The earliest years of an artist’s life tend to be the most impactful, and few know that better than SpotemGottem. The Jacksonville, Fla. native, who found himself everywhere this year thanks to the viral success of his song “Beat Box,” picked up the art of rapping from his uncles at just 9 years old. Watching them freestyle together would inspire him later in life, when he began rapping at 14, and started dropping freestyles of his own on the internet. These verses caught the attention of the rap blog Say Cheese, who entered into a deal with Spotem to promote his music, even though he didn’t have any official songs at the time.
Marked by his deliberate style, peppered with dark humor and almost action movie-like descriptions of street issues, SpotemGottem began to gain real traction with his songs three years ago. His first track was “Street Gossip” in late 2018. From there, he kept working, dropping the five-track mixtape Osama Story in 2019. That groundwork led to him releasing “Beat Box” in April of 2020, which has now been streamed over 100 million times on Spotify, thanks to the original song’s popularity, TikTok virality and countless remixes.
“Bur-bur-burn away a carbon beam, knocked yo’ legs off/Tried to get away from me, had a stand off/Hit ’em in the spine, knock his dreads off/My woadie just caught a body, I nicknamed him Randy Moss/Thuggin’ in my Reeboks, riding with a G-Shock/Shhh, I heard he shot, Draco make a beat box,” he raps on the bass-heavy banger produced by Damn E.
Pooh Shiesty was the first rapper to jump on the official “Beat Box” remix in December of 2020. The track appears on SpotemGottem’s Final Destination project, released that same month. The viral factor of the song is thanks to an accompanying dance created by TikTok personality June Elite in December of last year. Aptly titled the Junebug Challenge, the dance involves spasm-like body jerks while pumping the arms up and down, a bit similar to what Spotem does at the 1:13-mark of the remix visual with Pooh Shiesty. This opened the floodgates for some of hip-hop’s most popular young rappers including DaBaby, Latto and NLE Choppa to add their own rhymes to the beat this year. There are currently five official remixes.
After signing to Rebel/Geffen Records about a month ago, the rising rapper then dropped his new 12-track project, Most Wanted, in May. As the new music and more “Beat Box” remixes continue to stream in, SpotemGottem talked to XXL via Zoom for this week’s edition of The Break.
Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla.
I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to Lil Boosie, Webbie, Master P, Hot Boys, shit like that.”
My style’s been compared to: “Nobody really. But you know people say Kodak [Black], but it’s just because I’m from Florida. But they know once they listen to my shit, they be like, ‘Oh yeah, he from Florida, but he got his own style.'”
I’m going to blow up because: “I just got to make music. Now I got to make music. I got
new fans. You know, when you coming up that’s all you want is fans, fame. And once you get it, you just got to go harder. And just let them know where you come from.”
What’s your most slept-on song, and why?: “Damn. I don’t know. I got a couple of them, like three of them really. People always know I’m going to go crazy. I’m going to drop more shit and it’s just going to go hard. This one right here should’ve got way more likes, way more views. That bitch ‘Same Day’ is going to go hard. I got it about five months ago. I got way bigger than since when I posted it, so I’m just going to post it.”
My standout records to date have been: “[‘Beat Box.’] Really, all I was looking for was the hit, and I found it. I was staying in the studio all night, all day, just trying to get a hit, and I found one. Everybody noticed me off that. They was like ‘Oh yeah, it’s hard.’ And we just going to make this better. That’s when DaBaby got on that bitch. NLE Choppa, Mulatto, everybody just started, you feel me?”
My standout moments to date have been: “When I blew up off ‘Beat Box,’ that was the biggest moment. Got a nigga lit, so everything cool. I see they got people in China doing it, all the way in Africa and shit. So like, ‘Oh yeah. This bitch worldwide.’ And then Junebug just made it better.”
Most people don’t know: “I be vibing. I’m a cool little dude. I be cooling, man. Gang be on lit shit. We just be having fun, feel me?”
I’m going to be the next: “Millionaire.”
Follow SpotemGottem on SoundCloud and Instagram.
“Beat Box 2” featuring Pooh Shiesty
“Beat Box 3” featuring DaBaby
“No Tik Tok”
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