Photo Credit: Lauryn Bass, Media Girls Network (SiriusXM x Pandora stage)
By: Lauryn Bass, Multimedia Journalist (itslaurynbass)
July 17th, 2023
(Atlanta, GA) – In an evening filled with electric energy and unbridled excitement, fans of acclaimed American rapper and songwriter Moneybagg Yo were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience at the exclusive "Playback" event hosted by SiriusXM and Pandora. The eagerly anticipated gathering celebrated the release of his latest mixtape, "Hard To Love," as attendees had the unique opportunity to meet the rap sensation live and in-person.
The event was held in Pandora’s Peachtree office. As attendees entered the building, they were greeted by employees who ushered guests to enjoy refreshments of Moneybagg Yo “Rap Snacks” and his very own brand of water, Vior. Seating was arranged in an intimate setting of ambient lighting with a well lit stage of two seats for the rap artist and host.
Photo Credit: Lauryn Bass, Media Girls Network (Audience Seating)
According to some audience members, “Playbacks'' are known to be jam-packed, so this stylistic contrast added a personal touch for the chart-topping artist to connect with his fans and create an exclusive experience. Iced-out in his signature chains, bracelets and rings, Moneybagg Yo not only shines but also exudes charisma as he took to the stage, following the opening sounds of DJ Jazzy T (@djjazzyt) and welcoming introduction by Hip Hop Nation’s Morgan Richard (@yagirlmorgz). Special invited guests had front row seating such as artist 24hrs and Salma Slims.
Moneybagg Yo joined the stage with host and Vice President of SiriusXM and Pandora, Poster Child J1. He kept the flow of the interview conversational where occasionally the audience could chime in. Questions surrounding his home life, career, goals and aspirations kept an uplifting tone and atmosphere. Moneybagg Yo opened up about the creative journey that led to the birth of Hard To Love.
J1: “Big statement: Hard To Love. How did you come up with the title in the first place?”
Moneybagg Yo: “Just going through what I was going through at the time. I hadn’t dropped no music in like 2 years and just enduring all the pain. Going through everything that I went through, I couldn't trust certain people, everybody aint got good intentions–everybody aint pure. You know what I’m saying? So with that being said, I was just like, it’s hard to trust..it’s hard to love, just overall.”
In between the sets of questions, the audience had the opportunity to listen to some of Moneybagg Yo’s popular songs such as ‘On Wat U On’, ‘Quickie’, ‘Ocean Spray’ and a new release from the mixtape, ‘F My BM.” He shared that he enjoys his collaborations with other artists such as Da Baby and GloRilla that add to his creative artistry.
J1: “What were your thoughts when Yo Gotti signed GloRilla to the label?”
Moneybagg Yo: “I thought it was a good move. I respect her hustle and she knows how to listen. She’s creative too and just her energy–when she’s in the room you know she’s in the room. So it’s just good to have her a part of the team.”
He also shared about his personal life. According to the artist, he maintains a healthy lifestyle by working out to get his mind right as part of his creative process. A fun fact about him is that he listens to old school hip-hop or R&B when he’s in the gym before a show! He also touched base on the expansion of his current projects such as Vior or the two restaurant locations he has. He shared that he’s making some adjustments to the menus adding favorite dishes such as oxtails over rice, oxtail egg rolls and buffalo shrimp. As for Vior, he shares that the water brand was an idea of a friend’s and that he’s trusting his friend to take over that project, sharing the wealth.
J1 also addressed the rapper’s recent land acquisition of 28 acres that his girlfriend Ari (@therealkylesister) purchased for him. From this, listeners learned that he has split the land equally amongst his eight children and is still brainstorming others ways to utilize his birthday gift. The rapper's candid revelations resonated with the audience, fostering an atmosphere of mutual understanding and appreciation.
As we all got to see, the artist is talented in various ways. So much so that he expressed he earned the title of “Jordan of the label” from Yo Gotti himself. The interview ended with Moneybagg Yo expressing his gratitude to the attendees for their unwavering support throughout his career. He emphasized how important it was for him to maintain a genuine connection with his Atlanta fan base–especially showing love to women, acknowledging that they are the driving force behind his continued success. He also left his fans with a word of advice about time management in regard to how he balances everything that he does.
J1: “How do you balance fatherhood with being an artist?”
Moneybagg Yo: “You make time for what you want–everybody. Even if I’m working, wherever I’m at. If I gotta be in LA, I’m taking my kids. Wherever I gotta be, whatever I gotta do, I’m just going to make it happen. It’s no excuse.”
"Hard To Love" undoubtedly represents a milestone in Moneybagg Yo's musical journey. With musical influences such as 50 cent, Jeezy, Yo Gotti, the mixtape's compelling blend of relatable storytelling and infectious beats has continued to contribute to the rapper’s success.
Photo Credit: Lauryn Bass, Media Girls Network (Left: J1 / Right: Moneybagg Yo)
The "Playback" event served as a testament to Moneybagg Yo's dedication to his craft and his admirers. In an industry often defined by its fast-paced nature, the rapper's commitment to connecting with the culture and defining Memphis as a staple city for consistent city hip-hop, led him to win a plaque! J1 presented Moneybagg Yo with SiriusXM and Pandora’s ‘Hip Hop 50th Anniversary Blueprint Award.’ This wrapped up the event, followed by photo ops and networking.
It’s evident that Moneybagg Yo's star power continues to rise, and his position as a driving force in the hip-hop landscape remains unshakable. The release of "Hard To Love'' marks yet another milestone in his illustrious career, and according to the rap star: more music is on the way! Fans can expect an album soon as he goes on tour after his birthday in October. Until then, he says to look out for tour dates dropping on August 3rd.
To stay up to date with all things Moneybagg Yo, be sure to follow him on social media @moneybaggyo. Be sure to check out our video recap on Instagram @mediagirlsnetwork!
Media Girls Network Executive Assistant and Multimedia Journalist, Lauryn Bass