YoungBoy Never Broke, YoungBoy, or NBA YoungBoy. He has several different professional names.
While NBA Youngboy answers to several names, his music evokes the life of someone struggling with the effects of the system and his tumultuous relationship with it.
As of mid-2020, NBA Youngboy is not in jail. He was on house arrest for breaking probation and was supposed to serve 14 months at home, but a judge dropped the original probation leading Youngboy to continue his life outside of his abode.
Throughout his career, NBA Youngboy has had several run-ins with the law and has been charged (but never fully convicted) of different crimes such as attempted murder, assault, weapons violations, and probation violations. But, he has never let that hold back his young, burgeoning energy when it comes to producing music.
NBA Youngboy: The Beginnings
Youngboy Never Broke Again, also known as Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on October 22, 1999.
Early on in his life, he broke his neck due to a wrestling incident and had to wear a neck brace to let the break heal. This incident ended up leaving permanent scarring across his forehead.
His father was absent from his life since he was arrested for burglary and charged with 55 years in prison. His mother left him with her mother, Youngboy’s maternal grandmother, to be raised.
Deciding he didn’t want to pursue school any longer, Gaulden left ninth grade and never looked back. But, he got into trouble and had to serve time in a Tallulah, Louisiana detention center for charges of robbery. That’s where he began to write his first serious lyrics for his music and career.
Mixtapes and Rap Beef
After he finished his stint in the detention center, Gaulden had to suffer through his grandmother and guardian dying of a heart attack. Luckily, his friend and fellow rapper NBA 3Three let him stay with him.
With no money for studio time, the two rappers went and bought a microphone from Walmart and downloaded software on their personal computers to jumpstart their lyrical projects. Even through all of the craziness he had experienced up to the age of fourteen, Gaulden knew he wanted to do music and wanted it immediately.
This setup may have not been ideal, but he did record several mixtapes:
- Life Before Fame
- Mind of a Menace
- Mind of a Menace 2
- Before I Go.
But with the release of his mixtape entitled 38 Baby, NBA Youngboy began to get noticed. Part of this was also due to the support he got on the album from fellow Louisiana natives such as Stroke Tha Don and Boosie Badazz.
Within a week of releasing 38 Baby, NBA Youngboy released Mind of a Menace 3. Wow.
Throughout this brief period of time, Youngboy created a lot of music, but it was all that had been building in him since he broke his neck all of those years ago. His popularity begins to really become palpable around this time, and part of that can be contributed to his lyrical rivalry with Scotty Cain, a fellow rapper from Baton Rouge. Youngboy and Scotty spat rap beef at each other several times throughout Youngboy’s early career, and the crowd always loves a good rivalry.
Don’t worry. No actual violence ever came of this artistic battle of wits at the time.
Baton Rouge Brawl
In November 2016, Keondrae Ricks was shot and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was only 18 years old. This set off a battle on the streets of Baton Rouge, and there were multiple shootings for the next day or so.
One of the people involved was NBA Youngboy. While he was on his way to the Rolling Loud Music Festival where a crew attempted a drive-by to kill members of YoungBoy’s entourage.
And, he was involved in this direct shooting. As they retaliated by shooting back, his girlfriend at the time was shot in the neck, and an innocent bystander died.
While there is still uncertainty around the details of the case, Youngboy Never Broke Again was arrested in Austin, Texas before going on for a show. That was on November 28, 2016. His charges? Two counts of attempted first-degree murder. And, the court set his bond for release at $200,000.
So he was extradited to Lousiana and was held at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison awaiting trial. During his time here, just like the last time he was detained, he held strong and continued writing music lyrics while locked up. He released Before I Go: Reloaded and Mind of a Menace 3: Reloaded while in jail and finally, in May 2017, he took his plea deal, posted bail, and left the Parish Prison.
He ended up pleading guilty to aggravated assault with a firearm which was a lesser charge. But, he had a suspended 10-year prison term and had to be on active probation for three years.
Assault, Kidnapping, Weapons, and More Hits
After several more hit mixtapes, videos with famous stars, and collaborations, YoungBoy Never Broke Again was once again arrested while on his tour bus in Tallahassee, Florida. He was on his way to perform at The Moon nightclub.
This time, he had to be extradited to Waycross, Georgia to face trial. While there earlier in time, he was caught on hotel video surveillance assaulting his girlfriend both in the hallway and in her room. Before anyone could interfere, both YoungBoy and his girlfriend were gone.
He was also charged with kidnapping and charges based on weapons.
A month after his arrest and extradition, he was released on bail. The bail price you ask? $75,000.
And here is where the system gets him again. Since he was on a three-year probation already, this incident counted as a violation so he had to go back and serve three months in prison due to probation violation. That’s still pretty good compared to the 10 years he was supposed to serve. After his release, he was sentenced to another 14-month probation period. This time, he wouldn’t be in jail, but he would be on house arrest. He would have to wear an ankle bracelet and he would not be allowed to perform.
But that didn’t stop him from continuing to make music. He released his hit collaborative song “Bandit” with now-dead rapper Juice Wrld. It reached the US Billboard’s Hot 100 charts, peaking at number 10. Within the year following, YoungBoy released three high-charting albums. This was amazing to get three chart-topping hits within the same year. The albums were:
- Still Flexin, Still Steppin
- 38 Baby 2
Livin’ Despite Strugglin
While his rise to fame happened quickly (he just turned 21 in 2020), YoungBoy Never Broke Again has defied a lot of obstacles and challenges. And, he may be scarred, but he still shows that he can overcome any odds, even his own personal demons, to make great music and improvise impactful, fast-hitting lyrics with no sweat.
NBA YoungBoy is not in jail as of late 2020, and we hope it stays that way. He has four children and a fifth is on the way. Four sons and two daughters.
Yes, he struggles with inner turmoil, guilt, and power, but NBA YoungBoy is here to stay for a while. Keep an eye out as he climbs the rungs of rap stardom.