The biggest constant in YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s life is his habit of flooding the market with new music. On average, he drops two to three projects a year. And in 2020, even during a pandemic that has slowed releases for most artists, he has already dropped two albums, a mixtape, and a compilation project. He hints, however, that his prolific habits are beginning to change.
“I don’t record a lot—not no more,” he reveals. “I used to, though.” He says he previously recorded every day, usually making “at least five songs a day.” But now, he’s only averaging five songs each month.
“I used to have fun with it,” he explains. “It grew out of fun to kind of being like a job now. Everything in the middle, outside of making music, is fun. I started taking it serious for the money point of it.”
The appetite for YoungBoy’s music hasn’t wavered, though. Many of his core fans are “lifers” who have been on this journey with him since early mixtapes like 2015’s Life Before Fame and 2016’s 38 Baby. And a staggering percentage of them consume his music on YouTube. YoungBoy routinely uploads new music to his channel long before it makes its way to other streaming platforms, and he’s developed a bigger and more devoted audience on YouTube than any other artist in the world. He is currently the most-watched musician on YouTube Music’s chart across all genres, surpassing major recording artists like Drake, Eminem, and Justin Bieber. As of October 22, he has spent 193 weeks on the platform’s Top Artists chart in the United States, routinely accumulating over 40 million views each week.
“My fan base was established there first, and that’s where they know they can get my music first-hand,” he says, giving an astonishingly simple explanation for his record-breaking success on YouTube.
At this point in the conversation, a member of YoungBoy’s entourage jumps in and offers the word “crazy” to describe the rapper’s loyal followers.
“Watch your mouth,” YoungBoy demands with a glare. “[My fans are] very supportive, strict, protective, and amazing.”