NBA Youngboy – AI Youngboy 2 (ALBUM)

With artists releasing songs at a fast and furious pace it’s difficult for the average hip-hop head to keep track of it all—no matter how tapped in they are. That’s why we created The Ones, a daily post to highlight the song you need to hear curated by the Levels team. We sort through all the new songs—across all the platforms and subgenres—so you don’t have to. Thank us later.

Before September, YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s year was spent in legal troubles, only releasing a scattered handful of throwaways on YouTube. Despite that, YoungBoy has been number one on YouTube’s U.S. artist chart for 22 of 2019’s 40 weeks, losing the spot only to pop stars like Post Malone, Taylor Swift, and the summer of Lil Nas X. Go to a high school classroom, maybe a football game, or maybe even end up in an XBOX One party chat with your younger sibling, and he’s the rapper championed by so many teenagers. It’s not that teenagers have different taste, they just seem to be the ones that have interpreted his history of gun violence and spousal abuse as a rapper that’s misunderstood, instead, of the problematic man-child he actually is. Yesterday, I’m sure every teenage YoungBoy fan rushed home, ripped open a pack of Gushers with their teeth, updated the NBA 2K rosters, and queued up the first YoungBoy album in 10 months, AI YoungBoy 2. “I just wanna be loved,” he sings, on “Lonely Child,” doubling down on the crooning that has made him an online sensation. Undeniably, he’s one of rap’s best songwriters and biggest stars, though to many he exists in the shadows. And the more he’s pushed away, the closer and more passionate are the young fans of rap’s most troubled superstar.

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