Sincerely, Kentrell is American rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s third studio album. On September 24, 2021, it was made available via NBA and Atlantic Records. It comes after his second record, Top (2020). The album does not feature any guest musicians, in contrast to his earlier works. Four days later, on September 28, 2021, a deluxe edition with the title Sincerely, Kentrell > (pronounced “better”) was made available. This edition includes two extra songs.
Five singles—”Toxic Punk,” “White Teeth,” “Nevada,” “Life Favor,” and “On My Side”—were released in support of Kentrell. The album was a commercial success, entering at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, earning 137,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, and receiving generally favourable reviews from music critics.
On February 4, 2021, “Toxic Punk,” the album’s lead single, was made available. On May 14, 2021, “White Teeth” was made available as the second single. Nevada, the third single, was made available on July 7, 2021. On September 10, 2021, the fourth single, “Life Support,” was made available. On September 17, 2021, “On My Side,” the fifth and final single, was made available.
Sincerely, Kentrell earned 137,000 album-equivalent units (including 10,000 in pure sales) in its first week and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart. This became YoungBoy’s fourth US chart debut at number one. The 23 tracks on the album have received a combined 186.29 million on-demand streams. In addition, YoungBoy became the third rapper to have a number-one album while doing time in prison, following Lil Wayne and Tupac. With 71,000 units sold during its second week, the album fell to number four.
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How YoungBoy Never Broke Again: Fans Had His Back on His No. 1 Hit from Prison
Despite having minimal popular exposure, the 21-year-old rapper who is currently awaiting trial on gun-related charges has amassed billions of listens and recently achieved his fourth chart-topping record.
One of the most well-known rappers in the nation, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, is in some ways still unknown: At the age of 21, he has a remarkably low mainstream profile, very little radio airplay, and no television appearances.
YoungBoy, better known as YB to his most devoted followers, has been in and out of jail since he was a youngster. He is currently detained in his native state of Louisiana while awaiting trial on allegations that he had a firearm in his possession as a felon. He has been described as “a menace to the community” by federal prosecutors.
However, YoungBoy’s most recent album, “Sincerely, Kentrell” (for his real name, Kentrell D. Gaulden), just became the rapper’s fourth to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard list in less than two years. In the meanwhile, he made it to the Top 10 with two more mixtapes, a run that, despite the fact that he continues to be an outlier in the business, has made him the face of a new breed of celebrity for the streaming era.
According to MRC Data, Billboard’s tracking division, YoungBoy’s violently brooding music has been streamed over six billion times since last September, including over one billion video views, but just 55,000 radio airplay spins during that time. He regularly outperforms musicians like Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift on YouTube, where he has roughly 10 million subscribers and has posted nearly 100 music videos since 2016.
The chart-topping Drake song “Sincerely, Kentrell” concluded its first week with 137,000 total units, just just beating out the fourth-week sales of “Certified Lover Boy.” That debut also outperformed Lil Nas X’s highly anticipated debut album, which was released earlier this month. Lil Nas X is renowned for his marketing prowess. And in a time when buzzy collaborators are perceived as a cheat code to streams for prospective blockbusters, YoungBoy did not include any guest features on his album, in contrast to his chart opponents.
Lanre Gaba, Atlantic Records’ executive vice president of Black music, compared YoungBoy’s ardent fans to those of the K-pop group BTS and stated, “I haven’t really seen something like this in hip-hop.” He wasn’t always the artist that certain gatekeepers permitted into these other settings, though. That just serves to increase his fervent fan base.
YoungBoy’s team drew from his extensive library of audio and video content while communicating directly with his listeners to design the new album and its release strategy. Using that passion and the artist’s unavailability as a rallying point.
Label execs continued to collaborate in group chats with the rapper’s devoted social media fan sites in order to fuel and amp up their already-existing grassroots marketing initiatives. These same fans also assisted YoungBoy’s musical team in choosing the track list.
Sometimes they even used fan-generated names from what are referred to as “snippets” in the rap genre, which are incomplete, unauthorised renditions of unreleased songs that are lusted after for months or even years by listeners after being played briefly on Instagram.
YoungBoy, who was formerly known as NBA YoungBoy due to copyright issues, actively participated in the planning as well. From jail, he maintained regular marathon talks with his team, which were frequently cut short by the 15-minute time limit.
His go-to audio engineer Jason Goldberg, often known as Cheese, remarked, “YB makes music for YB. “But there’s this massive explosion when you consider what the people desire and how it correlates. Everyone has participated. We didn’t let them down after that.
Before YoungBoy was detained in March, Cheese claimed that “Sincerely, Kentrell” was crafted from 150 potential songs that were recorded in studios, hotel rooms, and touring buses across the nation.
The engineer noted that on one track, “Life Support,” “you can hear some of the road underneath a few of those lines.” Since smoking wasn’t allowed inside his Airbnb, he extended 50-foot cables out of a second-floor window for YoungBoy to rap in the front seat of a parked Range Rover.
The wholly unrehearsed songs, which are rife with trauma, threats, and regrets, are drawn from the turbulent life of someone trying to change; they are a volatile amalgam of street politics, unrelenting personal misery, and unexpected wealth. YoungBoy, who was raised by his grandmother in north Baton Rouge, Louisiana, dropped out of school in the ninth grade and began rapping using a microphone purchased from Walmart at the age of 14.
But despite the success his music was having online and the $2 million contract he signed with Atlantic in 2016, he continued to face significant legal issues.
In 2017, YoungBoy was charged with two charges of attempted first-degree murder for his participation in a non-fatal drive-by shooting.
Another shooting in which the rapper’s group was deemed to have acted in self-defense led to additional arrests. Including one for domestic violence in 2018. As a result, YoungBoy was sentenced to 90 days in jail and the remainder of his probation under house arrest. (He later entered guilty plea to misdemeanour violence for shoving girlfriend to the ground and fighting with her in 2018).
At that moment, a judge told him, “You have a decision to make. Either you play NBA or you can be Kentrell.
In response, the rapper said, “I feel the same way. No, I can’t do both.
YoungBoy was most recently detained by federal investigators in Los-Angeles following high-speed pursuit for charges related to Baton Rouge arrest. In which the rapper was one of 16 people charged with having weapons and drugs during a video shoot.
YoungBoy’s attorneys claim that he was unfairly singled out for the operation. Never Free Again, which they claim is “an clear parody of Gaulden’s extremely successful music and marketing brand,”. They are attempting to hide information they claim was illegally obtained. It was described as a “huge and grossly unnecessary militaristic display of force and intimidation”. By critics of the F.B.I.’s pursuit of the rapper in Los Angeles.
YoungBoy’s real-life reputation has both hampered his career’s ability to make money. Also enhanced his image as an outlaw, prompting comparisons to Tupac Shakur, Gucci Mane, and Lil Wayne.
YoungBoy manager Alex Junnier remarked, “They break the rules, they do it their own way, and the people choose that. Nobody can stop it; there is nothing anyone can do.
Even corporate partners like Spotify, Apple, and YouTube, where YoungBoy nonetheless reigns supreme, have expressed caution. The rapper’s product manager at Atlantic claimed. Said “His image would hinder me from getting anything for him – it was obstructing ads, anything we wanted to do.” His track record of No. 1 finishes “has really changed the narrative.”
However, label had to be flexible in how it handled an iconoclastic artist during those turbulent years.
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