Kentrell Gaulden, better known by his stage name YoungBoy Never Broke Again (or NBA YoungBoy or simply YoungBoy), is an American rapper who has achieved tremendous success in music industry. He is best known for his distinctive blend of hip hop, southern rap, gangsta rap and trap. His albums and singles have charted highly on charts worldwide: such as Until Death Call My Name, Top, Sincerely Kentrell Outside Today Bandit to name just a few. He has collaborated with notable artists like Juice Wrld, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj – but his career was marred by legal troubles that resulted in multiple arrests and imprisonments. So how was he able to overcome those challenges to become one of the most influential rappers of his generation? Below is a brief outline of his journey from troubled teenager to influential rapper.
Early Life and Influences
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Kentrell Gaulden was born October 20, 1999, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana1. He endured an upbringing marked by hardship: as a toddler he broke his neck wrestling which left permanent scars on his forehead1. Due to the lengthy prison sentence of his father for 55 years inflicted upon him1, Alice Gaulden raised Kentrell on her own until ninth grade when he dropped out due to juvenile detention for robbery1. Kentrell found inspiration from local artists like Lil Boosie, Lil Phat and Kevin Gates which all helped shape both musical style and attitude2.
Gaulden launched his musical career in 2014 when he released Life Before Fame as NBA YoungBoy2. Subsequent mixtape releases included Mind of a Menace 1, 2 and 3. In 2016, he rose to fame through his mixtape 38 Baby, which received millions of views on YouTube2. Additionally, he engaged in an aggressive song-for-song rap beef with fellow Baton Rouge rapper Scotty Cain that attracted much media coverage due to its death-threatening lyrics2. He rose to fame until his arrest in Austin, Texas on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder in connection with a drive-by shooting1. He was incarcerated for eight months during which time he released multiple songs that went viral and established himself as a household name, such as Win or Lose, Don’t Matter and Too Much2. Following his release in May 2017 after pleading guilty to reduced charges of aggravated assault with firearm, Untouchable was released, which peaked at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart1.
Success and Controversy at One Step A Time
Gaulden later signed with Atlantic Records and changed his stage name to YoungBoy Never Broke Again1. He released his debut studio album Until Death Call My Name in April 2018 which reached number seven on the US Billboard 200 chart and featured guest appearances by Future, Lil Baby, and Birdman1. AI YoungBoy, Fed Baby’s, and Master the Day of Judgement were three mixtapes that demonstrated his versatility as an artist1. In January 2018 he released the song Outside Today, which reached number 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart1. Additionally, in August 2019 he collaborated with Juice Wrld on Bandit which became his first top ten hit reaching number 10 on Billboard Hot 100 chart1.
Gaulden’s success came with legal complications resulting from his involvement in violent incidents, drug possession cases, probation violations and domestic abuse allegations1. He was arrested multiple times and faced charges such as kidnapping, assault, weapons violations and attempted murder1. Additionally, Kodak Black accused him of copying his style and lyrics3. Gaulden continued his music releases despite legal difficulties, establishing and cultivating a loyal fan base. In September 2020 he released his second studio album Top which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and included guest appearances by Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg1. Additionally he released several mixtapes such as Still Flexin Still Steppin 38 Baby 2 and Until I Return which also charted well on Billboard 200 chart1.
Current Status and Future Plans of SDSI.
Kentrell Gauldenwas arrested again for drug and weapon charges in Baton Rouge1. He was denied bail and remained in jail until March 2021 when he was transferred to a federal prison in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, to face federal charges of being an felon in possession of firearms1. He pled not guilty to this charge and awaited trial1. After being released from prison in September 2021, Kentrell released his third studio album Sincerely, Kentrell. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with guest appearances by Lil Durk, Lil Wayne and Ty Dolla Sign; thus becoming only one of three artists following 2Pac and Lil Wayne to achieve such an achievement while in custody1. Furthermore, numerous singles such as Nevada, Toxic Punk and White Teeth received positive reviews both from critics and fans1.
Gaulden announced his departure from Atlantic Records and signing to Motown Records in August 2022, releasing The Last Slimeto as his last studio album with Atlantic. Subsequently, I Rest My Case became his debut with Motown in January 2023; followed by Don’t Try This at Home which featured guest appearances by Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Roddy Ricch in April. Finally he also stated his intention of creating his seventh studio album called Never Broke Again which would feature guest performances by them all three artists.
Gaulden is one of the most successful and influential rappers of his generation, boasting over 10 billion streams on Spotify, 12 million subscribers on YouTube, and 10 million followers on Instagram4. He has received various recognition and nominations, such as the BET Hip Hop Award for Best New Hip Hop Artist in 2018, the Billboard Music Award for Top Streaming Songs Artist in 2019, and most notably the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. His famed works have also been acknowledged by other prominent artists like Jay-Z, Eminem, and Kendrick Lamar who cite him as an influence and legend4. Additionally, he has participated in various philanthropic causes like donating to schools, hospitals, charities, Black Lives Matter campaigns, raising awareness for mental health and drug abuse as well as increasing charity donations4.
Kentrell Gaulden has persevered through many challenges and hardships to become YoungBoy Never Broke Again, the rap star. His resilience, determination, creativity in music and his personal life have inspired fans and friends alike, showing that resilience, determination and creativity. Additionally, he hopes that by inspiring and motivating those experiencing similar struggles he can inspire and motivate them as well. Gaulden stated his wish “To be remembered as one who never gave up, always followed his dreams, spoke his truth, loved people with all his heart while making great music – someone who never broke again!” 4.