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On Friday, the internet’s undisputed favorite rapper, YoungBoy Never Broke Again (aka NBA YoungBoy) dropped the video for “Kickstand” to mark the release of his new album ‘Sincerely, Kentrell’. Over the weekend, it was confirmed that the new project dethroned Drake’s ‘Certified Lover Boy’ and hit #1 on Billboard - with YoungBoy achieving the unbelievable and unenviable feat of releasing a #1 album while behind bars, joining the ranks of Tupac and Lil Wayne as the only three artists to ever do so.
‘Sincerely, Kentrell’ is a featureless, 23-track sampling of the broad range of NBA YoungBoy - whose raw, introspective, down-south style resonates with so many and has helped shape the sound of hip hop today. Despite no features, sparse industry support, and absolutely zero corporate support from DSPs, Youtube, or basically any other platform - on account of his tumultuous past and current legal troubles that have landed him behind bars - the people have clearly spoken. You don’t sit at the top of the Youtube Music Charts for 3 years in a row, release three #1 albums in one year, hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Artists, dethrone ‘Certified Lover Boy’, or become the third artist ever to release a #1 album from behind bars without creating music that resonates with the masses in a real way.
“Kickstand” is one of the lead singles off ‘Sincerely, Kentrell’ - its piano-led trap beat setting the stage for a signature sounding YoungBoy track, sitting on the more melodic end of his versatile spectrum. The video, directed by Rich Porter & FlyGuyNick, gives us glimpses at the levels of wealth his undeniable success has brought - from the extravagant sprawling estate, to the Birdman cameo, to the dazzling display of diamonds sitting on his teeth. YB shows off the luxuries he has amassed during his young career that he is unfortunately unable to enjoy while he sits in jail awaiting trial.
In light of his past and current troubles, it would be fair to say that YoungBoy is far from perfect - but however controversial he is equally as culturally important. Whether you know it or not, this 21-year-old artist from Baton Rouge, Louisiana has one of the most far reaching and influential voices in hip hop today. Sitting directly in between the two dominant sounds in hip hop - the melodic, sing-rapping and the gritty, street bars - YoungBoy’s diverse style is able to lean in either direction without compromising. When it comes to a YB song, any one particular word or line isn’t as important as the overall sound and feeling it creates. More importantly, he’s able to consistently capture so many of the prevailing trends in hip hop and culture today, as evidenced by the insane numbers being put up by the young artist – already racking up millions of streams and cracking Billboard #1 over the weekend, and surpassing 2.2M views on “Kickstand” alone.
As his album continues to break records and climb the charts, wishing the best for YoungBoy and his growing family during what surely must be a difficult time.
Check out the video for “Kickstand” below and be sure to check out the rest of NBA YoungBoy’s #1 Album, ‘Sincerely, Kentrell’.