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How Kentrell Gaulden Became YoungBoy Never Broke Again: The Rise of a Rap Star


Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, better known by his stage name YoungBoy Never Broke Again, is one of the most successful and influential rappers of his generation. Boasting chart-topping albums, hit singles, and millions of fans worldwide, YoungBoy has established himself as a rap superstar despite many obstacles along his journey towards stardom such as poverty, violence, legal troubles and personal losses. we explore Kentrell Gaulden’s life prior to becoming famous as well as what makes him stand out amongst peers within his industry.

kentrell gaulden
kentrell gaulden

Early Life and Influences

Kentrell Gaulden was born October 20, 1999 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was primarily raised by his maternal grandmother Alice Gaulden due to his father serving 55 years in prison1. Kentrell broke his neck while wrestling as a toddler; as a result a head brace had to be worn until his spine healed resulting in permanent scars on his forehead.

Gaulden first became interested in rap music at an early age, taking inspiration from artists such as Lil Boosie, Lil Phat, and Lil Wayne. At 14 he began producing music using a microphone purchased at Walmart. By 2014 his first mixtape Life Before Fame had been released under NBA YoungBoy. Since then he has released several more compilations including Mind of a Menace, Mind of a Menace and Mind of a Menace.

Breakthrough and Controversy

Gaulden achieved his breakthrough with his mixtape 38 Baby, which received millions of views on YouTube. This release showcased collaborations from other Baton Rouge rappers such as Boosie Badazz, Kevin Gates, and NBA 3Three. In addition to featuring their raw and aggressive style as well as personal reflections regarding violence, drugs, and love issues; 38 Baby was an instant classic.

However, Gaulden’s career advancement was put on pause after suffering an unfortunate setback in his personal life. In November 2016 in Austin Texas he was arrested on charges of first degree attempted murder after being accused of involvement in an alleged drive-by shooting. Following this event he was extradited back to Baton Rouge where he is currently being held without bail.

Gaulden did not stop creating music while behind bars, however. His hits such as Win or Lose, Don’t Matter and Too Much were all released during this period – with Win or Lose going viral and becoming an overnight phenomenon. Additionally, Atlantic Records signed him to their roster while still behind bars.

Gaulden was released from jail following taking a plea agreement in May 2017 for aggravated assault with a firearm, receiving a suspended 10-year prison sentence and three years of active probation. Following this event, he released the single Untouchable which peaked at number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Success and Growth

Once released from prison, Gaulden changed his stage name to YoungBoy Never Broke Again to avoid legal complications with the National Basketball Association (NBA). Additionally, in April 2018 he released his debut studio album Until Death Call My Name which peaked at number 7 on the US Billboard 200 chart; its hit single Outside Today reached 3 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Gaulden continued his musical release through 2018, including several mixtapes such as Master the Day of Judgement, 4Respect, 4Freedom, 4Loyalty, 4WhatImportant Decided and Realer. Additionally he collaborated with other artists like Juice WRLD Trippie Redd Plies Kevin Gates.

Gaulden released AI YoungBoy 2 in 2019, becoming the youngest artist since Lil Wayne to achieve such success since 2008. This album included his hit single Bandit featuring Juice WRLD which also reached number 10 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Gaulden debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with his third studio album Top, becoming the first artist since Future in 2017 to achieve two number-one albums within one calendar year. The album included songs Kacey Talk, All In and My Window which featured Lil Wayne.

Gaulden released his fourth studio album, Sincerely Kentrell, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and made history when released while still serving his sentence. This album included hit singles such as Nevada, On My Side and White Teeth.

Gaulden released his fifth studio album, The Last Slimeto, marking his final studio album with Atlantic Records. This release included singles such as I’m Not Scared, No More Pain and Life Support. Later that same year he also signed a deal with Motown Records.

Gaulden released his sixth studio album, Don’t Try This at Home, in 2023 with singles I’m Sorry, I’m Different and I’m Free. The album earned critical acclaim for its maturity and growth while exploring themes such as mental health, spirituality and redemption.

Style and Influence

Gaulden is widely renowned for his distinctive and versatile musical style, which ranges from melodic and emotive to hard-hitting and aggressive. His songs often cover his life experience such as childhood, relationships, legal issues and aspirations while also including elements of southern hip hop, gangsta rap, trap and R&B music into his compositions.

Gaulden has earned high praise for his authenticity, charisma, storytelling abilities and work ethic and consistency as well as being recognized with several awards for his performances. However, some have criticised him for his aggressive and provocative lyrics which often provoke fights and feuds with other rappers including Scotty Cain, Fredo Bang and Quando Rondo.

Gaulden was heavily influenced by renowned artists, including Lil Boosie, Lil Wayne, Tupac Shakur, Soulja Slim, Young Thug and Kevin Gates. Furthermore, Roddy Ricch, Polo G, Lil Tjay and NLE Choppa also had significant influences.


YoungBoy Never Broke Again stands as one of the most successful and influential rappers of his generation, having overcome various challenges to attain both fame and fortune. Furthermore, his growth as both an artist and person can be witnessed within him; hence his name. A true star who never broke ag in.

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