YoungBoy Never Broke Again - 3800 Degrees Music Album Reviews

YoungBoy Never Broke Again - 3800 Degrees Music Album Reviews
On his fourth solo album of the year, the Louisiana rapper wears his regional roots with brash defiance. It’s a reminder of how thrilling he can be when he’s focused and cohesive.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again is a viral phenomenon like few others. When you break down the streaming data, the endlessly controversy-baiting Baton Rouge rapper is one of the biggest artists in the world, with his own Fortnite emote to boot. Yet he remains a cult figure, with almost no radio support and few live performances, due to his enduring legal troubles. His fame is an example of what some critics have called “invisible music stardom,” the product of a fractured industry in which artists can rack up massive streaming numbers without being packaged and promoted to the public as pop artists usually are. There’s no real deliberate strategy behind his releases, aside from completely flooding the rap market and offering another song for the algorithm to shuffle. YouTube in particular is where YoungBoy is king: It’s a fitting platform for an artist whose lyrical threats and real-life exploits paint him as an extreme provocateur.

But on 3800 Degrees, his fourth full-length solo album of 2022, YoungBoy stakes his claim as an artist whose impact transcends the world of the internet. Though stylistically very different, in spirit, 3800 Degrees is similar to the turn Young Thug took around the time of the release of his debut commercial mixtape Barter 6. Back then, Thug’s frequently overwhelming flood of releases and leaks distilled into a more thoughtful and cohesive product. At 33 minutes, 3800 Degrees is more concise than many of YoungBoy’s frequently meandering albums. With its compact style and classic sound, it is more critic-friendly and more appealing to old head haters.

If you didn’t know YoungBoy had signed to Cash Money, you could probably guess based on the Juvenile-inspired cover art—an early signal that this album seeks to place YoungBoy in a particular historical lineage. The throwbacks go deeper than just the visuals, though; YoungBoy’s remix of C-Murder’s “Like a Jungle” presaged the nostalgia of 3800 Degrees. The production is a not-quite-retro but still classic affair, draped in the kind of clean basslines and MIDI piano you might hear on a No Limit release.

Despite his willingness to buck convention, YoungBoy is almost like a Voltron assembled from the legends of Louisiana rap: There’s the alien wavelengths of Lil Wayne, the erratic intensity of Silkk the Shocker and Mystikal, and the bluesy passion of Boosie and Kevin Gates. On “Choppa on My Shoulda,” YoungBoy offers himself as the literal reincarnation of Louisiana rap’s golden age: “So cutthroat, you would think that they brought Slim back from Magnolia.” YoungBoy wears his regional roots with pride on the bounce production “Ampd Up,” which recruits fellow Baton Rouge native Mouse on tha Track and includes a salsa-style montuno piano.

He’s not always fast or especially clever in his wordplay, but YoungBoy’s bars are frequently dense, delivered with an almost demonic energy; he crams his words into spaces where other rappers might need a breath. Every bar twists and swerves, his voice at once a high-pitched whine and a deep rumble. YoungBoy is a toxic crooner with a fondness for heartbroken ballads—there’s guitar all over albums like August’s The Last Slimeto, but 3800 Degrees strips away the soulful side to emphasize the menace. The pain and passion intertwine, with the paranoia of a life constantly lived on edge filtering into every moment.

Emotion dictates his delivery above all else, but YoungBoy’s raps never feel quite like pure freestyle either, with lyrics and phrases infused with melody for emphasis. On “Won’t Step on Me,” YoungBoy effortlessly pivots between a sing-song chorus and relentless verses; he lets his Southern twang hang out, contorting “Baton Rouge” to rhyme with “would.” The unrestrained intensity feels first-take and off-the-dome, his flow almost taunting the beat, never respecting its confines or rhythms, words spilling outside the margins. E-40 comes through with a guest verse and product placement for his branded wine, the Earl Stevens Mangoscato, on “Thug Nigga Story,” suggesting another reference point for YoungBoy’s wordy and unpredictable flows.

Even when YoungBoy is working with vintage sounds, he still exists on his own terms, arriving with brash defiance. As he declares on “It Could Go,” “I ain’t no 2Pac of this generation, I’m AI YoungBoy.” Just like he plays with the beat and twists his words into unexpected combinations, YoungBoy toys with tradition. He contains multitudes: he’s an heir to No Limit and Cash Money, an artist who embodies the idea of “gangsta rap” like few artists have since the 1990s. But he’s also prescient, building his empire by gaming new platforms and algorithms. More than any of his other full-length albums, 3800 Degrees is a culmination of—and a direct statement about—his ethos as an artist and individual. The surface may change, but the hustle at the heart of it all is timeless.

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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 - 3800 Degrees Music Album Reviews YoungBoy Never Broke Again - 3800 Degrees Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 20, 2022 Rating: 5


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