During taping for Season 2 of MTV’s “The DUB Magazine Project,” Southern rapper Yo Gotti (born Mario Mims) graciously provided us with a tour of his hometown in Memphis, Tennessee in his white-on-white open-top Jeep Wrangler. By origin, it’s an off-road vehicle, but Yo Gotti isn’t about to hit up any sand dunes soon, instead opting for open-air cruising in his customized 4x4.
While getting a personalized tour of where the rapper grew up to the lavish home he now lives in, numerous fans hollered at Gotti, telling him how much they love his music, with him acknowledging their praise from behind the steering wheel of his Jeep.
“When I’m at home, I don’t’ feel like a rapper, I feel like a regular person, you know what I’m saying?” he says, after acknowledging some attention from a neighboring SUV at a stoplight, who rolled down the window to tell him that his music is “hot.” Along the route, he had a few more fan encounters, a nod to why he was crowned the “King of Memphis.”
When I’m at home, I don’t’ feel like a rapper, I feel like a regular person, you know what I’m saying?“The streets gave me that,” he confesses. “I’m not really big on titles like that, but when I used to be out and about around the city before I made it big, people came out and would tell me that I represent for Memphis.”
Thanks to his talent and hustle, Yo Gotti has become more than a Memphis hero but a Southern staple in rap music, something he’s still pretty humble about to this day, despite all his success. But Gotti wasn’t always as dedicated to his rap game, confessing that he didn’t take it serious in the beginning. But after getting inspired by old school rappers and watching “Yo, MTV Raps,” he’s now 100 percent devoted to perfecting his craft with each track he releases.
“Everything has to make sense and be perfect before I put it out,” he admits about how he puts his records together. Other than making music, Gotti gets pumped for every performance and believes that the two go hand in hand. “Ain’t nothing like performing and seeing the reactions to your music and noticing how fans sing along. It’s a special feeling to know that something you created is now a part of their lifestyle.”
And when he’s not out making music or traveling, Yo Gotti can usually be found chilling in Memphis, where he keeps a very lavish garage of all-white rides. “White is the movement,” he says. “It’s my favorite color and I started this when everybody was on their black-on-black campaign. But I’ve never been like everybody else, so I didn’t want my rides black and opted for white instead.” The only ride in his garage that isn’t white is his mint green ’67 Firebird and that’s only because it’s a cherished classic that sports original details. “If it wasn’t its original color, I would have slapped some white paint over it,” he laughs.
Besides his white Jeep Wrangler, Gotti also owns a Porsche Panamera, Porsche 911, an Oldsmobile Cutlass and his newest baby, a Rolls-Royce Ghost. “My Porsche 911 is classy in white but its red guts give it character,” he describes. “It definitely satisfies my need for speed and I can take off any moment in that thing. Then I go from my two-door 911 to the four-door Porsche Panamera when it’s family time. That’s one of my favorite cars at the moment.”
His Cutlass was blue when he first bought it, but he stripped it down, both inside and out, to create a perfect all-white old school. It took six months and about $95K to get it to his exact specifications, which include a white leather interior with red accents, a massive sound system, newly built chromed-out engine and a fresh paint job.
The Wrangler is his summer vehicle that he likes to hit the Memphis streets in. According to Gotti, it’s the “perfect vehicle to have when the weather gets warm.” And because everyone knows about his all-white fleet, Gotti gets noticed in whatever car he’s driving in by his Memphis fans. “I feel I’m a representation of my city, so I have to go hard in everything I do and that includes my rides,” he says. “Everything I do for the area is positive. Like, I came from nothing and now I’m something and showing them and motivating them to do the same.”
And his best advice to all his Memphis fans is simple because it’s something he makes sure to remember every day he wakes up. “You have to live life to the fullest. If you want something, you have to go out and get it. You shouldn’t believe that things will just come to you because that’s not reality. You have to make your dreams come true and remember anything is possible. Just look at me!”