In a radio interview with The Breakfast Club last Monday, the menacing baritone Trap rapper Moneybagg Yo —whose garnered a national following since his Federal 3x mixtape debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200– told host Angela Yee, “when I was broke…it might sound crazy…but I kinda liked it better.” The Memphis-native is currently embroiled in disputes with rappers Ralo and YoungBoy Never Broke Again.
“Moneybagg Yo tried to pay a [club promoter] $7,500 to not let me [perform],” Ralo said in an interview with Vlad TV. “what kinda s*** is that?” The rapper recently released a diss track aimed towards Moneybagg titled “Trending.” While once on good terms, YoungBoy Never Broke Again also dismissed the rapper and claimed on Instagram that payment was never settled regarding a collaborative project released this past November. ”[Moneybagg Yo] was my brother now f*** ‘em,” YoungBoy said.
“When I was first coming up, I didn’t feel no love in the streets,” Moneybagg Yo told The Breakfast Club. “I’ve seen the game for how it really was, and how fake it is, and now…I’m just…I’m too heartless.”
The rapper’s latest project, fittingly titled 2Heartless, is clearly directed at those that want to see Moneybagg fall. “They try their best to provoke me, the killer want to be relevant,” Moneybagg growls on the opening bars of “Black Heart,” a minute-long opener that addresses the attempt on his life at a New Jersey rest stop this past August. The following track, “Bigg Stacks,” demonstrates a fluid Moneybagg in his element regardless of all that’s transpired against him this past year. While the theme of the track centers around the rappers lavishes, Moneybagg still sprinkles in verses aimed at his haters in New Jersey, “They want my spot and don’t deserve it, can’t forget that. Who you hittin’ at? How you miss that?”
While those sifting through the 18-track project for Trap anthems will find plenty of offerings —most notably “Black Feet,” a BlocBoy JB assisted track that finds both artists in top form— Moneybagg’s heavy heart consumes the majority of the project.
On “Fed Babies,” a track assumed to be aimed at YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Moneybagg raps: “How you cross me? We come out the mud…can’t believe it came to this here. I really thought s*** was sincere.” While the dark maroon middle fingers that pop from the album cover paint him as emotionally detached from the feuds that have consumed his career, he presents a deep vulnerability that Yo Gotti — another Memphis-born Trap rapper who signed him to his CMB label this past October — would be proud of.
“Lift me up and hold me down more, if love ain’t here then what you around for?” Moneybagg sings to a fleeting lover on “Ion Get You.” On “Scars” the rapper sings, “If you take away all this fame, all this status, all my name…Strip the diamonds out these chains, I wonder who gon’ remain.” Moneybagg Yo is a rapper that wears his heart on his sleeve, and his latest project exudes the anxiety that consumes Moneybagg as he comes to term with mortality. Tracks like “Secrets” and “Walker Holmes” paint a portrait of a man consumed by regret. “They said it was love, I couldn’t see it. I was too blinded by the hatred,” Moneybagg sings on the later regarding a falling out with a friend.
He preaches about his need for partnership so often throughout the project that when he dismisses love and affection— such as on the cringe-worthy “Perfect Bitch,” where the star raps about his desire for polygamous relationships— it comes off as disingenuine, as if he’s trying to fit an archetype rather than be himself. Artists before Moneybagg have discussed the troubles with being famous, but 2Heartless, which was released on Valentine’s Day, seems like a melodramatic call for help more than the definitive statement Moneybagg intended it be.
“Kevin Gates told me to stay focused, don’t get out your element,” the star raps on “Black Heart.” At 26, Moneybagg Yo is overwhelmed by all that fame has brought, and his need for self-growth echo a relatable conflict. How do I grow as a person when every action is under a microscope, and how do I not end up alone?