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YoungBoy Never Broke Again

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YoungBoy Never Broke Again
NBA YOUNGBOY 2018.png
YoungBoy in 2018
Background information
Birth nameKentrell DeSean Gaulden
Also known as
  • NBA YoungBoy
  • Lil Top
  • YoungBoy
  • YB
Born (1999-10-20) October 20, 1999 (age 22)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2015–present
Labels
Children10
Websiteyoungboynba.com

Kentrell DeSean Gaulden (born October 20, 1999), known professionally as YoungBoy Never Broke Again[1][2] (also known as NBA YoungBoy or simply YoungBoy), is an American rapper. Between 2015 and 2017, he released six independent mixtapes and steadily garnered a cult following through his work. In late 2017, Gaulden was signed to Atlantic Records. In January 2018, he released the single "Outside Today", which peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[3] The song became the lead single for his debut studio album Until Death Call My Name (2018) which peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard 200.

In October 2019, Gaulden released the single "Bandit" (with Juice WRLD), which became his first top-ten single.[4] A week later, he released AI YoungBoy 2 (2019), which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.[5] In April 2020, he released 38 Baby 2, becoming his second chart-topping project on the Billboard 200. Later that year, Gaulden released his second studio album Top (2020), which followed suit as his third chart-topping project in less than a year.[6] In September 2021, Sincerely, Kentrell (2021) was released during his incarceration, topping the charts again, making him the third artist besides 2Pac and Lil Wayne to have a chart-topping album while incarcerated.[7][8] In August 2022, he released his fourth studio album, The Last Slimeto, which marked his final project with Atlantic Records.

Despite his success, Gaulden's career has been marked by a long history of legal issues that began in 2016, and has released multiple projects during his incarcerations.[9]

Early life

Kentrell Gaulden was born on October 20, 1999, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He broke his neck while wrestling as a toddler, the injury requiring a head brace until the spine healed. The brace left permanent scars on his forehead.[10] Gaulden was raised mainly by his maternal grandmother due to his father being sentenced to 55 years in prison.[10] He dropped out of high school in ninth grade. While in juvenile detention for a robbery charge, he began writing lyrics for his debut project.[1]

After he was released, Gaulden's grandmother died of heart failure and he moved in with his friend and fellow Baton Rouge rapper, NBA 3Three (also known as OG 3Three). The two then used acts of criminality to begin to pay for studio time.[10]

Career

2015–2017: Career beginnings and AI YoungBoy

Gaulden first began producing music with a microphone he bought from Walmart when he was fourteen years old.[10] He released his first mixtape, Life Before Fame in 2015. A string of other mixtapes followed including Mind of a Menace, Mind of a Menace 2, and Before I Go. Gaulden attracted attention with his October 2016 mixtape, 38 Baby[1][11] which featured fellow Baton Rouge natives, Boosie Badazz, Kevin Gates, and fellow rappers Stroke Tha Don and NBA 3Three.[12] A week later, Gaulden released another mixtape titled Mind of a Menace 3 on November 4, 2016. Gaulden’s quick rise to popularity could also be attributed to his "song-for-song rap beef" with fellow Baton Rouge rapper Scotty Cain in December 2015, in which songs from both rappers included death threats. Although no real violence ever occurred between the two Baton Rouge rappers, their feuding attracted a lot of attention.[11][12]

In November 2016, Gaulden was arrested in Austin, Texas on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder in connection with an alleged drive-by shooting.[11][13] While in jail in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana,[11] Gaulden re-released his two mixtapes, Before I Go and Mind of a Menace 3. Gaulden was released from prison in May 2017 after taking a plea deal and posting bail.[14] A week after leaving prison, Gaulden released the single, "Untouchable".[15]

In July 2017, Gaulden released a video for his song, "41", that included cameos from notable artists including, Meek Mill, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Boosie Badazz, and Yo Gotti.[16] On August 3, 2017, he released his mixtape, AI YoungBoy which charted at 24 on the Billboard 200.[17] The single, "Untouchable", peaked at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[18] The second single from the project, "No Smoke", peaked at number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100.[19]

