SZA has given NBA YoungBoy some pretty high praise, claiming the rapper and his music is an example of Black excellence.
Speaking to The New York Times, the TDE singer revealed she’s against the unspoken class system that resides in the music industry and how she dislikes how Black artists are prized for how many skills they have.
According to SZA, true Black excellence shouldn’t come with a list of rules and instead should focus on what artists are doing with their work.
“The industry leans into the classism of celebrating only those Black musicians who play 50 instruments, went to all the right schools, did all the right programs, and talked to all the right people,” SZA said before bringing up YoungBoy. “I don’t like that. Black excellence is NBA Youngboy putting out projects and speaking his heart and screaming into a microphone.”
SZA’s comments arrived right before YoungBoy’s label Never Broke Again teased his next album, AI YoungBoy 3, on Instagram with a video of the rapper throwing a knife with his friends at a cardboard box. The upcoming album will serve as YoungBoy’s second release of the year following I Rest My Case, which dropped last month.
Some fans believe YoungBoy is dropping another project titled Don’t Try This At Home, as he’s been frequently using the phrase on social media. “‘Don’t try this at home’ then AI Youngboy 3 album on the way,” the post read.
NBA YoungBoy’s Never Broke Again label hints at new albumhttps://t.co/52WCdDsvQr pic.twitter.com/L0yRcpRLj6
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) February 10, 2023
NBA YoungBoy has been showcasing his Black excellence ever since he emerged on the Hip Hop scene in 2015. So far, the 23-year-old landed 96 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 and 26 projects on the Billboard 200 — 12 of those albums charted in the Top 10 and four went to No. 1.
The 23-year-old previously dropped Lost Files on December 23, his eighth full-length release of 2022 and the follow-up to October’s Ma’ I Got a Family. If that wasn’t enough, YoungBoy explained to Billboard in his cover story earlier this month that he’s sitting on a large amount of unreleased music.
According to YoungBoy’s estimate, he has over 1,000 unreleased songs. The rapper had at one point sought to drop 10 mixtapes in a single year, before admitting he had “ran out of rhymes.” Regardless, though, that machine-like mindset proved to be a success for him.
NBA YoungBoy maintained a steady stream of new music throughout 2022, even while battling (and beating) a federal gun case in Los Angeles.
The Baton Rouge native was acquitted by a grand jury on federal gun charges in July last year, avoiding a lengthy seven-year prison sentence the prosecution had been eyeing.