YoungBoy Never Broke Again — also called “NBA YoungBoy,” to the chagrin of the sports league’s operators — has hit No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart once again with his new album Sincerely, Kentrell. It’s a feat made more impressive by the fact that he’s gotten little to no radio play, according to The New York Times, and that YoungBoy himself was unavailable to promote the album due to his March arrest on federal gun charges. However, his loyal fans, who helped stream the album to the top of the chart, have a plan to get him out.
A Change.org petition, “Joe Biden Needs To Free NBA YoungBoy,” has racked up over 100,000 signatures under the belief that “Mr. Gaulden [YoungBoy’s real name] would see this as a great opportunity to ameliorate himself as a person and an artist.” The petition’s writer, going by YB Supporter, contends that “the 21-year-old 79 RIAA certifications holder isn’t a menace to society but is instead a kind-hearted soul who was mistreated and targeted by the F.B.I and Louisiana Police Department.” Perhaps the petition was inspired by the recent Trump pardons of Kodak Black, Lil Pump, and Lil Wayne.
Kind-hearted or not, though, the rapper’s lengthy list of legal issues certainly includes more than its fair share of accusations of violent crimes. In 2016, he was arrested on two counts of attempted murder, pleading guilty to a reduced charge of aggravated assault with a firearm and receiving a suspended 10-year prison term against three years of active probation. He was arrested again in 2018 on assault charges when a hotel camera caught him slamming his then-girlfriend to the ground and dragging her down the hall.
In 2019, his probation on the downgraded attempted murder charges ended with a 14-month ban on him performing, but he was sentenced to a year of probation in his later assault case. Then, in September of 2020, he was arrested along with 15 others in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and charged with the distribution and manufacturing of drugs and possession of stolen firearms. His March arrest this year on federal charges stemming from the same case reportedly came after a car chase and foot pursuit in which K-9 officers tracked him as he hid out.