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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Yo Gotti is so gangster

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Yo Gotti is so gangster. It's one of the reasons we think he had so much trouble releasing his first solo studio album, Live From The Kitchen, which finally hit stores on Tuesday after numerous delays. When we say "gangster," though, we're not necessarily talking about how much weight the Memphis rapper talks about moving in his music or all the street stuff that he says he's involved in. Rather, we're talking about his name—Yo Gotti—which is clearly a moniker that was designed to pay homage to the infamous gangster John Gotti. It's a name Gotti picked up when he was young. But, unfortunately, we also get the feeling that it's a name that's held him back a little bit in his career.

You see, believe it or not, marketing an artist named after a mob boss isn't exactly easy. If you look at the most successful rappers in the game right now—Lil WayneKanye WestJay-ZJ. ColeBig Sean—their rap names are, by and large, an extension of their government names. So when you get a guy like Gotti—who is clearly talented and who could blow up with the proper push—it becomes difficult to market him to the masses because of his name. No matter what you do, you're always going to have people who don't like him and won't give his music a chance simply because he's named after the Teflon Don.

But Yo Gotti is faaaaaaar from the first rapper to run into this "problem." In the past—and, hell, even in the present—there have been a lot of other rappers who have adopted names inspired by gangsters. Some have done so successfully. Others, not so much. So with Gotti's album dropping this week, we decided to take a look back at 10 rappers who named themselves after infamous gangsters. And then we decided whether or not it was a smart business decision for them to do so. Note to all the rappers out there: We're sorry to break this to you, but sometimes, being "gangster" isn't necessarily a good thing

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