YoungBoy Never Broke Again is one of the most popular rappers of his generation. Hailing from Baton Rouge, La., he’s become a modern staple due to his ability to funnel a wide range of emotions into affecting anthems. He began rapping at age 14, cultivating his first rhymes as he faced various issues with the law. Between 2015 and 2016, he dropped several mixtapes, including Life Before Fame and Before I Go. But the project that propelled him to rap’s main stage was 38 Baby. Featuring his typical blend of visceral, melodic street raps, the project established YoungBoy as an emerging force in the world of hip-hop. Thus, features from area legends like Kevin Gates and Boosie BadAzz served as powerful implicit co-signs as well.
While he was on the rise, an attempted murder charge threatened to put his career in jeopardy. While incarcerated, he continued building his buzz, dropping two mixtapes before his spring 2017 release from jail. That same year, he signed a record deal with Artist Partner Group and Atlantic Records before unloading his debut album, Until Death Call My Name, in 2018. The LP landed at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, but that was just a small preview of what was to come, which was a level of online support that websites hadn’t quite learned how to accurately quantify.
Known for being extremely prolific, his music videos and songs would earn tens of millions of YouTube views upon their release, evidence of a fan base that would only continue growing. While his various legal issues have often imperiled his career, he’s never stopped being popular. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a time in which many artists were unable to perform, he was listed by Billboard as being the third-highest-earning rapper, with his extensive catalog being a major reason why.