YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Having relevant experience of a troubled life is all part and parcel of being a rapper and is an important source of songwriting material; by any measure, the American rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again has a rich and colorful seam of inspiration to draw from. Born Kentrell Gaulden in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 20th, 1999, he was raised by his grandmother after his father was sentenced to 55 years in prison. After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, he was arrested and incarcerated for robbery. At the age of 17, having been released from detention, he was arrested on suspicion of murder following his participation in a drive-by shooting, an offense for which the rapper received a ten-year suspended sentence. In 2018, he was arrested prior to going on stage for offenses including assault, weapons violations, and kidnapping. Somehow during all the turmoil in his life, YoungBoy Never Broke Again found time to write and record tens of mixtapes, and in 2018, “Outside Today,” the lead single from his studio debut Until Death Call My Name, reached Number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album itself, which featured guest appearances from rap sensation Future and Cash Money Records head honcho Birdman, improved on this, reaching Number 7 and obtaining platinum certification in the US. Swiftly following it up in December of the same year with the gold mixtape Realer, he later returned in 2019 with another platinum effort, the national chart-topping mixtape AI YoungBoy 2, amidst high-profile collaborations with the likes of Juice WRLD, Lil Baby, and Trippie Redd. Keeping up his prolific work rate into 2020, he reached a career-high of Number 17 on the Hot 100 with the DaBaby collaboration “Jump” and reclaimed the Number 1 spot on the Billboard 200 with his aptly named sophomore album, Top, which included contributions from Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne. Plagued by criminal charges including suspected firearms offenses and an alleged assault on his ex-girlfriend, he committed to a social media blackout in September 2020 but has since continued to chart with new material including the mixtape Until I Return and a joint release with Rich the Kid entitled Nobody Safe. That year, the mixtapes Still Flexin, Still Steppin, and 38 Baby 2 bowed at Number 2 and 1 on the Billboard 200, respectively. Subsequently, YoungBoy Never Broke Again joined 2Pac and Lil Wayne as the third rapper to land a Number 1 record while in prison with 2021’s Sincerely, Kentrell. He followed this success in 2022 with the mixtape Colors and the full-length The Last Slimeto, both of which topped the rap charts in the US and peaked at Number 2 on the Billboard 200.

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