It’s very difficult to find a bad YoungBoy Never Broke Again song. Run through his discography, and you’ll notice that the 19-year-old is one of the most consistent rappers in the game. While he remains one of the most celebrated young artists, his detractors often remark that sometimes, YoungBoy can be too consistent. With so much music on the market — and with the majority of it frequenting the same lane — much of his material is treated evenly. In order to evolve to the next level, NBA YoungBoy needs to adopt fresh tendencies and explore different veins. Did he do so on AI YoungBoy 2?
The current voice of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the self-proclaimed King of YouTube. With his previous bodies of work, NBA YoungBoy stood tall at the top of the video platform’s leaderboard when it comes to streaming. That’s an impressive feat by itself, but after realizing that it took only Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” to knock him off his pedestal, YB’s influence should become even more meaningful.
The troubled teenager is an emotional being. He’s been in and out of jail, continually getting in trouble with the cops and putting his career in jeopardy. Somehow, he always finds his way back on top. The perseverant youngin will be on house arrest for the next twelve months, being restricted to his hood and not being allowed to run any performances or tours. As a successful recording artist though, he needs to remain active to keep the fans interested. Months after being released from prison for violating his probation, the “Lonely Child” is back with the highly-anticipated sequel to his AI YoungBoy mixtape.
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Having gone through a lot in his short lifetime, NBA YoungBoy has a lot to say on his new project. With all the hype surrounding the rising superstar, this was bound to be one of his most popular releases thus far and, considering the fact that YB is expecting to move 100K+ units of AI YoungBoy 2, he’s right on track to experience some major growth in his career. It’s scary to consider how big this guy can become. We see a glimpse of his potential on “Carter Son,” the tape’s opener and arguably one of the best songs on the tracklist. YoungBoy utilizes his melodious talents and hook-making mastery throughout the bulk of the songs. Often likened to both Lil Durk and Kevin Gates, YoungBoy combines both of their strengths to become a heightened version of the two street veterans, potentially building a blueprint to, one day, surpass them. However, he will need to be a little more innovative in the future to do so.
Much like all of his other projects, AI YoungBoy 2 makes for very easy listening. With a pop-oriented approach to writing choruses, YB makes sure his music is always catchy but he hides life lessons in his lyrics. Speaking on drug use, crime, and the streets as well as heartbreak, depression, and love, his thematic structure is varied but also leaves a lot of room for him to explore. At this point, we know that YoungBoy is always going to pour his heart out, which is ultimately what helps differentiate him from the rest of the pack. He’s a gangster but he’s incredibly vulnerable, speaking about his real-life relationships, his family, and his hardships here.
On tracks like “Make No Sense,” the Baton Rouge native channels his inner Gucci Mane, boasting about his lifestyle and noting that, despite being a millionaire, he’s still posted up “in the bricks.” Then, on “Ranata” and “Lonely Child,” he flips the script and raps about his “hood queen,” the pain he feels inside his heart, and more.
If there is one critique to be made, it’s that AI YoungBoy 2 isn’t enough of a departure for YoungBoy Never Broke Again. The lyrical content is incredibly versatile but the general sound of the project may be too uniform. In order for him to reach that next level of superstardom, he will need to keep to this lane while also trying out new things. Each song on this mixtape is solid but the biggest shift in the young rapper’s sound comes in its introductory song. Everything else is in line with what he created on Until Death Call My Name or Realer.
This is a very enjoyable body of work and you won’t regret listening through until the end. At just 19-years-old, YoungBoy has so much room to grow and we’re excited to see where he ends up in a few years time. He’s definitely on the right path.