Few artists have an RIAA certified song or album, but at just 19 years old YoungBoy Never Broke Again can boast that he has 7 RIAA certified platinum songs, 4 RIAA certified gold projects, 9 RIAA certified gold songs and a RIAA certified Platinum album with the release of his debut album Until Death Call My Name. He already released 13 mixtapes, as well as a studio and compilation album. That hard work is a recipe for success. This new project, AI Youngboy 2 reflects some of that ambition as an 18 track project that spans a little under an hour (55:04 to be exact).
When listening to YoungBoy’s music, one thing stands out instantly– realism. The album’s opening track “Carter Son” sets the tone for the entire project. With that classic New Orleans feel, YoungBoy keeps it as real as ever. He uses the music as a therapeutic diary and underscores his authenticity. “I wish that baptism could’ve saved us” is a bar from that track that really stands out.
His music sometimes sounds like blissful ignorance but he expresses the sentiments of a young man with a troubled past who came from the struggle. It’s clear that he believes he transformed himself into a star and maybe even an icon (ask Trippie Redd).
“Time I’m On” is a more uptempo track where YoungBoy basically lets everyone know that he remains true to himself but handles his time more efficiently . In “Hot Now”, he says, “I need that fan, baby girl because I’m hot now”–he’s telling us that the time is now.
The next track on the project is “Seeming Like It”. One of the opening lines on the Mike WiLL Made-It produced track is “This ain’t bout friends, this ain’t bout critics, this bout how I’m living”. YoungBoy expresses how even though everyone tells him things will get better, from his perspective, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In “Self Control”, which was one of the singles released before the project, YoungBoy expresses how “dro” (weed) keeps his emotions under control and allows him to be a more approachable person.
Next on the tape is “Make No Sense” which is my personal favorite track. It opens up with YoungBoy emphatically staying “I feel like I’m Gucci Mane In 2006.” If you don’t know, that’s the year Gucci beat his murder charge.
I would describe tracks 7-9 as a summary of YoungBoy Never Broke Again Music. “Rich As Hell”, “Slime Mentality” and “Head Blown” are violent tracks, however they allow us to peek into the psyche of YoungBoy. His tough upbringing ultimately led him to live the life he lives. He is still fighting those inner demons as he continues to grow as a person. Legal troubles litter YoungBoy’s career and ultimately smothered huge parts of the album’s promotional campaign. He’s learning to strike a balance between his real life and his career.
“Ranada” produced by Carolina hit maker, Jetsonmade is a love song of sorts, where YoungBoy professes his love for the lady in his life. “Lonely Child” is the highlight of the tape. YoungBoy gets super personal, speaking on his relationship (or lack of) with his parents, battling losing his friends to violence, and disloyalty. Songs like this is why YoungBoy dominates the streams.
“Gang Shit” is another uptempo track in which YoungBoy violently lets any one against him know what he’s repping. “Rebels Kick It”, is one of the best produced tracks of the year. Wheezy went crazy on this one. YoungBoy shines big time on this track, as well.
“Outta Here Safe” has the only features on the entire project, with two of rap music’s rising stars Quando Rondo & NoCap assisting. The last 4 tracks of the project: “In Control”, “I Don’t Know”, “Where The Love At” & “Free Time” show YoungBoy’s versatility and growth as an artist. These four tracks illustrate a mixture of classic New Orleans street music and love songs that can even crossover as pop records.
“AI YoungBoy 2” is technically a mixtape but this kind of felt like an album. YoungBoy attacked this project as if he had something to prove. If you’re skeptical about YoungBoy’s music (as I once was) I would suggest this body of work. His music is a journal of his life and young people with similar stories can take solace in knowing they’re not the only ones growing through those things.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again is only 19 and I am excited to watch how his a career continues to grow. Stream AI YoungBoy 2 below.