A Gangsta's Pain

A Gangsta's Pain

When it’s all said and done, there’s no telling how COVID-19 will have affected the artistry of some of our favorite music-makers—except in the case of Moneybagg Yo, who tells Apple Music very plainly that it made him a more focused MC. “I just feel like a lot of my old music the fans didn't accept how I wanted them to accept it,” he says. “I just was in a different stage of my life and I was moving around a lot. The COVID situation had to happen, and by that happening, I sat down and thought about everything and I made the biggest songs of my career—of my life—in the pandemic.” Here, Yo might be referring to the lead single from his fourth album A Gangsta’s Pain, the Future collaboration and instantaneous smash hit “Hard for the Next.” Or maybe he’s referring to an altogether trippy exploration of relationships through the eyes of a lean addict called “Wockesha.” Maybe he’s just that proud of the hard-charging “Shottas,” where he debuts a completely new flow. But regardless of which songs he’s referring to, the M-town representer claims that the break in action the world was forced to observe showed him exactly who he is. “I feel like by me sitting down and just figuring it out, I'm going to go back to the roots,” he says. “I'm giving them everything they love about Moneybagg Yo.” Below, the Memphis MC breaks down how we got the best of him on his favorite tracks from A Gangsta’s Pain. “Hard for the Next” “Me and Future, every time we get in the kitchen, the chemistry is always there, so I feel like this kind of happened naturally. When he gets you in there, he's going to lock you in and play all of what he's been working on. So, he played me everything and he kept skipping by stuff. I’m like, 'Bruh, go back! Go back to that. You're trying to hide this joint from me.' He was like, 'Nah, bruh, you can have whatever you want.' So my engineer got the session, I went back and recorded it, sent it to him, and the rest was history.” “GO!” feat. BIG30 “I felt like I got to do one of them songs on here to where like I'm just giving it to them. I'm just on it. I ain't let up off the beat, just tempo. I got to lace BIG30 up on it because that's my artist, I want to see him win.” “Projects” “I was going through like, ‘What am I missing?’ And then I get the call that Pharrell wants to lock in for two days straight, so I was a little— you know how it be. Then, I came to the studio and I just laced it.” “Certified Neptunes” feat. Pharrell Williams “Pharrell had the chorus already laced up when I walked in. And then he was like, ‘Look, this is how I do it. My stuff, when I cook up, it be like a skit, so this is where I want to go with it. Just go in and then we're going to draw around it.’ It's like the trap energy, gutter-type Pharrell on that one.” “Change Da Subject” “This the type of song, you go in the booth and you just close your eyes, and you think about everything. You think about everything like how it started, where you're trying to go, who you do it for; all your accomplishments. You probably heard me saying something like, 'No more pain and suffering.' It's a good feeling to be there.” “Wockesha” “‘Wockesha’ was just was like one of them songs like, you rap about your habits, you rap about what you got going on in your personal life. Because you know, sometimes when you're in a relationship with a girl and you got stuff going on, it's like you be back and forth: You can say, ‘It's not gon' be this,’ and it ends up being that again. It's like relapsing. And that's the same thing people do with drugs and other stuff. They'll say, 'I'm through doing this, I'm through doing that,' but then they'll get back on it. So, I just went off the concept of that. I'm just painting pictures.” “One of Dem Nights” “Jhené [Aiko] is one of my favorites. And then I was in the studio, the first beat that YC played, it was on point. I told him where I wanted to go, who I wanted to put on it. As soon as he went that way, it was crazy. I just started mumbling the words and I went in there and did it. I sent it to her, they sent it back. Real classic.” “Shottas (Lala)” “I was in the studio just joking around. It was me and the guys, we was just in there just kicking it and YC just comes in there playing beats. I was like, ‘Man, what the hell is this?’ This is one of them type of vibes you just—it don't matter what you say, just go in that joint and just say whatever comes to mind.”

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