The New National Anthem: Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM”

Damn Gotti and Nicki are bold.
By    February 4, 2016


Most of the time, it’s tempting to believe that life is a tornado of random luck with no coherent rhyme or reason. Sort of like a Silkk Tha Shocker song. Karma is a cool idea, but there’s a reason for the cliche, “the good die young.” Moral of the story is that nothing makes sense until it does. So how to explain Yo Gotti, who spent the previous decade and a half of his life as the Memphis Jeezy, a diet coke version of the original Snowman who was endearing but ostensibly lacking the charisma to become a national star.

Then at 34 years old, he drops a tribute to getting girls to Snapchat him that pussy — “if it’s cool.” Give him credit, Gotti is all about consent. Let the lords of Karma never again be knocked. Is there anything more beautiful than seeing a random regional rapper score an absolute fluke hit without a video (until recently) and the world’s worst artwork ever created. Just stare at that cover — it looks like it was designed by a oversexed Papa Smurf on a DMT binge looking at his phone and trying to get Smurfette to send him nudes. If it’s cool.

“Down in the DM” works because it’s probably the most sadly relatable song of the last five years. The Direct Message is probably a more effective dating service than Tinder could ever hope to be. It’s also been responsible for the some of the greatest flameouts this side of Paul Walker. (Had to).  A savvy DM slide can result in a meaningful relationship that can happily last until the wrong screenshot. A lackluster DM slide can end up looking like this. 

One of the problems with modern radio rap is its self-seriousness. Drake is the rap Kevin Hart. J Cole’s biggest hit of the last year was a paean to premature ejaculation. Kendrick is beset with Nasir Jones syndrome, where their sense of humor is somewhere between Stonehenge and the “Do you think I’m funny” scene from Goodfellas. We live in a time where people tragically consider Lil Dicky a charming novelty, mainly because the rest of the game is too seriously fixated on their new hat line.

Gotti wins because he stopped taking himself seriously. He breaks the fourth wall with a sentiment we all can relate to: “I’m addicted to the Gram, I know I am.” He’s basically in a 12-step program for digital social media addiction and needs to tell the world. He’s falling for thirst traps. Halfway to 40 and still glowing that he has celebrity nudes in his inbox. He’s hitting girls up just because they drive BMWs, which is arguably the most shallow thing I’ve ever heard, but fucking hilarious. It plays on the worst fears of the modern man — that at any point your girl could be Facetiming Yo Gotti that pussy — which is not cool.

So it’s only right that for the remix he enlists Nicki Minaj, one of the world’s best at the art of the rapping and the platonic ideal of a thirst trap. She’s the Helen of Troy and the Athena of the rap game, blessed with the sort of curves that causes chumps to crash their careers. She does what she does best, eviscerate trifling men and Mileys, pointing out the obvious that 99.9 percent can’t fuck her. She drops a verse that will probably wind up on the Mount Rushmore of ass-eating along with Kevin Gates Instagram videos and that Jhene Aiko verse. She says give me more head that Peggy Bundy to remind everyone that these are two rappers in their mid-30s saying things that would’ve made Akinyele turn Easter Egg pink (RIP).

You might think this is a stupid song and you wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but there’s something so absurd about it that you have to love it (or at least should). Everyone is in on the joke. We’re all guilty and that’s okay. We’re only human. If this is the thirstiest generation in recorded history, these two just wrote a new national anthem. Maybe we should be slightly embarrassed, but maybe it’s important to remember that you don’t need to apologize for having fun — just being one DM over the line. After all, fortune favors the bold, and apparently, Yo Gotti.

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