2018–2019: Until Death Call My Name and AI YoungBoy 2

Gaulden released the single "Outside Today" on January 6, 2018.[20] The song became Gaulden's highest charting song, peaking at number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100.[19] He announced his debut studio album, Until Death Call My Name on January 11, shortly after signing a joint venture deal with Atlantic Records.[21] The album was released on April 27, 2018.[22] Despite being arrested in February 2018, Gaulden promised a new mixtape.[23] Gaulden was released from jail on March 15, and his next mixtape Master The Day Of Judgement was released on May 19, 2018.[24] Throughout the summer of 2018, Gaulden released a series of four EPs, each containing four tracks. The first of which, 4Respect, was released on August 24, followed by 4Freedom, 4Loyalty and 4WhatImportant on August 30, September 6 and 14, respectively. In conjunction with the final part being released, all four EPs were combined into a 16-track compilation titled 4Respect 4Freedom 4Loyalty 4WhatImportant.[25] On September 7, Gaulden released his mixtape Decided, featuring a sole guest appearance from Trippie Redd.[26] On December 20, Gaulden released another mixtape, Realer, featuring guest appearances from Lil Baby and Plies.[27]

By January 2019, Gaulden was on YouTube's Top Music Artists list in the United States for the previous 101 weeks, which made him the most-watched musician across all genres.[28] This was mainly due in part to his consistency of releasing music regularly and exclusively on YouTube. He was also the 9th best selling artist on the 2019 Billboard Mid-Year Charts and was seventh in the top ten artists ranked by on-demand audio streams without dropping a project in the first six months of 2019.[28]

Gaulden was sentenced to 14 months on house arrest following a probation violation earlier in 2019. Due to the house arrest, he was unable to record music from anywhere besides his house.[29] On September 25, 2019, Gaulden released the "aptly titled" single "House Arrest Tingz".[30]

On October 4, 2019, Gaulden released the song "Bandit", with rapper Juice WRLD, released as the final new song by Juice WRLD as a lead artist before his death. The song reached number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming NBA Youngboy's highest charting single.

On October 10, 2019, Gaulden released his mixtape AI YoungBoy 2, and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.[5] The mixtape is a sequel to his 2017 breakout AI Youngboy and features 18 songs, including the previously released song "Slime Mentality".[29] Gaulden was able to get his first number one album on the Billboard 200 because the album had accumulated 144.7 million on-demand audio streams during its first week, becoming one of the top ten biggest streaming debuts of 2019.[5]

2020–2021: 38 Baby 2, Top, and Sincerely, Kentrell

In February 2020, Gaulden released his mixtape, Still Flexin, Still Steppin. It debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200, becoming his second-highest charting album after his 2019 number-one album AI YoungBoy 2.[31] On April 24, 2020, Gaulden released his mixtape 38 Baby 2, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.[32] On August 20, 2020, Gaulden announced the release of his second studio album titled Top, which was released on September 11. It includes the Hot 100-charting singles "All In", "Kacey Talk", and "My Window" featuring Lil Wayne.[33][34] The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and became his third number-one album in under one year.

On November 11, 2020, Gaulden released his fourth solo project of 2020, the mixtape Until I Return. It was released exclusively on YouTube, and was made available three days later to streaming services with four additional songs. The mixtape has no guest features.[35] On November 20, 2020, Gaulden released a collaborative project with Rich the Kid, titled Nobody Safe.[36]

On September 24, 2021, Gaulden released his third studio album, Sincerely, Kentrell from prison. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 making him the third artist besides 2Pac and Lil Wayne to have a number one album while incarcerated.[7][8]

Following his release from jail in late October 2021, he released a number of singles beginning in November, including "Heart and Soul", "Alligator Walk", and "Blackball". The singles led up to his collaborative mixtape with Birdman, From the Bayou, which was released on December 10, 2021, after initially being announced in March 2018.[37]

