Image source: Rolling Stone
Polo G’s song Rapstar skyrocketed to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 songs chart only a week after it was released, and it is currently maintaining its momentum. Produced by Columbia Records, Rapstar gained 40.3 million streams in the United States alone and sold over 2,400 downloads by April 22. The song also attracted three million radio airplay. Rapstar’s current status places Polo G at a higher league, making the single one of his most notable phenomena to date.
Rapstar features Polo G’s story of becoming a superstar rapper. It features the exhausting process the artist went through to reach his goals and how he overcame insecurities along the way. In an interview with Complex, the rapper said, “It’s about the ups and downs of this lifestyle,” referring to the life of a celebrity. “You know you can be winning, and even though all of the good shit that’s happening, you can still have those emotional battles,” he added. Rapstar became a monumental success, trending No. 1 on YouTube within its first 24 hours of release.
Polo G previously told the press that he wrote everything he wanted to accomplish on a vision board at the beginning of his career. One of his goals was to create a chart-topping hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the massive success the superstar rapper is experiencing today, reaching his goals did not happen overnight.
Born Taurus Tremani Bartlett, Polo G’s career began in 2018 when he landed his first record deal after gaining attention from the millions of streams his track called Gang With Me obtained on SoundCloud. Polo G kept the momentum by releasing more greetings such as Welcome Back, Neva Cared, and Finer Things, which quickly gained millions of views in the latter half of 2018. But before he found his way to music, Polo G struggled to overcome the lifestyle he had in the hood.
In May of 2018, Polo G was facing multiple arrests for selling weed and selling cars. After seeing how his struggles reflected other kids from his hometown Chicago, the rapper wanted to amplify the emotions of his upbringing and shed light on the stories of Chicago kids like himself who have been exposed and wounded by their environment.
Polo G was raised in a humble home in Marshall Field Garden Apartments, one of the most impoverished housing projects in Chicago. He described his upbringing as impoverished from all material things and that his parents, who married young, were learning things as they go. Despite their family’s lack of financial stability, his mother aspired to great things for him after realizing that he was articulate and well-spoken even at a young age.
“It was a really humble beginning. It was a family sense. Although a lot of things go on, we’d still show love off the strength of our parents, etc. I was seeing the typical things every Chicago kid sees but more up close and personal. You see the average things: drug dealings, drama, violence, things of that sort. I was just maneuvering, trying to survive, becoming a product of my environment, but also being able to quickly pull myself away from that,” Polo G shared in an interview.
Today, after overcoming the hood, Polo G wants to set an example to other Chicago kids who have been exposed to violence, drugs, gangs, and other challenging circumstances through his vivid storytelling. Polo G currently lives with his son Tremani.