There are a lot of reasons for an artist’s career not taking off or a label deal falling through. For recording artist Plane Jaymes, that reason might be better attributed to the sad fact that homophobia still pervades every facet of popular culture. On September 4, Jaymes took to Instagram to air his nearly two-year-long grievances with Yo Gotti and the CMG label, who he claims shelved him after discovering that he was gay.
“By the time I was ready to get my ticket to leave from Florida to go do some work with Gotti’s homie B Mimms, I had got a call from two of my friends saying, ‘Yo, somebody’s spreading a rumor about you being gay,’” Jaymes tells us over the phone. “I got a call from my manager and he was like, ‘Is that what’s going on? Well, I don’t rock like that, son. I’m out.’”
Shortly after, Jaymes says he received a call from CMG Vice President Keon, wherein Keon made things very clear: “‘Well, we don’t really fuck with nobody like that.’” This was in January of 2017, and since then, Plane Jaymes says he has not had any direct contact with the CMG team or Yo Gotti.
“I don’t hate these guys,” Jaymes assures. “It’s just, let’s just sit down and make sense of this shit. I didn’t wanna go the social media route. I reached out to these people so many times. What the fuck am I supposed to do when you can get a middleman but you can’t get an answer from a direct source?”
DJBooth’s interview with Plane Jaymes, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: Walk me through your history with Yo Gotti and CMG.
Plane Jaymes: I had a song called “Water Wet” way back in 2015. At that time I was bi-curious, but more so closeted because my peers were mostly straight, and I was young and not really knowing what I really was wanting to do with that part of my life. I sent it to a bunch of people and someone had picked it up and they wanted me to come to North Carolina, and they wanted to shop it to a bunch of DJs out there. They flew me out, they ended up becoming my managers, and they had a connection at this club in Charlotte. It was a strip club and one of the DJs liked the song, so he was helping us push the song and Yo Gotti had an event coming up in October of that year, and they were trying to get me to perform the song while he was there.
He gets there. I perform the record. They don’t even notice me, but of course, that’s typical. Artists see that shit all the time. My management had some times with them from being on a tour prior, and they had exchanged info and sent them the record. Gotti reached back out to us a few weeks later and said he really liked the song. His homie Keon liked the song and sent it to Gotti. We told them that we were pushing it independently, just trying to get some buzz for the record. Gotti was like, “How about, let’s sit down and chop it up about it?” My management told him that we were in Charlotte, he was like, “I’ll fly y’all out to Miami and we can chop it out.” That was the first time anything like that had ever happened.
We get out to Miami, chop it up, we exchange ideas about marketing pitches and stuff and who I am as an artist and as a person. We were pretty enthusiastic to move things forward. I had brought my hard drive and my computer, all my studio equipment. I played him a bunch of other music, for about two hours. He was like, “Damn, you got a lot of other shit. This is dope to see that you write your own music and you have a catalog of stuff. We could work with that. You as an artist, I think you would be a good fit.”
I was like, “Thank you; however, I know that I’m not a gangster and I know that y’all do your thing with gangsta shit and I’m wearing Vans and blowing vape smoke.” He told me that he understood product placement and that I didn’t have to be the typical CMG gangsta rapper and shit; I could still be myself. The only thing was, with my bi-curiosity, I was fighting against that. I was trying to get away from that because I felt like it would be better if I could just find a female that I would be comfortable with.
We did a deal, we signed a contract, I’m touring. The first project that I put out, it’s called Vape Music, Vol. 1, and I’m pitching ideas about doing festivals and shit like that. The thing is, I had bad management and they’re putting me in events where I’m doing shows at hole-in-the-walls. That’s not really my demographic. I’m trying to bring a demographic that Gotti doesn’t have because I’m not like Blac Youngsta… I feel like my demographic was catered to suburban ratchet kids. I felt like if Drake and Frank Ocean had a baby, that would probably be me. I didn’t really want that demographic of just the hood because I’m not trying to be a hood icon. That’s not my personality.
Later down the line, Keon had told me, “Yo, I think you should try to get around artists more your lane versus being around us because you’re only going to get the demographic that we have.” I agreed with that. So around this time, we’re in Miami and I had a friend who said, “I could bring you around a bunch of people in the Miami circuit.”
That’s when I broke off from the tour. I stayed in Miami for a little way, and at some point, I had met this guy and clicked. We started doing the consistent talking, and eventually, it got to the point where I was taking this thing seriously. The only thing in the way of that is nobody knows about my sexual orientation. Just one person in my immediate circle and I told her about that because she was a lesbian and everybody in my clique knew that shit. She told me she would keep a secret and whenever we’re ready to tell my management, we could do that together. But, [laughs] she ended up outing me to my management.
