After being arrested for cases of drug dealing and carnapping, Taurus Bartlett stepped out of prison on May 16, 2018, and promised himself it would be the last time he’d set foot on Cook County Jail.
During that time, he was already making his own music, the same kind he fell in love with as a kid and is known as the rapper Polo G. But during that day in May, he realized that his music wasn’t really communicating the life he had growing up. As a result, he decided to adopt a wounded, melodic delivery as his way of being a voice to Chicago kids like him whose stories are never heard.
In a video he released last August for a song called “Finer Things”, Polo G can be seen on a city block hanging out with friends alternating with dreamlike shots of him on the beach surrounded by family.
The lyrics of the song reveal his feelings on his experiences of being left by friends who died and being dependent on drugs. With the profound storytelling and incorporation of soft pianos in his track, “Finer Things” garnered more than 50 million views on YouTube.
20 –year-old Polo G has since signed under a major label, and his song “Pop Out” is on the Billboard charts of Top 40 hits along with songs by Ariana Grande and Halsey.
Polo G’s popularity is very evident on YouTube, where similar pain-stricken rappers like him have found refuge in recent years. A few weeks ago, his debut album “Die Legend” was released. The tracks in the album explicitly narrate his traumatic childhood and the mental struggles he continues to struggle with.
Polo G was born and raised in Chicago’s North Side where he lived with his parents and three siblings. Often they had no food on the table and no clothes to wear. His parents were young and offered them little guidance. He has always cherished school because he regarded it as something that momentarily takes him away from the anguish of being in his home. In 2012, the demolition of the Cabrini-Green Homes where much of his family lived made things harder for Polo G.
His music and style reflect how much he values Chicago. And though he recently moved to L.A with his family, he guarantees that his first child who’s due in the coming weeks is acquainted with his roots. With the arrival of his child, Polo G is determined to fully turn his back on drugs. He admits though, that the effects of using ecstasy still lingers, causing him to feel depressed and bipolar at times.
Polo G believes that anyone can relate to the sorrow and ambition contained in his music, even those who never experienced the life he used to have.