ATLANTA, GA—Yo Gotti has always been about treating his fans but a string of eight full concerts with ticket prices locked at $8 a piece was enough to have Atlanta’s Centerstage venue packed to capacity. It’s unheard of outside of J Cole ‘A Dollar and a Dream’ stint and last night (December 4) as the Cocaine Musik creator kicked off the fourth day of the 8 For 8 Tour, his fans were more than appreciative.
People milled about the arena before the show began; one woman in a cut-out bodysuit and hot pants, rebelling against the 30 degree weather right outside and there was a group of men in off-the-rack suits and Stacey Adams shoes. Gotti supporters came out in droves to see the Memphis self-starter put on a show to remember.
Once he finally hit the stage around 10:00 p.m., he jumped right into “Fuck You” sans Meek Mill, but there were plenty of other surprise guests that popped in on this evening and the knowledge of that had Gotti pacing the platform with certain confidence. “I had to make sure y’all knew who I was,” he told the crowd. “But now I gotta go into what started it all off. That Cocaine Muzik.” The crowd hollered their approval and almost instantaneously there were several groups of women who’d come together, taking 360 selfie videos to Gotti’s dope boy lyrics.
As he marched back and forth, swaying in his black and white variation of the old school 8-Ball leather, Gotti was sure to maintain awareness of the energy in the building, moving quickly into “Act Right.” And although the audience was already teeming with anticipation, no one seemed to expect Jeezy appearing from stage left. “Act right! Act right!” he shouted the hook. Concert attendees jumped onto their seats, phone in hand.
Jeezy ran through a “Church in These Streets” set, which led the audience to transform into a sea of bobbing heads. And it wasn’t over. Over the 15 years of Gotti building his career—a lot of it with his own funds and his self motivation—the rapper has built unshakable relationships within the industry, especially Atlanta’s music scene. So he put his reach in the south on display while maintaining his hold on the crowd with his own catalogue.
“I speak on behalf of real niggas round the world,” he started. “And I can say that we real niggas are picking real bitches over bad bitches.” The women in the crowd lapped it up as Gotti moved into mixtape track “I’m Sorry.” He commanded that the stage lights be cut off in the venue and for everyone to put their cell phones in the air, all of Centerstage was a flurry of white lights gently swaying to the lyrics of “Cold Blood,” Gotti’s cut with J. Cole and Canei Finch.
Then it was back to the special guests, almost seamlessly. CMG artist Snootie Wild had curiously forfeited the performance of “Yayo,” his most popular smash to date, in his opening performance. But Gotti brought him back out for it. There was more to come. The instrumental to Dro’s “We In the City” started and the crowd seemed to surge with new energy.
Unceremoniously, Tip bounded out on stage, dabbing all the way across. “We definitely appreciate what you do for the hood, man,” the Grand Hustle CEO said. “And to show our appreciation, I brought more of Grand Hustle out.” B.o.B. was up next to quickly perform “We Still in This” and Tip topped it off with a sharp run through of his latest “Peanut Butter Jelly.”
The show quickly began to wind down. Gotti, after all, has another four dates left of this eight day tour, ending in Oakland on December 8th. But he had to do “DMs” before saying goodbye to Atlanta, a crowd that never sat down, never slowed down and left speaking of the virtues of North Memphis’s own Yo Gotti.