YoungBoy Never Broke Again is back with his 3rd project of 2020 titled 'Top'. The Louirapper has always been hit and miss for most people - you either love him or you hate him, and I've never been the biggest fan of his music but after a string of great features and some nice singles, I had more hope going into this album than ever before - but would it reach expectations?
The production on this album is mostly bland or boring, such as on 'Off Season' where he flexes his wealth and talks on his killers with basic lyrics and if you listen to the previous track - they sound the exact same and it's so passive. It doesn't do anything any other trap projects don't do and isn't special or interesting. The main elements include trap instruments, guitars and the majority of the beats having a melancholy atmosphere, such as on 'I'm Up' where he talks on the struggles of street life over the sad beat which is nothing special. It's an uninteresting track, very generic and a track that just blends in with the rest of the album. 'Fuck Ya!' has another bland beat with a deep bass guitar as he talks on flexing and shooting his opps. Again - there's nothing to it as it's really forgettable and does absolutely nothing for me. I wish 'House Arrest Tingz' would've done better but again the melancholy beat isn't interesting as he flexes his wealth, career status and guns. I literally cannot keep attention on the songs at this point it's unbelievably boring and he's running out of things to say.
YoungBoy's lyrical performances are mixed here, some tracks are full of mean and hard hitting lines, such as on 'The Last Backyard...', "You want my name, I want your hat // So what the fuck you wanna do?", as he talks on car chases and shooting at his opps over this deep bass guitar, piano and standard trap beat. The moaning melody on the hook sounds nice, other than that it isn't too memorable but there's some enjoyability on here and it's a decent track. Other songs are either generic lyrically or basic, with one of many examples being 'Murder Business' as he talks on popping beans and murdering people as the track sounds the exact same as the last song - I'm tired of the album now and him saying the exact same thing. Overall I think he's an average lyricist - not bad but not exactly good either. 'Drug Addiction' the opening track has some nice lyrics and a few funny punchlines, "Never give up, try again like Plankton", as he talks on his rough life before fame, how he'll only do 'business meetings' in person and a girl with a drug addiction (although this story doesn't go anywhere). The acoustic guitar and bouncy trap elements sounds good as he captures the emotional mood well with nice melodies and it's a great start to the album. 'Boom' actually has some hard lines, "Turnt up, I'm full of meds // Tweaked out, tryna peel his head // Bootin' up with my gun in hand // They starin' like I came back from dead", but a boring trap beat and the same boring topics of guns, drugs and murder which he doesn't explore deeply at all. It sounds once again the same as the last song and I was convinced I accidentally replayed it. It's also mainly just one long uninteresting boring verse and another generic song. He has a decent flow and nice melodic delivery but at times his aggressive style comes across forced and is off putting.
Content wise it shares the same topics as gangsta rap - mainly the street life and shooting at his opps, such as on 'Cross Roads' as he talks on his shooters and shooting those that mess him around. The electric guitar trap beat is pretty standard and it's the first example of many flat songs on the album which don't provide much - generic and boring verses as well as melodies which aren't captivating and rough around the edges drag this track down. It also contains classic trap topics of flexing and sleeping with women, such as on one of the singles 'Kacey Talk' which is named after his youngest child as he flexes and tells us his love for his girl. The banging guitar-based trap beat is great and the infectious hook, nice flow switches and great melodies make this an amazing song and what the album should be more like. 'Reaper's Child' talks on his rough upbringing, fake love and getting money as he shows some pretty honest and introspective lyrics, "Money the root of evil, got my family and bitches, wan' come for me (Always) // They lovin' a demon with money, a dеmon with nothin' wouldn't fuck with me". The booming 808s and flute based beat isn't interesting again as the melody on the hook is laughably bad, the voice cracks and strains are horrible as the rest of the song is again generic and boring. 'To My Lowest' see's YoungBoy lament about an ex that has moved on, as he opens up on the track over the decent fast paced 808s and emotional atmosphere. There's not much I can say about it again, it isn't as bad as the other songs and the melodies are a lot cleaner here but it isn't too interesting. There's nothing really interesting or that stands out content wise and it's similar to many other projects like this.
Other tracks to look at include 'Right Foot Creep' which is a track about shooting his opps or anyone who disses him as he has some hard lines here over the upbeat and sticky 808s - and even with more energy on the track he doesn't do anything with his melodies or that energy to make a good song, it's as simple as that - it's boring. 'Dirty Stick' is about beefing and shooting over this hard piano which creates a nice melody, as he provides a decent hook and nice energy but other than that nothing too special - it's a decent song however. 'My Window' is about his time in prison, making it to the rap game and his wealth as he provides some decent, honest and reflective lyrics. The melancholy melody of the beat is alright but overall it's pretty generic as we get a Lil Wayne feature as he talks about performing a drive by and provides some punchlines which aren't as good as usual, "I work the TEC like Window Microsoft, my windows on defrost", but he did have a really nice flow. It's not bad, a decent track with a nice melody - but again it's nothing more than a 6/10 kind of track. 'All In' has a decent guitar-based beat as he talks on many topics including wanting his dad out of prison to help him get off the drugs as well as referencing the time his house was broken into by goons, his girls, his children and the street life. He's already running out of things to say at this point, it just sounds the same as the last few tracks and is massively uninteresting in terms of melodies and is a boring, generic trap song.
'Dead Trollz' has a decent beat as he talks on murdering his opps and drugs and while more energetic, the pronunciation feels extra forced and his clunky flow on the verses is off putting as well as the fact these verses which are so uninteresting go on for so long - making it yet another tedious song on the track listing. 'Big Bankroll' has a menacing bass melody and nice hard piano as he talks on street life with a solid melody and flow - and again while I wouldn't call it 'good', it's decent and still a highlight on here. 'Sticks With Me' has another boring beat and meh lyrics as he talks on guns, gang life and drugs and again it feels like the same uninteresting song and the album desperately needs to end at this point. 'Peace Hardly' isn't bad, he has a nice flow it's more average than decent and pretty generic but it was at least slightly attention grabbing. The final track 'Callin' has a groovy beat and arguably the best instrumental of the whole project as he talks on the streets, flexing and guns. Snoop Dogg is here to provide a smooth flow and enjoyable verse as the grooviness, YoungBoy's hook and Snoop's verse make this a good finish to the project and one of the few good songs on here.
To conclude, this project is 21 tracks which all blends together and becomes very forgettable. The production is boring and generic, he isn't the most captivating rapper and it feels rushed on this overblown album. The more melancholy tracks to put it bluntly were tedious, and while there was a couple of highlights the ratio is awful. It's just a really forgettable project where nearly every song was so passive.
FAVOURITE TRACKS: Drug Addiction, Kacey Talk, Callin
LEAST FAVOURITE TRACK: Reaper's Child
OVERALL RATING: Solid 3/10