A student at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn., the 20-year-old Wave (birth name Radontae Ashford II), was eating wings with friends whenYo Gotti started following him on Twitter. Yes, Yo Gotti, the hard-hitting, Memphis-based rapper whose last album, "I Am," debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard album charts in November.
"I was tripping, my heart was pounding heavy," said Wave, a 2012 graduate of Messmer High School, "I had never seen Yo Gotti, never came across him, so for him to follow me was random. Ten minutes later he sent me his number in a direct message....I jumped out of my seat, and I straight-up freaked out, (screaming), 'Gotti gave me his number!'"
A week later, Wave met Gotti. Then, at Gotti's invitation, Wave spent two months with him in the studio and on the road. Wave did a dozen sets himself in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference in March. Then on March 19, he officially signed a deal with Gotti's CMG label on Epic Records.
"I heard from a couple young dudes (in Memphis) talking about (Wave's) music over and over again," Yo Gotti (birth name Mario Mims) told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He's very lyrical....He holds a lane of music that's different from mine, but he owns his lane of music....Once he releases his music, people are going to gravitate toward it."
This month, Wave will have a couple tracks on a CMG mixtape and will also drop his own mixtape.
Talk To Em'