2022-present: Colors, The Last Slimeto, and Realer 2

Gaulden released another mixtape, titled Colors, on January 21, 2022.[38] This mixtape garnered attention due to the singles released previously, in which he dissed rappers King Von and NLE Choppa on the tracks "Bring the Hook" and "Know Like I Know", respectively.[39]

On April 1, 2022, YoungBoy Never Broke Again released the Last Slimeto Sampler[40] This led up to his fourth studio album, The Last Slimeto, which is also his final album with Atlantic Records, and was released on August 5, 2022. In May, it was reported that Gaulden rejected CEO Craig Kallman's $25 million dollar offer to renew his Atlantic deal, calling the label out on its artist integrity. He also called to be released from the label along with fellow ex-labelmate Meek Mill.[41][42] Additionally, in July 2022, he terminated his performance rights management deal with ASCAP and joined Irving Azoff-headed Global Music Rights.

Through Never Broke Again's Instagram page, it was announced that YoungBoy had finally completed his contract with Atlantic Records.[43]

On September 4, 2022, YoungBoy released the YouTube exclusive single "Purge Me".[44] On September 5, 2022, through DJ Akademiks it was announced that YoungBoy would release a surprise mixtape titled Realer 2, presented as a sequel to his December 2018 Realer.[45] However, the mixtape did not release according to plan. On September 6, 2022, at around 4 PM EST, the mixtape was released primarily to YoungBoy's YouTube channel. Just a day later on September 7, the mixtape was added to all digital streaming platforms; despite YoungBoy's departure from Atlantic Records, the mixtape was distributed through the label.

Musical style

NBA YoungBoy has been noted for his melodic vocals and "signature aggressive punch and high energy".[46] He is known for his consistency in releasing music, with his work ethic described as being of a "rapid fire pace".[47] YoungBoy has released a total of twenty-six studio albums, EP's, and mixtapes since 2015.

Legal issues

Despite his success as a musical artist, Gaulden had been involved in numerous criminal run-ins and a civil lawsuit.

2014: Robbery charge and juvenile detention

In late 2014, Gaulden was arrested for robbery and sent to a detention center in Tallulah, Louisiana. He was released after serving 6 months.[48][49][50]

2016-17: Attempted murder

On November 28, 2016, U.S. Marshals arrested Gaulden before a concert in Austin, Texas, accusing him of jumping out of a vehicle and opening fire on a group of people on a South Baton Rouge street. Gaulden was charged with two counts of attempted murder.[51][52] Gaulden was in jail until May 2017 for attempted first degree murder.[53] Speaking on his incarceration, he said "I don't think they really target, but if you got a name, they know who you is, you do something, they gonna come get you, and whoever you're with and whatever they do, you're accountable for it just because you got the biggest name. That's how that shit go."[54] Facing two counts of attempted first-degree murder, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. On August 22, 2017, he was sentenced to a suspended 10-year prison term and three years of active probation.[52]

2018: Assault, weapons and kidnapping

Gaulden was arrested before a concert at The Moon nightclub in Tallahassee on February 25, 2018. Gaulden had a warrant in the state of Georgia for allegedly committing assault, weapons violations and kidnapping.[55] Hotel surveillance footage leaked shortly following his arrest showing Gaulden assaulting his former girlfriend.[56] On March 15, 2018, he was released from jail on $75,000 bail.[57]

