14 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Baton Rouge rapper Youngboy Never Broke Again was just 17 years old when he released his breakthrough mixtape. His urgent delivery, Louisiana drawl, and bleak introspection recall the city’s biggest rap stars, Boosie Badazz and Kevin Gates, both of whom appear on 38 Baby. But Youngboy finds his own voice with the singsong flows of “For It” and “38 Baby.” Among the album’s crisp, spare beats, Yung Lan’s blearily nocturnal “My Kind of Night” stands out as the closest thing to a club banger.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Baton Rouge rapper Youngboy Never Broke Again was just 17 years old when he released his breakthrough mixtape. His urgent delivery, Louisiana drawl, and bleak introspection recall the city’s biggest rap stars, Boosie Badazz and Kevin Gates, both of whom appear on 38 Baby. But Youngboy finds his own voice with the singsong flows of “For It” and “38 Baby.” Among the album’s crisp, spare beats, Yung Lan’s blearily nocturnal “My Kind of Night” stands out as the closest thing to a club banger.

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About YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Raised by his grandmother in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, YoungBoy Never Broke Again (born Kentrell DeSean Gaulden in 1999) started recording with a Walmart-bought microphone as a teenager, writing tracks for his early mixtapes while in juvenile detention. It’s a path that would continue to cast shadows on his career. After a flurry of increasingly strong mixtapes (most notably 2017's AI YoungBoy), Gaulden made his major-label leap with 2018’s Until Death Call My Name, only to be derailed by further arrests. He bounced back later in the year with a string of similarly titled EPs (4Respect, 4Loyalty, 4Freedom, 4WhatImportant) that continued to chart his sound, featuring collaborations with Young Thug and Kevin Gates. Aggressive but soulful, Gaulden’s music feels like a natural step in the evolution of Louisiana hip-hop, echoing both Boosie Badazz (a collaborator) and Gates (who went so far as to get a tattoo of Gaulden’s face) as well as the serious, sing-song-y feel of classic Cash Money. Speaking to The FADER in 2017, Gaulden described the pressure he felt to succeed—for his family and for himself. “I can see, I can hear, I can smell, I can speak, I can touch,” he said. “Ain’t no excuses.”

HOMETOWN
Baton Rouge, LA
BORN
1999

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