By the time I was ready to get my ticket to leave from Florida to go do some work with Gotti’s homie B Mimms, I had got a call from two of my friends saying, “Yo, somebody’s spreading a rumor about you being gay.” And I was like, “I was actually coming back to tell you guys because I’m in a relationship and I don’t want nothing to be awkward. I wanna be able to go see him, I want him to come to see me without it being this thing.”
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On top of that, I was thinking, maybe if I could tell them this shit before it gets out, maybe I could talk to [Gotti] about bringing that kind of demographic to the brand. I’m their only artist who could connect to the LGBT community. I would think that in a business sense, it would make sense to at the least think about it. The way it came at me was, I had no control of it because somebody went behind my back and I thought I could trust them…
I got a call from my manager and he was like, “Is that’s what’s going on? Well, I don’t rock like that, son. I’m out.” I canceled my flight because I wasn’t going to go somewhere where I wasn’t wanted, and I went back to my homie’s place in Florida, and I called B Mimms and I told him what was going on. He was like, “I’m cool with somebody who’s comfortable in they own skin, we just never been in this type of situation before so I gotta put my thinking cap on. I’ll get back to you.”
I’m losing friends, all this shit is going on, and then Keon hit me up towards the end of the night and said, “So, what’s this I hear about you being gay?” I was like, “Yeah, I didn’t really know how to deal with it up until now, but that’s what it is.” He was like, “Well, we don’t really fuck with nobody like that, so…” I was like, “Shit, I can take all the pictures with y’all down if you want, just to avoid negative energy.” He says, “You might as well get started with that now.” I took them all down. I think it was January 2017.
I wasn’t trying to fuck they shit up, and I was new to this shit about myself, so maybe I should have just fought back? Well, I offered to take it down, he said take it down, and it just ended at that point. I didn’t really hear from nobody at that point. No contracts were sent my way that disclosed termination.
As far as me trying to pursue my career, I had offers from people that wanted to work with me and they knew about my situation with Gotti. They asked to review my contract and they said, “Nah, nah, he owns your shit. We can’t work with you. We can’t do business unless they let you out of this contract. No matter what they said to you verbally, you’re still locked into that contract.”
What’s the point of holding me to a contract if you don’t want anything to do with me? I called ‘em, I’ve emailed them. I get to the point where somebody tells me they spoke to inside connects and they tried to ask and get answers from Gotti and Gotti responds with, “Nah, I’m gonna hold onto his publishing.” It’s like, why?
Have you and the team had any contact since your post?
No. People have told me I should have been upfront from the jump. I agree, honestly. I felt like, at the same time, if I knew… At this point, I know. I have somebody that I love and that I wanna be with, and I’ve stepped over that hurdle of being afraid. At that point in time, I was afraid. It wasn’t just Gotti. You know how many people didn’t know? My family, my friends—there’s a whole different realm of letting people into that side that’s scary. There’s people out here fucking dying over that shit. You really think I wanted to deal with that? I remember… I guess I didn’t know how much damage was done until this shit was done.
One part of me feels like, why do I have to tell you who I’m fucking when you’re just trying to sign me ‘cause I’m talented? The other part I get is, if you’re trying to market somebody, I think that you should know what you’re investing into so you can get the full potential out of what you’re investing into. I feel like that part wasn’t fair on giving them all the information, and that was just due to me being afraid of what will happen to me. If he said, “No, we don’t wanna sign you,” I would’ve been… All the friends I lost coming out, I don’t think there would have been as much light shed on the fact that homophobic shit is fucking people’s lives up. I don’t know… I do get both sides of the fence. I’m not a selfish person.
Well, kids are going to see that you’re out now and that’s going to impact lives.
It’s no hate! I don’t hate these guys. It’s just, let’s just sit down and make sense of this shit. I didn’t wanna go the social media route. I reached out to these people so many times. What the fuck am I supposed to do when you can get a middleman but you can’t get an answer from a direct source? I honestly would rather take all of this shit down, talk about what’s going on, and make sense… I’m not trying to ruin this man’s career, I’m just trying to be free from a fucked-up situation. Fuck clout. At this point, I feel like if I never made a song again, I would be fine. I could go live life with my partner and get a job, and just focus on happiness.
What kind of resolution are you hoping for?
In a perfect world, I would like to apologize to him for not being able to be upfront with him at the time, for one. I would hope that he would understand that, and I would hope that whatever I owe him as far as my advances or whatever… As far as the legal shit goes, I would hope that there would be some type of fairness that would come out of whatever he and I are due. Honestly, I believe in fairness. I don’t believe in getting over on people, I just believe in not making anybody’s life miserable out of spite.
I would wanna have that one-on-one talk to him because this is genuine. I'm not trying to see nobody’s life fucked up. I would rather have a conversation and let him know: “It took some time to grow, this was always on my mind, I wish I would have spoke to you about this sooner.” I also hope that if I was to pursue music, I would be set up with the infrastructure to do what I’m trying to do: be a voice to people who feel afraid to be themselves.
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