Name: Kentrell DeSean Gaulden
Alias: YoungBoy Never Broke Again (fka NBA YoungBoy)
Age: 17 (DOB: 10/20/1999)
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Affiliated Acts: Kevin Gates, Boosie BadAzz, 21 Savage
Biggest Song: 38 Baby
At a performance in Austin, Texas, the Never Broke Again crew was swarmed by the police and Kentrell Gaulden, better known as NBA YoungBoy, was arrested for allegedly being one of the shooters in a drive-by shooting in Baton Rouge on November 2nd.
Now, the promising rapper is waiting in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, getting ready to face the most difficult situation of his life. He will be tried as an adult for two counts of attempted first-degree murder. (Sound familiar?)
He could face life in prison without parole if convicted.
Maybe with a little more time he would’ve been able to get away from all the trouble, but YoungBoy was unable to shake free of the unforgiving grasp of the gang lifestyle.
As one of 2016’s fastest rising talents, the Louisiana rap star was being courted by several major record labels and was planning a move to California with his Never Broke Again crew, the boys that he grew up with.
Poised to make the leap, YoungBoy has everyone in Louisiana bumping his shit and millions of plays on his songs and music videos. His 38 Baby mixtape really put him on the map and drew serious attention with its genuine storytelling and melodic hooks.
From the confrontational ‘I Ain’t Hiding’ to the romantic ‘Ride Out’ and pensive ‘Gravity’ (his favorite song), he shows off his range and proves he’s a lot more than just a gangster rapper, with lyrics like:
- In this life that I’m livin’ I pray I make it through the night
- No I can’t lie every time that I’m with you I love it when I see yo smile
- I got two sons I’m just 16 can’t waste my time
What’s especially impressive is that he freestyled every song on the project except ’38 Baby’, a ridiculous feat for such a quality mixtape. This 17-year old kid has all the potential in the world, but we might unfortunately see him end up like Bobby Shmurda.
People are quick to label YoungBoy as nothing more than a thug – as a menace to society who should stay in jail.
After all, he’s constantly brandishing guns in his music videos and social media while glorifying violence and drugs in many of his songs. Like 21 Savage (whom he has a personal relationship with), Gaulden embodies numerous negative stereotypes.
However, a more thorough approach is needed to better understand Louisiana’s next great rap star. From the very beginning, the odds have been stacked against him.
Born and raised in the hood in north Baton Rouge, Gaulden was raised by his grandmother because his father has been incarcerated for most of his life. In the world of poverty that he was brought into, it takes a certain resiliency and mettle to last.
When he was four-years old, Gaulden was wrestling with some kids from down the street when he was slammed off the bed, breaking his neck. He survived, with the three trademark scars on his forehead from the halo brace he had to wear adorning his face as the lone reminder from the incident.
YoungBoy had to fend for himself at an early age after his grandmother passed away, and he quickly ended up dropping out of high school as a freshman. Shortly after, he was arrested for robbery.
A six month stay in a juvenile detention center followed. However, this ended up being a blessing in disguise, as Gaulden used this as his opportunity to begin his rap career. He turned punishment into production by writing most of the songs that would make up his first mixtape, Life Before Fame, during his stay.
Dropped in April 2015, the tape is quite polished for a debut project, as the then 16-year old rapper shows a lot of promise with his natural flow and rhythm. But even his biggest supporters couldn’t have been able to see the follow-up year he would have.
With a Future-esque work ethic you wouldn’t expect from such a young boy, he pumped out his Mind of a Menace trilogy, Before I Go, and 38 Baby mixtapes in a span of 11 months from December 2015 to November 2016, with noticeable progression and consistent quality throughout.
Carrying on the legacy of the likes of Boosie, Webbie, and Lil Phat, YoungBoy’s meteroic rise in the rap game as next up from Louisiana was cemented with his incredible 2016.
You won’t find double entendres or layers of meaning hidden behind intricate wordplay in his songs. But you will find real, raw emotion and a brutally honest depiction of the treacherous environment YoungBoy is from. With poignant lines like “gunshots broad day where I live,” his charismatic, youthful voice bears the burden of someone who has gone through more in his short life than most people do in their entire existence.
This is a 17-year old kid with a prolific work ethic (six projects in less than two years) and an undeniable natural talent. He has consistently put out quality content and organically grown a significant following.
He has recently expressed that he wants to change his image and put his children and career first. Here is to hoping that he resolves his legal issues, puts the unnecessary violence behind him, and continues creating.
- FeeBanks, his manager and head of Good Money Global Management, told him to change his name to YoungBoy Never Broke Again to avoid liability issues
- Has an older sister and a little brother
- His videographer, David G, has iron-clad balls, as he has multiple guns pointed at him every video