In 2022, only Taylor Swift and Drake streamed more than YoungBoy Never Broke Again. But even with his enormous popularity and wildly prolific output (he released eight full-lengths last year), the rapper hasn’t revealed much about his personal life.
Now, in a candid, lengthy Billboard cover story written by Meaghan Garvey, the 23-year-old rapper opens up about his new life in snowy Utah, where he currently resides under house arrest. And while a security team limits his visitors to three pre-approved people at a time, YoungBoy has been entertaining some unexpected guests: Mormon missionaries.
The Louisiana rapper turned them away the first time they swung by his home in late 2022. But when they returned, he decided to them in: “I wanted help very badly. I needed a friend. And it hit me,” he recalls.
“It was just cool to see someone with a different mindset that had nothing to do with business or money — just these wonderful souls,” he tells Billboard. The missionaries now discuss The Book of Mormon with YoungBoy regularly, which accounts for his recent “Hi Haters” video opening with a quote from the Latter Day Saints tome. According to YoungBoy, their visits help him “make sure my heart is in the right space”; he’s planning on being officially baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ the Latter-day Saints after his ankle monitor is removed.
“Even when my negative thoughts come back, when I do want to tell them, ‘Not today,’ I just don’t let nothing stop it,” he explains. The rapper’s potential baptism dovetails with his growing uncertainty over the violent storytelling in his own lyrics. This year’s I Rest My Case (released on Motown, his first since signing with the label) intentionally featured fewer mentions of guns than on previous projects.
While he’s aware that lyrical shifts could affect his popularity — “What if they don’t like me now?” he mused about his audience during the interview – he refuses to rap about violence merely to satisfy listeners. “I’m not changing. I will not be provoked, I will not be broken, and I’m not going back to who I used to be. Accept it or not — I ain’t going back.”
Read YoungBoy’s full Billboard cover story profile here.