You’ve never heard a rapper liken himself to Martha Stewart, boast about partying with his mother, or discuss the latest day trading strategies. Then again, the game has never seen anyone quite like Yung Gravy.
Shades on, gold chains dangling, pearly whites shining, and outfit popping, the Minnesota-born MC has unassumingly bloomed into a phenomenon with over 1 billion streams, platinum plaques, sold out tours, and no shortage of style, substance, and swagger. However, his 2020 second full-length album, Gasanova [Republic Records], illustrates his evolution in widescreen technicolor.
“I’m still the same old smooth Gravy, but it’s like I’ve grown from an adolescent Gravy into a dad Gravy,” he observes. “I was learning before, and I finally feel like I know what I’m doing. I’m the family man of the rap game today, and this is my job.”
Since emerging in 2016, he has done this job quite well, to say the least. After a string of independent releases, he sank his teeth into stardom on the 2018 Snow Cougar EP. It touted not one, but two platinum hits: “Mr. Clean” and “1 Thot 2 Thot Red Thot Blue Thot.” In between selling out a pair of headline tours, he unleashed his full-length debut, Sensational, during 2019. Upon arrival, it vaulted into the Top 5 of the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart as it gassed his total streams past the 1 billion-mark. Not to mention, it earned widespread critical acclaim. OnesToWatch exalted, “Yung Gravy's 'Sensational' Has No Right Being This Good.” HotNewHipHop noted, “he's managed to carve a lane for himself, which is already so many steps ahead of his peers.”
Kicking off 2020, he teamed up with partner-in-crime bbno$ (pronounced “baby no money”) to serve up Baby Gravy 2. At the onset of the Global Pandemic, he returned to the spot where it all began—his mom’s house. Holing up at home, he kicked it with “day one friends,” played “a ton of Skate3 on the O.G. Xbox,” took the reins as executive producer for the first time, and fell in love with rap all over again.
“It brought back the feeling of growing up,” he admits. “After being on the go all the time, I was able to chill like I did back in the day. When I did make music, there wasn’t anybody in the studio with me and I was able to think about the complete vision in a way I hadn’t before.”
After teasing his next chapter with “Tampa Bay Bustdown” [feat. Chief Keef & Y2K] and “jack money bean” [feat. bbno$ & Lentra], he formally introduced Gasanova with “yup!” Once again, he stirred up classic sauce, but he spiked it with a Latin kick and a music video in homage to Anchorman. With bars touching on everything from Martha Stewart to his mom’s partying abilities, this album paints a vivid picture of how Yung Gravy has been spending his time at home.
In the end, the “Gravy Train” has only just begun its ascent to the top of hip-hop with Gasanova himself behind the wheel.
“The goal of my music is to put a smile on your face, while simultaneously delivering the waviest, catchiest, and most banging rap songs you could hear,” he leaves off. “On this album, I took it to the next level. I thought out the lyrical content and experimented with different flows. This is platinum Gravy. It’s the cream of the crop. Rather than hoping your mom is going to like this, you know she’s going to like it.”