Mims grew up in Ridgecrest Apartments of Frayser, Memphis. He began his music career around the age of 14, rapping as Lil Yo, affiliated with DJ Sound and his crew. Between 2000 and 2006, Yo Gotti released a string of independent albums. From Da Dope Game 2 Da Rap Game (2000), Self-Explanatory (2001), Life (2003) and Back 2 da Basics (2006).
After several delays Yo Gotti released his major label debut studio album Live From The Kitchen on January 10, 2012. The album’s original first single was titled “5 Star” and it was released on May 20, 2009. The single peaked at 79 on the Hot 100, 19 on U.S R&B and 11 on U.S Rap. “Women Lie, Men Lie” featuring Lil Wayne the album’s second single was released on December 11, 2009. The song peaked at 81 on 100, 22 on the U.S R&B and 12 on the U.S Rap. “Look In the Mirror” was the third single released 7 months after the second single on July 27, 2010. The song peaked at 97 on the U.S R&B chart. Live From The Kitchen debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard 200, with 16,000 copies sold in its first week of sales in the United States. After three weeks on the chart the album has sold 36,000 copies in the United States. In 2012 due to Gotti’s views of the low sales of his debut album he took his departure from RCA Records & Polo Grounds Music. On October 17, 2012, he released the 7th version of his well-known mixtape series Cocaine Muzik entitled Cocaine Muzik 7: The World Is Yours.