First Impressions: Youngboy Never Broke Again – Still Flexin, Still Steppin

An Intro To Youngboy Never Broke Again

Originally known as NBA Youngboy, Youngboy Never Broke Again is a 20 year old rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Youngboy has been grinding since 2015, and over the last few years has been one of the hardest working rappers in the game, one of the most exciting up and comers, and has become one of the most successful rappers in the world when it comes to YouTube.

Youngboy started rapping at just 14 years old when he bought a microphone from Walmart, but it wasn’t until he was 15 that he started releasing music publicly. In April 2015 he released his first mixtape ‘Life Before Fame’, and followed it up with his ‘Mind Of A Menace’ mixtape in December of the same year. Youngboy stepped up the grind in 2016, releasing another 4 full length mixtapes between April and November, with the most notable being ‘38 Baby’ which boasted big features from Kevin Gates & Boosie Badazz. At this point Youngboy had released 6 mixtapes in about 18 months, and had built up quite a large cult following. This surge in momentum seemed like it was going to come to a halt in December of 2016 when Youngboy was arrested on suspicion of first degree murder, but he continued grinding and released another 2 mixtapes whilst in prison; Before I Go: Reloaded in December, and Mind Of A Menace 3 in April. In May of 2017 Youngboy was released from prison, and a week later released his biggest single yet, ‘Untouchable’.

In August of 2017 Youngboy released his ‘AI Youngboy’ mixtape which was spearheaded by the lead single ‘Untouchable’. The mixtape was his most successful by far, charting at 24 and spawning another big hit in ‘No Smoke’. Youngboy followed it up with his ‘Aint Too Long’ mixtape in October, and then closed out the year by releasing ‘Fed Baby’s’, a collaborative mixtape with fellow rapper Moneybagg Yo. 2018 was easily Youngboys most impressive year so far, with him releasing a total of 8 projects, all of which are high quality, enjoyable listens. He started off the year by announcing that his debut album would be out sometime that year, and releasing the lead single ‘Outside Today’. His debut album ‘Until Death Call My Name’ dropped in April and debuted at number 7, his most successful release at that point. He followed this with his ‘Master The Day Of Judgement’ mixtape in May, four 4-song EP’s throughout the months of August and September, his ‘Decided’ mixtape in September, and finally the mixtape ‘Realer’ in December. On top of all this he came together with VL Deck to release the collaborative album ‘Kane & O-Dog’ In October of 2018, seriously a ridiculously impressive year.

The last year or so has been a bit slower for Youngboy, but despite the lack of projects he has remained one of the most popular artists. As of January 2019 Youngboy had been on YouTubes ‘Top Music Artists’ for 101 consecutive weeks, making him the the most watched musician across all genres. He was also the 9th best selling artist on Billboards mid year charts despite having no projects in the first half of the year. In the latter half of 2019 he released his only project of the year, the October mixtape ‘AI Youngboy 2’. The mixtape was his most successful yet, debuting at number 1 and being one of the top ten biggest streaming debuts of 2019 with over 144 million streams in the first week alone.

And that should have you all caught up! On February 21st 2020 Youngboy Never Broke Again released his 15th mixtape ‘Still Flexin, Still Steppin’. The mixtape has 14 songs and only one feature, Quando Rondo. Prior to release Youngboy released 3 singles; Knocked Off, Fine By Time, and Bad Bad. Below I’m going to be jotting down my track by track observations, followed by my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include links to stream the project and some discussion questions at the end. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. RIP Lil Phat – Really exciting delivery from Youngboy at the start, is different but is exciting and enjoyable. Sounds real hungry, lots of hard hitting bars and great flows. Really good hook, love the delivery of it. Love how the beat fades out at like 1:30. Song overall felt a bit messy, youngboy sounds great though. On the fence

2. Knocked Off – Heard this a couple weeks ago and thought it was okay. More real hungry delivery from youngboy, changes his flow up a bunch again too. Verses are pretty solid, some real enjoyable bars and rhymes. Beat is basic and hook is just average, so average song overall

3. Lil Top – Real addictive little guitar melody in this instrumental, other than that the beat is quite basic with thumping bass and rattling hi-hats. Some more great deliveries in the verses, some real enjoyable melodies. Good mix of melodic flows and his hard hitting, hungry delivery. Hook is okay, is real short which I think is good. Hook is a grower, real strange but catchy melody. Enjoy the end of the song. Decent song but nothing special

