YB, better known as YoungBoy Never Broke Again or NBA YoungBoy, might really be better. How many other 21-year-old rappers can say they already have four No. 1 albums under their belt, 44 platinum plaques as a solo artist, 35 gold and almost 10 billion YouTube streams that amount to being the top artist on the platform? Very few.
A simple look back at his career includes the moment YoungBoy decided to take rap seriously—he was doing a robbery bid in the ninth grade. It was there that he plotted on rapping full-time and soon after, adopted the rap moniker that celebrates the hungry drive of turning Ls into Ws. Since then, the Baton Rouge, La. rhymer has always kept his foot on the gas when it comes to releasing new music. The frequency often includes three projects a year like one of his influences, Young Scooter. Even with so much music flooding the market, his songs stick where they could easily get lost in the sauce.
Early tracks like “Murder,” from Mind of a Menace 2, and “Gravity,” featured on 38 Baby, came out in 2016, and showcase his signature recipe of melodic stick talk, high-energy stories about being at war with his demons and the roster of women in his life. After feeding the streets with bangers, he broke the commercial seal in 2017, with songs like "Untouchable," on AI YoungBoy, and a year later, "Outside Today,” from Until Death Call My Name. Over the next few years, he would release speaker-rattlers like "Make No Sense,” "Kacey Talk" and “Nevada,” off the his latest drop, Sincerely, Kentrell.
That project, following other chart-toppers like AI YoungBoy 2, 38 Baby 2 and Top, recently went No. 1 and eclipsed the firepower of Drake’s still-burning Certified Lover Boy album—all while YoungBoy is currently incarcerated. In light of YoungBoy’s Sincerely, Kentrell victory and his rise as a cultural phenomenon, XXL highlights 38 essential songs from his catalog—with the exception of features on other tracks. Check out YoungBoy Never Broke Again's most essential songs you need to hear below.