Local Wire

Yo Gotti @ Celebrity Theatre

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Yo Gotti's discography surely has kept the biggest names in Southern hip-hop blushing for more than a decade. Whether he was biting the crunk style of fellow Memphis rappers Three 6 Mafia on his earliest releases, emulating Juvenile's breakout hit, "Ha," on his own track "U A Gangsta Rite?," or shamelessly impersonating Nelly's anthemic delivery on "That's Not Yo Bitch," Gotti has kept his music consistently unoriginal. On Saturday, he'll be coming to town to show off his newest musical forgery, a hoarse, raspy flow indistinguishable from Young Jeezy's. Complete with Jeezy's signature improvisational laughs, references to drug prices, and perpetual proclamations that he's the "realest nigga," Gotti's most recently lifted style is featured prominently on his major-label debut, Live from the Kitchen. Due out this fall on J Records and loaded to capacity with big-name production and guest appearances, the release will hopefully help Gotti carve his own niche and give him the courage to stop riding other artists' coattails. If the past 10 years of his career — or the past 20 years of commercial rap music — are any indication, though, the odds of that look pretty slim.

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Daniel Raven