For an intro intro Youngboy Never Broke Again and his career up to this point check out my review of his ‘Still Flexin, Still Steppin’ album from earlier this year! On April 24th Youngboy released his newest album ‘38 Baby 2’, the sequel to his 2016 mixtape 38 Baby. The album has 17 tracks and features from DaBaby and his mother Shelhonda Gaulden.
Below I’m going to review the project in two parts, first will be my thoughts on each track as I listened through, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include some links to stream the album and some discussion questions at the end. Enjoy!
Track By Track Review
1. Bout My Business (ft. Sherhonda Gaulden) – The phone call with his dad was a nice way to introduce the track but detracts from its replayability. Youngboy has some really nice introspective bars at times on the verses and hook too. The hook has some nice melodies and is quite catchy too. His verse had a mix of exciting flows and some more average ones. The verse from his mum was okay, a nice touch but the verse itself wasn’t too impressive. Interesting track but not too memorable
2. Diamonds – Beat is a real basic trap beat, Youngboy has a consistently great delivery, bounces between being aggressive and vulnerable. The hook has an interesting flow to it but a real catchy melody. His second verse has a much more serious tone to it for the first half, great change up. Second half of the verse has an amazing energy to it and some impressive flows. Really like how he closes the verse with a third fire verse as opposed to a hook, great end. Real good song
3. Shadows – Song starts with some great emotion packed melodies from Youngboy, love the way he sounds over the beat. Beat is simple but is crafted real well to compliment the vocals. Youngboy has a lot of fire bars and flows throughout his first verse, changes up his delivery quite a bit too. Second verse has some great introspective lyrics and whole range of different deliveries throughout. Hook has a great flow to it, switches it up a couple times too, really enjoy the background vocals as well, good hook. Good song overall but nothing great
4. Win Your Love – Another really basic trap beat that isn’t too special at all. Youngboy has some nice melodies at the start but it’s nothing new. His slow flow in the verses is decent but I’m not a big fan of the delivery. Changes his flows a bunch throughout the song though and it’s enjoyable for the most part. Love the ‘I was in the shower’ sample, was utilised really well. The hook is okay, has some catchy bits but is forgettable overall. On the fence about this one
5. Ain’t Easy – really enjoy the piano in this one, is just a real exciting melody. The hook on this quite catchy but isn’t too impressive melodically or lyrically. His flows are pretty simple in the verses, delivery is nothing new too, Enjoy the start of the second verse but other than that there is nothing too great. Decent song but had no standout moments
6. Rough Ryder – Love the flow Youngboy starts with, changes it up a bunch as he goes on too. Consistently enjoyable delivery throughout, enjoy his melodies on the hook. Beat is real basic again but Youngboy brings life to the track, lots of impressive flows on both the verses and hook. Song ends really well too. Good song I think
7. I-10 Baby – pretty exciting piano on this one. Enjoy the vocal effect on Youngboy at the start that give that echo effect. Youngboy has a consistently solid flow and subtly changes up his delivery every few bars which sounds amazing. Some quality bars and rhymes at times too but the delivery is the standout, lots of real enjoyable slightly melodic flows. His talking at the end is oddly enjoyable, can’t describe it but it sounds good in the way Kanye’s mumbled crooning does in some songs.