4. Red Eye – Much more melodic hook on this one, some real intriguing and enjoyable melodies but hook isn’t too catchy or memorable. Melodic flows on the verses too, some really enjoyable melodies throughout. Hook is definitely nice, but forgettable. Some nice lyrics in the second verse, youngboy sounding emotional with the love based lyrics and pleasant melodies. Enjoyed the change up in vibe on this song compared to the others, but song overall is just average

5. Fine By Time – Enjyoable Beat, has this like tribal/jungle sounding bass synth. Love youngboys flows on this, progresses well from this laid back rap flow to this high energy melodic flow as the verse progresses. Great delivery throughout too. Hook has some great melodies too and is quite catchy. Great second verse too, some real solid bars and more great flows on display, much more solid rapping in this verse with just a little bit of melodic rap. Easily my favourite song so far, real good song

6. Suited Panamera (ft. Quando Rondo) – Beat is some nice piano but is fairly simple overall. Some more interesting melodies on the hook, are quite enjoyable but Hook is real short. Decent verse from youngboy, good mix of hard hitting rap flows and pleasant melodies again. Hook is definitely decent, probably a grower. Quando’s vocals seem mixed a bit too loud. Great quando verse though, similar to Youngboys in relation to the flows, good mix of melodies and raps. Song felt too short, but was a good song overall

7. How You Want It – Not a fan of this hook, is a bit too generic and the melodies aren’t anything special. Really enjoy youngboys flow on his first verse though, some great bars and flows. Bars are personal and love based again but the delivery is hungry and hard hitting. Really enjoy the singing at the start of the second verse, some super pleasant melodies. Second verse is actually real solid too, some real enjoyable rap flows once the verse picks up the pace. Hook is catchy but still a bit lame, shame cause the rest of the song is actually real crisp. On the fence about this one

8. Long RD – Solid first verse, more personal bars from youngboy and some real solid flows on display throughout. Hook is quite different, has some really nice melodies and then this strange ‘oooo’ singing that I think I like. Enjoy the contrast between the beautiful hook and the super hard hitting delivery on the verses. Second verse is just as good as the first, super impressive flows and there’s some singing in the background from youngboy that sounds great. Definitely a fan of the hook, so different to most youngboy hooks. Song ends well. Real good song this one

9. Okay – Vocals seem a bit too loud again, beat sounds decent but can barely hear it. I enjoy the raspiness in youngboys voice on this hook, is a strange hook melodically but is oddly enjoyable. Verse isn’t as good as most, flows are all pretty basic, and the delivery is different than usual but not too enjoyable, lacks the high energy and hunger present in his usual delivery. Second verse is similar to the first, has some good rhymes but the flows and delivery aren’t too enjoyable. This was a different sound from Youngboy which I appreciate, but the song overall fell short, just average

10. Bat Man – Love the bounce of this song, has this awesome vibe set by the beat and Youngboys great flow on the hook. Good hook overall, just has a great flow to it. First verse is super solid, some impressive rhyme schemes and Youngboy is back to sounding real hungry, lots of great flows and delivery. Second verse is just as great, maybe better. Easily some of his best rhymes on this project, and some ridiculously fun deliveries. Hook has an extra 4 bars the second and third time around, great addition though, just as good as the starting hook, just adds to it. Song has a good little outro, could have needed maybe 10-20 second earlier. Really enjoyed the structure of this though. Overall a great track though

11. Call Me Late – Beat is a bit too minimal, everything seems a little too quiet or subtle other than than thumping bass. Real long verse but has lots of enjoyable moments, great mix of his amazing melodies and his solid rap flows. Fairly enjoyable all the way through but no standout memorable moments. Still, lots of impressive flows utilised through the verse. Hook is quite catchy, has some enjoyable melodies, not one of the best though. Another one with an interesting structure which is good. Song overall felt lacking though

12. Gunsmoke – Much less melodic hook than usual which isn’t a bad thing, except this one isn’t too special in any way. Some fairly basic flows to start the verse but some enjoyable bars, gets a bit more exciting a few bars in with his signature hungry delivery. Loses the excitement again though and reverts back to being quite basic. Definitely not feeling the hook, second half of it is nice though. Song was a bit messy and lacked exciting moments, probably my least favourite so far

