Unapologetically unique: NBA Youngboy

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The best artists remain unapologetically themselves. No matter what they have been through, the ones that are true to themselves and their craft will always present the most authentic version of themselves within their music. Such is the case for Baton Rouge, Louisiana native, NBA Youngboy. Also known as Youngboy Never Broke Again, he is a rather quiet character until it is time to unleash in the studio. Being reserved in nature has helped to solidify his spot within the ranks of smoldering new artists like DaBaby and 21 Savage.

Although a man of few words, Youngboy’s actions have landed him in some hot water from time. Luckily, he was able to dodge some lengthy sentences on a few occasions. His situation was not entirely dissimilar to Meek Mill’s in the fact that what he did was wrong but due to his status in the music industry, the judge appointed to his case tried to make an example out of him. There were several instances where she told him bluntly, “Your music is causing people to die.” However, NBAYB replied, “My music uplifts the quality of life of those who surround me.” 

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Just this past December, NBA had his probation truncated and decided to migrate to the West Coast. Ever since he began gaining traction, it had been a goal to escape that hostile environment in favor of something more conducive to expressive freedom and longevity. Much like his Baton Rouge predecessors, Kevin Gates and Lil Boosie the jealousy and contempt that emerges in that area cause a target to be placed firmly on his back. Always on go mode, NBA Youngboy does not back down from any threat, but ultimately decided it would be best to reside in an area where imminent danger does not lurk around every corner.

NBA Youngboy: bringing it all to the booth

Many people gravitate toward NBA Youngboy for his ability to let all of his demons loose in the booth. His lyrical offerings are a culmination of all the tumultuous situations he had to endure throughout his short life. As the quiet, observant type this man played his part and soaked up knowledge until it was time for him to shine. What makes his music so incredible is the balance of different elements. That way, he is able to present a distinguished character that proves to be familiar to his audience since he is in tune with his own habits and characteristics.

It is evident that this dirty South artist has come a long way since purchasing a microphone from Wal-Mart and dropping out of high school in the ninth grade to pursue music. What people admire the most about NBA Youngboy is his ability to turn systemic oppression and brutal surroundings into triumph. Much of what this man has accumulated whether it be streaming numbers, possessions, connections or friendships are a result of speaking matters into existence. It may have taken him quite a bit of time, but it is safe to say that he is out to achieve greater goals and has abandoned the negative environment that once plagued him.

NBA: Controlled fury

Clearly, this artist knows how to keep fans satiated. His tireless work ethic is unmatched and can be noted within his discography. He has put out nine mixtapes in three years and went through a stretch where he put out three albums within six months. Unfortunately, he went on to sign a poorly devised 360 contract deal with Atlantic Records where he will receive two million dollars in advance for five studio albums. The reason why these deals are not fortuitous is that the artist does not own any rights or masters to the music they make and are locked in for a set price while the record label reaps the rewards that amount from the album releases.

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The reason why this deal was so perplexing stems from the fact that NBAYB has been one of the most streamed artists in history. All of his songs normally come with a visual element and are uploaded to YouTube before any other platform. As of the beginning of last year, he accumulated the most views of any artist by more than 14 million. It is unfortunate that he does not have an intellectual mentor or someone intelligent within his circle to school him to the game of the record industry. Regardless, I’m sure he will learn and navigate his way into a more lucrative and luxurious record deal in the future.

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It is safe to say that NBA Youngboy has catapulted his way into the speaker boxes of many people who can relate. Even though it did not all happen without controversy, the important thing is that he is on the right path now and hopefully, will continue in that direction.

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