocaine Muzik group, building himself an empire and making himself a legacy in the rap game.

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“Most m*therf*ckers that want to be independent ain’t got the money to be independent even if you had it, n***a you wouldn’t spend your own money on yourself,” he explained. “If you had one million dollars, you wouldn’t go spend $950,000 on your own rap career.”

As an artist who has experienced both the independent and major label worlds of the music business, Gotti has been praised for his determination and hard work which eventually led to his success, and all but guaranteed it. 

Wallo and Gillie asked the artist-turned-entrepreneur, as the “expert,”:”what is investing in yourself and how much money does it take?”

Gotti responded, “A lot… At CMG, we don’t have a number that we say ‘it costs this much to break every artist,’ because everybody’s different. Everybody’s gonna need something different. Artist A may need something different than Artist B and C… You may have heard me say this term before: we’re not investors, we’re believers.”

He explained that if Collective Music Group signs you, “that’s cause we believe in you. We believe in you, we’ll spend it all till we get you there. Or til we ran out the paper.”

 Check out the full interview below.