Polo G is a drill rapper from Chicago known for his melodic harmonies, powerful storytelling, and sincere lyrics. Polo G’s real name is Taurus Bartlett and he was born in the Northside section of Chicago, Illinois on January 6, 1999. Check out other Chicago artists on our blog!
He grew up in the Marshall Field Garden housing projects and states that he grew up with “no guidance”. He self identifies as an “old soul” and says that he often spent a lot of time to himself. He took a liking to school and was accepted to Lincoln University for sports broadcasting but decided to withdraw to pursue music full time.
He stepped on the scene with his song “Never Scared Remix” in 2018. The song shows the influence that early 2010s Chicago music had on his style. He was influenced by Chicago drill pioneers such as Chief Keef, King Louie, and Lil Durk.
Polo G’s early SoundCloud songs such as “Who Run It Remix”, “Gang With Me”, and “The Race Remix” are all in the same style as his Chicago roots. However, songs like “The Come Up”, released in 2018, showed how he is the next evolution of drill music.
In the song, he delves deep into the anxiety of growing up in the low-income communities of Chicago and paints a haunting, heartfelt picture. “The Come Up” also displays Polo G’s incredible songwriting ability and his ear for melody. He was only 17 when he wrote it but a lot of the concepts he speaks about are mature.
Polo G’s songwriting is in the same style as of Southern artists Rod Wave, Kevin Gates, and NBA Youngboy, but he tells the story of North Chicago. He would continue to showcase his heartful songwriting with records like “Hollywood” and “Finer Things”, which have close to 200 million views on Youtube combined.
On “Finer Things”, he states, “My friends died too, I know that feeling, I’m popping ecstasy to help me with the healing.” Polo G openly talks about his battle with mental health and drug abuse. His new melodic drill sound led him to being signed by Columbia Records in 2019.
He hit the charts with his song “Pop Out” with Lil Tjay, which is now 7x Platinum, which was released around the same time of his signing.
He would release his debut album Die a Legend that same year and is now considered by many to be a classic. The album featured Lil Tjay, Lil Baby, and Gunna. It marked the birth of a star and is now certified platinum.
He released his sophomore album The Goat to further critical acclaim and had the single “Go Stupid” with NLE Choppa and Stunna 4 Vegas go double platinum. The album also featured Juice Wrld, NLE Choppa, and BJ The Chicago Kid, amongst others. He would transition to a more pop sounding style with “The Goat” with this “Go Stupid” going viral on TikTok.
He would continue his pop ascent with his next album Hall of Fame released in 2021. The album featured rap legends such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, as well as his contemporaries Rod Wave and Fivio Foreign. The record would become his first number one album and the song “Rapstar” would become his first number one song on Billboard.
“Rapstar” has made Polo G an international artist, going platinum in over 4 countries. He released Hall of Fame 2.0 in December of the same year with more features from Moneybagg Yo and Lil Baby.
He has been featured in Forbes 30 under 30, in Judas and the Black Messiah and F9 soundtracks, and has done appearances for luxury brand Balenciaga. He is now working on a collaborative album with producer Southside that will be released in 2022. It seems he made the right decision not going into sports broadcasting. Check out his melodic drill anthems on Spotify!