NBA Youngboy, Youngboy, or Youngboy Never Broke Again—no matter what you call him, there is a reason he is blowing up in the rap and hip-hop worlds. As a part of Gen Z, NBA Youngboy has been throwing rhymes his entire life.
NBA Youngboy is signed to Atlantic Records as of late 2017.
His style has been described as “signature aggressive punch and high energy.” He turns 21 in the year 2020.
Who is NBA Youngboy?
Kentrell DeSean Gaulden made his appearance in the world on October 20, 1999, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
He was brought up by his mother’s mother, his maternal grandmother, mostly because his dad was sentenced to 55 years in prison due to a bangled burglary, and his mother needed to get away so she left Kentrell to defend for himself.
Life was better with his grandmother. He talks about how she spoiled him, unlike his mother who was more of a disciplinarian with him.
Knowing he wasn’t going to be a scholar, YoungBoy dropped out of high school in ninth grade. He had the feeling that his life would take him in a different direction. So, he downloaded some software from online and bought a microphone from Walmart. That’s how he began his career by getting the basics and going for it—at fourteen years old.
Kentrell’s maternal grandmother passed away after he spent a little while in a Taulluah, Louisiana detention center for a burglary charge. While this devastated him, he moved in with his friend, NBA 3Three (aka 3Three, or OG 3Three), who is also a rapper from the Baton Rouge area.
From the Streets to the Studio
Opportunities did not present themselves so easily for Youngboy. With his familial issues and multiple arrests before the age of 20, he had a hard time getting into the studio to claim his rightful place as a new prodigy of the music industry.
Some of the first mixtapes that NBA Youngboy made before being signed to a record label were:
- Life Before Fame
- Mind of a Menace
- Mind of a Menace 2
- Before I Go
- 38 Baby
38 Baby was the mixtape that caught the attention of many other influential Louisiana rappers including Kevin Gates, Boosie Badazz, and Stroke Tha Don.
Many people attribute the rise in fame of Youngboy to the “beef” between him and Scotty Cain who is another Baton Rouge rapper. Their back-and-forth songs to each other included threats of violence and murder, and even though nothing ever occurred between the two, the badassery of their exchange boasted NBA Youngboy up into the stratosphere of rappers in his area.
After his grandmother died, he moved in with OG 3Three and 3Three’s mother, Monique. He liked Monique so much that he started calling her “mom,” and she ended up paying for both her son and NBA Youngboy to have some studio time for the first time.
Come December 2016—Youngboy was arrested. The charges? Attempted first-degree murder. How? Supposedly a drive-by shooting. While he took a plea deal and posted bail in the spring of 2017, NBA Youngboy did release two more mixtapes while in jail:
- Before I Go: Reloaded
- Mind of a Menace 3: Reloaded
Before Atlantic Records signed him to a record deal, Gaulden not only released the video for “41” with Young Thug, Meek Mill, Boosie Badazz, Yo Gotti, and Meek Mill, he also released the single entitled “Untouchable” from his mixtape called A.I. YoungBoy. This was where he began to get national recognition for his work as “Untouchable” reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Jumping on this success, his second single from A.I. YoungBoy, called “No Smoke”, had an even better run and peaked on Billboard Hot 100 charts at number 61.
Until Death Call My Name
In April 2018, YoungBoy’s first official album, Until Death Call My Name, was released by Atlantic Records. While some of the singles did well, overall, there were mixed reviews on the album.
His struggles with poverty and violence (both the victim and the perpetuator) are consistently present throughout his music and end up being the source for most of his pensive struggles you hear throughout his lyrics.
After Until Death Call My Name, Gaulden released a slew of mixtapes and new music from 2018-2019:
- Master The Day of Judgement
- 4 Respect 4 Freedom 4Loyalty 4WhatImportant
- AI YoungBoy 2
4Respect 4Freedom 4Loyalty 4WhatImportant are actually four different mixtapes all with four tracks each. In the end, these separate EPs were combined together and released as a compilation to the public.
One reason NBA YoungBoy stays consistently popular is due to his steady release of music and mixtapes. He is consistently at the top of the list of popular (and best-selling) artists in recent rap history. This is because he really dives into his fanbase on YouTube and is always releasing new rhymes and music.
So Where is NBA YoungBoy Now?
Gaulden violated his probation from an arrest in 2018, and the judge ordered him to a 14-month sentence of house arrest. This left YoungBoy with only one option for creating music—to do so at his house.
While he released random tracks like “House Arrest Tingz” to express his feelings about his situation, his popularity saw an even further boost with the release of “Bandit.” This collaboration with rapper Juice Wrld ended up peaking at #10 on the US Billboard Hot 100. “Bandit” ended up being the most popular single to date.
AI YoungBoy 2, a sequel to his 2017’s AI YoungBoy, was one of the ten most-streamed debuts of 2019. It was streamed over 140 million times in its first week alone.
2020 saw the release of Still Flexin, Still Steppin, another mixtape that would end up being his second-highest charting album up to that point. It went to number two on the US Billboard 200. Not to be discouraged, YoungBoy released 38 Baby 2 in April 2020. He surpassed his Still Flexin, Still Steppin project, and 38 Baby 2 reached number one on the Billboard 200 for the US.
To keep the energy up, he released a third album, Top, in late 2020. Little did he know that it would also peak at number one on the charts. This means that he was doing Atlantic Record a solid. Three number one albums within one year. If anything, Gaulden has lots to say and is not apprehensive about throwing out all of his work to be judged by the world.
NBA Youngboy is with Atlantic Records
With all of that said, yes, NBA Youngboy is signed to Atlantic Records. This is one of the biggest record labels in history. Not only have they been around since 1947, but they have signed huge names such as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and even Led Zeppelin.
In the end, YoungBoy’s goal is to live life fast and hard. He is constantly trying to run away from violence and death, and his psychosis around this is present throughout all of his work. He has five children with another daughter ready to appear at any moment.
He wants to raise his kids and keep making the music he loves. And, can you blame him for that?
We didn’t think so.