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YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Colors Music Album Reviews

YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Colors Music Album Reviews
The prolific rapper continues to push himself to vocal extremes, but his new album seldom coalesces his virtuosity into something that surpasses his signature work.

Over the past half-decade, despite a gauntlet of legal obstacles—some his own creation, others reportedly the government’s—YoungBoy Never Broke Again has become, by some metrics, one of the most popular artists on the planet. The Baton Rouge rapper, still only 22, began his career as an adolescent imitating rappers on the genre’s leading-edge, circa 2014 (Young Thug, hometown hero Kevin Gates), and has continued to search for new variations, deeper grooves within that style, even as his contemporaries have moved on to sharper, less melodic ones. Like Gates and another Baton Rouge breakout star, Boosie, YoungBoy’s songs—even the ostensible hits—are shot through with immense psychic, and sometimes physical pain. The pace and volume of his output has not sapped his willingness to mine the past for grisly vignettes; even when he sounds like he’s on autopilot, his songs have shocking revelations and incredible stakes.

When YoungBoy is at his best, he raps as if each thought is occurring at the moment he says it, leaving no time for them to be sanded down to neat syllable counts or a familiar syntax. There are times he uses this idiosyncrasy of writing to complicate more conventional pop frameworks; other times, he injects bits of singing into an otherwise stoic verse like fits of irrepressible emotion. On Colors, his sixth solo record since the beginning of 2020, YoungBoy continues to push himself to vocal extremes—in addition to that familiar growl and effusive harmonizing, there is a passage he literally whispers, and several with staccato chirps that recall Playboi Carti. But these runs of virtuosity seldom coalesce into something that approaches his signature work.

Colors is broken into distinct sections—some more effective than others—and the arrangement makes for a strange, slightly dulled listen when taken in full. It opens with a predictably furious suite (“Long Live,” “Bring It On,” “No Switch”) that culminates with closing ad-libs on song three: “I’m from the bottom of the motherfucking United States,” YoungBoy says, bitterly. The production’s tone softens on the next song before giving way to a pair of tracks—“2Hoo” and “DC Marvel”—that deliver on the album title and cover’s promise with synthy, pastel romps about sex. As quickly as this comes, it’s abandoned for a few thinner campfire cuts; then a block of Gothic street rap; and finally, the closing, five-song run of emo tracks, which could have been issued as a separate EP. The breaks, especially into that last, softest movement, are jarring, and not in a way that enhances the experience.

What does stitch Colors together is YoungBoy’s willingness to lay bare the most tortured parts of his psyche. The threatening “Know Like I Know” functions mostly as a diss toward Memphis rapper NLE Choppa, but its asides—“My mama know I’m a demon seed”—are bone-chilling, as are the flashbacks to “suicidal missions” on “Expensive Taste,” or even the hook on “Gangsta,” where YoungBoy raps, “Industry don’t like me ’cause I’m thuggin’ and I’m dangerous.” That last sentiment isn’t a rote, filler boast; with YoungBoy, it rings true.

While Colors does not meaningfully synthesize (or even thoughtfully arrange) its disparate parts, a generous listener might find the volatility of YoungBoy’s emotions from one song to the next an interesting thread on its own. “Bring the Hook,” a diss song aimed at O-Block and the late Chicago rapper King Von, is staggering in its brazenness; four tracks later, on “Snow Bunny,” he’s dedicating verse after tender verse to a white woman from Florida who sent him naked photos while he was locked up and whose phone number he lost. If there is a constant presence on the album, it’s government agents: Throughout Colors, Feds watch as pallbearers—for YoungBoy and his enemies—move around Baton Rouge like pawns on a chessboard.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Colors Music Album Reviews YoungBoy Never Broke Again - Colors Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, February 09, 2022 Rating: 5

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