“Music get my mind off the streets,” YoungBoy Never Broke Again told The FADER for his cover story back in 2017. “I gotta make this shit happen.” Fast forward to 2020, and the Baton Rouge rapper is one of rap’s biggest stars without being a household name, a stature similar to fellow Louisiana rappers (and big YoungBoy influences) Kevin Gates and Boosie Badazz. When YoungBoy announced his new album Top, the album has presaved so many times on Apple Music, it topped the streaming platform’s US chart. That’s not so surprising when you consider he was the biggest music artist on YouTube in 2019.
Today, Top is out. It’s 21 tracks long with Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg as its sole features, which should give you an idea of YoungBoy’s headspace throughout the project. As a rapper, YoungBoy displays a dense, street-fertilized lyricism that can jump between murderous and heartbroken from bar to bar (“Dirty Stick”). Music might get YoungBoy’s mind off the streets, but on Top he hasn’t left it behind. Stream the album below on Apple Music and Spotify.