2019: Assault and battery lawsuit

On March 12, 2019, it was reported that Gaulden and Never Broke Again artist Tyquian "Quando Rondo" Bowman were filed suit by a man claiming to be the rappers' bodyguard, tour manager and/or tour DJ for assault, battery and emotional distress. The lawsuit claims that on December 21, 2018, during a concert in Florence, South Carolina, the two performers were annoyed by a crazed fan resulting in an argument. The claimant states that he, Gaulden, Bowman and members of their entourage were escorted backstage by management, venue owners and concert organizers where he claims to have been assaulted by the two aforementioned. The person, who claimed was confronted by the two defendants, commented that Bowman (although unprovoked) instigated the incident by attempting to force him back onstage to break up the fan craze to secure his team, but after he refused, Bowman and Gaulden immediately assaulted him as he tried to explain to both parties of his deeds. It resulted in the victim sustaining a "cracked tooth, bloody face and injuries to his reputation". Gaulden's attorney stated that he had no prior knowledge of the incident, but would look into the outcome of the lawsuit.[58][59][60][61][62][63]

2019: Miami shooting, probation violation and house arrest

While Gaulden was on probation, on May 12, 2019, he was involved in a shooting in Miami in which he returned fire after a shooter in a black Cadillac Escalade opened fire, injuring Gaulden's girlfriend and killing a bystander.[64] Though Gaulden's charges for the shooting itself were dismissed, he was found to be in the company of Ben Fields and Trulondrick "Boomer" Norman, which violated a special condition of his probation; for this violation, the judge ordered him to spend 90 days in jail, banned him from performing for the next 14 months, and sentenced him to house arrest with electronic monitoring for the remainder of his probation.[65]

2019-20: Probation termination and renewal

On December 13, 2019, the judge officially terminated Gaulden's probation for two counts of attempted murder.[66] However, it was renowned after he was sentenced to a year of probation five days later after he pleaded guilty to simple assault in the case involving his ex-girlfriend.[67]

2020: Baton Rouge arrest for firearm and drug offenses

On September 28, 2020, Gaulden was among sixteen people arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on various charges, including distribution and manufacturing of drugs and possession of stolen firearms. His lawyer denied any guilt, stating "There was no indication that he had any guns or drugs on him at the time of the arrest".[68] As news of his arrest surfaced, Gaulden deleted all of his social media, including his Instagram and Twitter accounts.[69]

2021-22: Federal firearm charge

On March 22, 2021, Gaulden was arrested by federal agents in Los Angeles executing a federal warrant stemming from his September 2020 arrest in Baton Rouge. Officers attempted to stop a vehicle with Gaulden in it to serve the warrant when Gaulden took off on foot. After a search that involved using a K9, Gaulden was found and booked on federal firearms charges.[70][71] On October 26, 2021, he was released from jail on a $1.5 million bail.[72]

On July 15, 2022, Gaulden was found not guilty on his federal firearms charges from California, due to a lack of evidence linking him to intentionally possessing the weapons found.[73][74]

Personal life

At 22 years old, Gaulden is the father of ten children with eight different women.[75][76][77][78][79] Two of his sons, Kayden and Kacey, appeared in the video for his single, "Kacey Talk".[33]

In a 2017 profile for The Fader, Gaulden named Kamron as one of his sons. Kamron was born in July 2016 to Starr Thigpen just weeks after Kayden.[80] However, a DNA test later confirmed that he was not the biological father.[81]

Discography

Awards and nominations

Award Year Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Category Result Ref.
ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards 2021 "Bandit" (with Juice WRLD)
(only on behalf of Gaulden himself)
Winning Rap Songs Won [82]
BET Hip Hop Awards 2019 "I Am Who They Say I Am" (with Kevin Gates and Quando Rondo) Best Impact Track Nominated [83]
BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards 2021 "Bandit" (with Juice WRLD)
(only on behalf of Juice WRLD (posthumously) and Nick Mira)
Most Performed R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Won [84]
Grammy Awards 2022 "WusYaName" (with Tyler, the Creator and Ty Dolla Sign) Best Melodic Rap Performance Nominated [85]
BET Hip Hop Awards 2022 Birdman & YoungBoy Never Broke Again Best Duo/Group Nominated [86]
DaBaby & YoungBoy Never Broke Again

See also

List of highest-certified music artists in the United States

References

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External links