2000–06: Career beginnings
Mims grew up in Ridgecrest Apartments of Frayser, Memphis. He began his music career around the age of 14, rapping as Lil Yo, affiliated with DJ Sound and his crew.Between 2000 and 2006, Yo Gotti released a string of independent albums: From Da Dope Game 2 Da Rap Game (2000), Self-Explanatory (2001), Life (2003), and Back 2 da Basics (2006).
2009–12: Live from the Kitchen
After several delays, Yo Gotti released his major label debut studio album Live From The Kitchen on January 10, 2012.The album's original first single was titled "5 Star" and it was released on May 20, 2009. The single peaked at 79 on the Hot 100, 19 on U.S R&B and 11 on U.S Rap. "Women Lie, Men Lie" featuring Lil Wayne the album's second single was released on December 11, 2009. The song peaked at 81 on 100, 22 on the U.S R&B and 12 on the U.S Rap. "Look In the Mirror" was the third single released 7 months after the second single on July 27, 2010. The song peaked at 97 on the U.S R&B chart. Live From The Kitchen debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200, with 16,000 copies sold in its first week of sales in the United States. After three weeks on the chart the album has sold 36,000 copies in the United States. In 2012 due to Gotti's views of the low sales of his debut album he took his departure from RCA Records & Polo Grounds Music. On October 17, 2012, he released the 7th version of his well-known mixtape series Cocaine Muzik entitled Cocaine Muzik 7: The World Is Yours.
2013–present: I Am and The Art of Hustle
In early 2013, Gotti announced that he and his label CMG had been signed to a distribution deal with Epic Records from longtime business partner L.A. Reid.On May 28, 2013, Yo Gotti announced that his sixth studio album would be titled I Am. The first single from his sixth studio album I Am is titled "Act Right" and features Young Jeezy and YG.The song debuted at #5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and at #39 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. As of September 21, it has peaked at #100 on the Hot 100, making it Gotti and YG's third Hot 100 entry, #33 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and at #24 on the Rap Songs chart. In July 2013, it was announced that the album would be released on November 19, 2013. On August 22, 2013, he announced the I Am Tour Dates, a tour in promotion of I Am which ran from September 14, 2013, until November 19, 2013, with supporting acts including YG, Zed Zilla, Shy Glizzy and Cash Out. On September 2, 2013, Yo Gotti released the mixtape Nov 19th: The Mixtape in promotion for the album.
On October 7, 2013, the album's second official single "King Shit" featuring T.I. was sent to mainstream urban radio in the United States. On October 15, 2013, the music video for "King Shit" featuring T.I. was released."King Shit" has since peaked at five on the US Billboard Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. On October 27, 2013, Yo Gotti premiered the album's third single, "Cold Blood" featuring rapper J. Cole and Canei Finch.
On February 1, 2016, Yo Gotti released the official cover art for both the standard and deluxe versions of The Art of Hustle, and the release date of the album. The album released on February 19, 2016, and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200. The album's lead single "Down in the DM" (featuring Nicki Minaj on the remix) peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. In August 2016, singer Meghan Trainor released "Better" featuring Gotti, as the third single from her second major-label album, Thank You. Gotti closed out 2016 with the announcement of a deal with Jay Z and his Roc Nation label, in partnership with his own CMG (Collective Music Group) imprint.
On June 1, 2017, Gotti released a collaborative mixtape with record producer Mike Will Made It, titled Gotti Made-It. The mixtape's lead single, "Rake It Up" featuring Nicki Minaj, has so far peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became his highest charting single in the country.