This week, YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Top reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving the young rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his third No. 1 album in the past 12 months — with a fourth album that reached No. 2 also within that span. That puts him in some elite company: only BTS and Future have topped the albums chart with three entries faster.
And it’s why YoungBoy’s manager and the CEO of Good Money Global Fee Banks earns the title of Billboard’s Executive of the Week. Banks has built up a successful track record operating out of Louisiana for more than a decade, having worked with Lil Wayne as part of Sqad Up during the 2000s and then with another Baton Rouge MC, Kevin Gates, as his career took off.
Now, Banks’ work with YoungBoy has the MC topping a slew of Billboard charts, including the Artist 100, Hot 100 Songwriters, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums. And they’ve done it almost entirely from streaming: of Top’s 126,000 equivalent album units, 106,000 are from streaming-equivalent album units (156.32 million on-demand streams of its songs), and the MC has once again over-indexed compared to other artists on YouTube, where he ranks as the No. 1 artist in the U.S. this week, too.
This is YoungBoy’s third No. 1 album in a year, and fourth top 2. What key decisions did you make to help achieve that milestone?
The key decision made is by first and foremost supporting his vision. Connecting him with a great attorney to assure the logistics are handled, assisting with the development of a master marketing plan, and many discussions about the track list, press photos options and cover art all play a major role in the deliverance of the final product.
Were you guys ever worried that there would be too much music out, or that there would be fan fatigue by putting out so much music in such a short amount of time?
YoungBoy is very in tune with his fans, so the thought of too much music being put out never crossed his mind. Creators have no doubt. When you speak from the soul, emotions hit different and words never tend to get old.
YoungBoy’s first week numbers come largely from streaming figures. Do you guys prioritize streaming over sales, and in what way?
We try to keep a balance between both and stay on an even playing field. They are both equally important to us.
YoungBoy’s music does huge numbers on YouTube especially, compared to other artists. Why is that? Is it marketing or promoting the YouTube channel over others?
YoungBoy was discovered on YouTube as a kid from Baton Rouge! If it was up to him, he would only drop his music there! No, it’s not the marketing or promoting, it’s the fact that his fan base lives on YouTube which goes back to how he was discovered.
What does success like this allow you guys to do moving forward for YoungBoy’s career?
Besides running a hundred-million-dollar-per-year business with a 21-year-old straight from the trenches, it allows us as a team to create and bring bigger and better opportunities to the table.
How important is social media vs. traditional marketing to help get the word out about these releases? And in what ways do you use each?
It’s funny you asked this question; me and my partner Montana [were] just talking about how we plan to use a little bit more of the traditional way in the near future. Both marketing campaigns are important to cover all bases. However, social media plays a major role in his strategy due to his massive following and the evolution of technology. Traditional marketing has also been used in different creative ways, such as a jet writing 4KT in the air, an Exotic Pop collaboration, a Vlone tee shirt collaboration and billboards in New York, Los Angeles and Louisiana.
As you’ve seen the industry change over the years from your time working with Lil Wayne and Kevin Gates, what have you learned that you have been able to apply to help YoungBoy achieve these milestones?
I learned that the music business is continuously evolving. A long time ago, I realized that I have an ear for music. I applied that ear in picking YoungBoy’s very first platinum record “Untouchable.” On the Top album, I can proudly say I played my part in securing the features. (Wayne and Snoop Dogg are the only two featured on the album.)