13. Bad Bad – Realy Enjoy the beat on this one, has this slightly Spanish sounding guitar and some great bass. Another strange hook, is real short but I like it, has a good vibe to it and is quite catchy. First verse is fairly good, some more enjoyable delivery, with some solid flows with pleasant melodies here and there. Second verse is even better, even more hard hitting than the first, more quality flows on display. On the fence again, liked most parts of the song but overall felt average

14. No Understand – Oddly soothing instrumental, super pleasant piano melody. Really enjoy Youngboys delivery on the hook, sound full of emotion and has a real good flow to it. Verse is just as full of emotion, lots of great bars and this hungry-but-reminiscent delivery, sounds genuinely upset and angry at times. His hard hitting delivery sounds amazing over the sonically opposite vibe set by the beat. Some amazing lyrics, captivating delivery and a range of enjoyable flows make the verses thoroughly enjoyable. Enjoy the change in the final hook, great end to the song. Real good song overall

Album Review

Overall I personally felt that this project was quite disappointing, with fairly average production throughout and less standout moments and songs than the usual Youngboy project. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but at this point it’s probably my least favourite of his last 10 solo projects. There are definitely some great songs and moments throughout, but they’re not common enough to make this an enjoyable listen. There were also times when the mixing was bad on the vocals, and the mixtape felt like it was lacking features, especially someone who has such great chemistry with certain rappers such as Kevin Gates, Lil Baby & Rich The Kid.

I’ll start with the highs, because unfortunately there weren’t too many. One of the albums lead singles, ‘Fine By Time’ is a wonderful showcase of everything that makes Youngboy great; a super catchy hook, some impressive melodies and a wide range of enjoyable flows and bars. The lone collaboration of the mixtape, ‘ Suited Panamera’ displays the amazing chemistry between Youngboy and frequent collaborator Quando Rondo, with each delivering a throughly enjoyable melodic verse, strung together by another amazing hook. I loved ‘Long RD’, one of the more personal songs on the project, which has Youngboy show off his more emotional storytelling side through both solid bars and beautiful melodies. Possibly my favourite track on the mixtape, ‘Bat Man’ shines the spotlight on Youngboys skills as a rapper, with some ridiculous flows and impressive rhyme schemes, with yet another stellar hook. Overall Youngboy is actually quite good on this, with a whole bunch of pleasant melodies throughout, a few real catchy hooks, and a delivery that ranges from melodic and emotional to hungry and hard hitting.

Probably my biggest gripe with this album is the production, which isn’t too bad, but also isn’t too good at all. Usually with Youngboy projects there are a couple of amazing instrumentals that are bound to make the song at least enjoyable regardless of vocals, but this mixtape didn’t have anything overly exciting. And top of that the mixing is a bit messy at times, with the beats sometimes sounding a bit too busy, and the vocals sometime being irrationally loud, most notably on the Quando Rondo Feature on ‘Suited Panamera’. There’s also some quite average hooks on this such as ‘Knocked Off’ & ‘Gunsmoke’, which is a shame considering how good most Youngboy hooks are. Although I enjoyed how much Youngboy changed up his flow and delivery, there were times that I thought it was either bad or just real average, certainly not enjoyable. One example of this is on ‘Okay’ which has Youngboy using this raspier delivery than usual, doesn’t sound too great. Other than those criticisms, a lot of this is just average; some average beats, average hooks, and average verses throughout.

So in summary this isn’t too bad, but in comparison to most other Youngboy projects I feel like this is a little lacking. As a project it lacks memorable moments and songs, and therefore I feel it doesn’t have a whole lot of replayability. If you’re a Youngboy fan then don’t go into this expecting peak Youngboy, but if you’re unfamiliar with him and liked some of what you heard on this I’d urge you to dig into his discography a bit more! Highly recommend his mixtape from 2019 or any of the 8 solo releases from 2018.

Final Notes

You can stream the project on Spotify here, or on Apple Music here!

Or listen for free on YouTube here!

‘Lil Top’ Music Video

‘Fine By Time’ Music Video

‘Bad Bad’ Music Video

My Favourite Songs were Fine By Time, Suited Panamera, How You Want It, Long RD, Bat Man, and No Understand.

What were your favourite songs on this mixtape?

How do you think this compares to Youngboys most recent projects?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

2 thoughts on “First Impressions: Youngboy Never Broke Again – Still Flexin, Still Steppin

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