“It Goes Down in the DM” and Other Career Lessons from Yo Gotti


Yo Gotti is not my favorite rapper. In fact, I’ve never been a fan. But all of that changed after a road trip that helped me discover that he shared some major career keys in his latest album, The Art of the Hustle. Let me explain.

The first time I heard “It Goes Down in the DM,” I was on a road trip with a former coworker from Las Vegas to Silicon Valley to start a new job.

During the nine hour trip, she was the primary radio controller and insisted we listen to “It Goes Down in the DM” countless times because it was in heavy rotation in the Vegas club scene. After the first few rotations of the song, I was unimpressed. Two things bothered me. First, I believed the lyrics were too vulgar and secondly, I wanted to forget Vegas. I had a great career stint but it was time to move on.

Yet, in the spirit of roadtrips and friendship bonding, I kept my mouth shut and rolled with the punches.

Fast forward three gas stops, two bags of spicy nacho Doritos and one Red Bull later, I was singing a different tune. I actually took time to listen to the lyrics and began imagining the words in action.

By the time we got to the Bay Area and could see the Golden Gate Bridge, I was all in. I knew the chorus, half of the verses and was compelled to listen to the whole album. It took me two days to finish listening to the album because I listened to each song 3-5 times to catch each word of the lyrics.

I challenged myself to think deeply about how the lyrics applied to my life as a young professional and came up with three practical tips that lie within the catchy beats.

1. Career navigation is The Art of the Hustle

The album name speaks for itself. How many times have you applied for a promotion or new job, didn’t receive an offer only to learn the job was given to someone with less experience or lesser skills? Obviously, that person is a better hustla than you.  Call it what you will – you can hustle your way to the top. If you don’t know how, luckily there are great communities and programs nowadays to assist you build up your hustle.

2. You’re accountable for your own career choices

If you want success, you have to grind, There’s no way around it. Lyrics that speak to this come from the second song called “Bible.” While the song paints a picture of what success can look like by outlining steps from “product” creation to sales and distribution, it also reinforces that you still have to put in work before you reap any rewards.

3. “It” really goes down in the DM

“It” in this case refers to networking and job connections. When is the last time you slid into the DMs of a potential mentor or new manager? Take a lesson from brand strategist, Jonathan Jackson or partnerships marketer Ruben Harris who’ve both landed multiple jobs and networking connections via social media (#noresume).  if you plan on taking this route, make sure your social profile is ‘employable.’ In other words, save the bathroom selfies and unprofessional bios for another day.

I wish I could say that if you applied all three tips it guarantees you’ll land your dream job, but the reality is I can’t. The tips above are small slices of the job-hunting and personal branding pie. I recommend seeking additional professional development guidance to find the career you love.


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About Author

Madoree Pipkins is a brand strategist and founding team member of HBCUtoStartUp a community and job matching network for black professionals to connect with fast growing funded startups. Don’t be shy - say hi and connect with her on Twitter: @madoreep