Sincerely, Kentrell – YoungBoy Never Broke Again

Sincerely, Kentrell is the third studio album from Baton Rouge rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again and gives us a glimpse into his struggles with the legal system. Like his previous work, he raps with raw conviction, dropping heartfelt confessionals about his regrets and pain. This time though, there’s not a single feature to be found as he takes center stage throughout the 21-track album. It’s his gritty authenticity and melodic intuitions that make him stand out against his contemporaries and Sincerely, Kentrell is a continuation of this successful formula. Recounting tales of violence, jail, drug abuse, and toxic relationships, YoungBoy never backs down from his bleak realities. Despite his legal troubles over the years, it’s this genuine sincerity that has transformed him into one of the biggest rappers in the world with a personal connection to his obsessive fanbase.

For the majority of Sincerely, Kentrell, YoungBoy follows the template set out on previous albums and mixtapes. Melodic hooks, stone-cold flows, and the emotional weight behind his words are the reason why he’s a star but at the same time, the formula can feel a little derivative at times. This is especially true in the production side of things as the instrumentals rely too heavily on piano ballads and repetitive acoustic guitar riffs. YoungBoy might not get as much flak as someone like Polo G for it but over 21 tracks, it really starts to blur the tracks together. On a project with zero features, it’s important that the production doesn’t get stale and while YoungBoy’s emotional delivery saves the album in a lot of places, there are also plenty of areas that feel like clear fillers. The quality of Sincerely, Kentrell dips throughout its runtime and it’s especially apparent when the production starts to feel lazier than usual. A lot of the overall sound design is rather monotonous and it feels like a disservice to YoungBoy’s emotionally charged rapping.

Sincerely, Kentrell is an hour of YoungBoy reflecting on his pain and ruminating on his struggles. Contending with demons and the trauma he faces is no easy task and the effortless ability to convert that into lyricism is impressive on its own. At the same time though, while there are momentary flashes of brilliance, much of the album feels too one-note to be a substantial addition to his catalog. While his storytelling has always been superb, the lack of diversity in the production leaves something to be desired. YoungBoy doesn’t break any new ground by following the blueprint he’s laid out for himself but I don’t think he ever has to. Against all odds, he’s become the biggest artist on YouTube and amassed a huge fanbase thanks to his consistent work ethic and output. There’s nothing wrong with staying in your comfort zone if you’re this big when you’re only 21. Though I hope he becomes less one-dimensional over time, there’s a lot to be said about the sheer consistency of his output and Sincerely, Kentrell is YoungBoy’s formula at its tightest.

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I turned my incoherent ramblings on music, anime, and video games into an entire blog.

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