8. Nawfside – Youngboy has some decent flows and a good variety of deliveries again but nothing is too special and the beat is really basic to begin with. The beat gets a little more exciting as it goes on but is still a fairly generic trap beat. Youngboy has some real enjoyable sections but is average for the most part. This might be a grower but I’m not feeling it at the moment
9. Fire Stars – Youngboy has some nice melodies at the start but he has had much better, isn’t too catchy. He has a real emotion packed delivery and some emotional lyrics as well but the delivery and flows are a bit boring. Don’t like some of his singing at parts. The hook has a nice melody but young boys delivery isn’t the best. Song ends real suddenly, just an average track
10. Treat You Better – Really catchy hook with some great lyrics and some impressive melodies. Enjoy his flow on the first verse, isn’t too impressive but fits the love song vibe of the song well. Second verse has a much more exciting flow to it and a much more melodic delivery, is a nice contrast. The beat is kinda simple but the piano and guitar melodies are pleasant. Good song overall
11. I Choose You – Youngboy has some more impressive melodies on the hook but this one isn’t as catchy as the last. Third love song in a row, Beat is pretty basic again. First verse isn’t too great but the second one has some great flows and an exciting delivery throughout. Verses felt a bit too short, on the fence about this one
12. Thug Of Spades (ft. DaBaby) – Love DaBaby’s delivery in the hook, changes up his flow a few bars in which sounds great, solid start to the song. Youngboy brings an equally great energy to the track, has a real impressive flow in his first verse. Second verse is a bit more melodic but still sounds really nice. Love the structure of the song, with DaBaby coming in and taking over part way into the second verse, DaBaby steals the spotlight too with some amazing flows and a great delivery for the rest of the song. Great song
13. Pick From Pain – Youngboy shows great versatility in his flows and delivery again, lots of great rapping and impressive melodies. Love the flows and rhymes a bit after the 1 minute mark, sounds amazing. Thought the beat was basic at first but it has this real dreamy synth that grows on you as the song progresses. Real good little song
14. Top Files – The Beat has a really enjoyable guitar melody, and Youngboys singing at the start is quite nice too. His verse has some nice flows and some enjoyable melodic sections throughout. The singing towards the middle is really pleasant, some nice lyrics too. Second verse is similar to the first in that it starts of with some solid rapping and gets more Melodic as it goes on. Decent song but was lacking something
15. AI Nash – Heard this when it dropped and felt like it was just mid. The hook is definitely catchy and the song is a banger but this is my idea of a generic Youngboy song, has everything he is good at but nothing special. Experiments a little with his flow at times but when he does it isn’t the best. Okay song but I don’t think it does anything great
16. Ten Talk – also heard this a while back and thought it was mediocre. Generic piano based beat, drags on at the start, the verses are average and the hook is interesting but forgettable. Just an average song at best
17. On The Rest – pretty basic beat again, vocals kinda drown it out anyway. Youngboy has a good delivery throughout but it’s nothing new and the bars and flows are real basic. He has some good rhymes at times in the verses but nothing too remarkable. Hook has a nice flow to it and is quite catchy too, grew on me as the song went on. Was an okay track but probably won’t come back to it
In the end I felt like this was quite an enjoyable album but it wasn’t one of Youngboy’s best, instead being a similar quality to his last few albums. This isn’t exactly a bad thing as Youngboy consistently has above average albums, it’s just similar in that it has a few standout tracks and a whole bunch of filler. The production was quite generic and the project lacked features so the spotlight was on Youngboy for the most part, meaning the quality of most tracks weighed heavily on his performance and unfortunately he only came through about half the time.
There were a few moments I loved on this project and thankfully most of them were thanks to Youngboy himself. He provided some ridiculously catchy hooks full of impressive melodies, most notably on ‘Diamonds’, ‘Rough Ryder’ & ‘Treat You Better’. I loved some of his more serious songs which were packed with pleasant melodies and introspective bars, my favourites being ‘Pick From Pain’ & ‘Shadows’. I also really enjoyed the random talking at the end of ‘I-10 Baby’ which also had some of the best rapping and rhyming of the project. Although there were only two features on this I thought DaBaby had an exceptional feature, probably one of his best features and it was thanks to his feature that ‘Thug Of Spades’ was one of my favourite songs on the album, and surprisingly I enjoyed it just as much as their recent collaboration ‘JUMP’.
38 Baby 2 didn’t have many bad moments, but many of the songs were just average overall. One of the main reasons most of the songs were forgettable was a lack of exciting production, with nearly all of the songs being fairly generic trap beats with simple piano melodies and rattling hi-hats. Youngboy was enjoyable for most of the album but many of the songs just didn’t bring anything new to the table and therefore lacked any memorable qualities. One of the only songs that I didn’t enjoy much at all was ‘Fire Stars’ which has some bad singing and ended real suddenly, just sounded real amateur overall. I would have liked this album to have less songs, more features, and some more exciting beats.
So in the end I thought this album was pretty good, but Youngboy drops multiple good projects a year so he would have to drop something great to really make an impression, and this wasn’t it. A couple of the instrumentals were good, DaBaby had an amazing feature, and Youngboy himself had lots of impressive hooks and verses, but with so many songs and a lack of consistency this album as a whole felt like it dragged on. If you like Youngboy then this will definitely have some great tracks for you, but if you’re intimidated by his multitude of releases and were thinking of starting with this one, it’s probably not the best choice!
Or you can listen for free on YouTube here!
My Favourite Songs were Diamonds, Shadows, Rough Ryder, I-10 Baby, Treat You Better, Thug Of Spades, & Pick From Pain
What were your favourite songs on 38 Baby 2?
Do you think this was better than his album from earlier this year?
Thanks For Reading!
– Shan –