Decided 2

Decided 2

YoungBoy has described releasing music as less of a strategy than an addiction: Decided 2 is the Baton Rouge-born rapper’s fourth full-length project of 2023, and for him, that’s a light year. The follow-up to 2018’s Decided doesn’t reinvent the wheel (save for “Guitar Hero,” on which he gives pop-punk a try), nor does it need to—are there ever enough YoungBoy songs about pain, love, loss, and regret? A handful harken back to his hometown’s deep rap roots: “Choppa Gizzle” is Louisiana murder music that could’ve been released on No Limit in the ’90s, and on “Deep Down” he warns, “Choppers and alligators turn you to sandwiches.” His new life in the Utah mountains creeps into the music too: Hikers, coyotes, and Mennonites make unexpected cameos, and on requisite love song “My Body,” he romances a partner with an invitation to ride horses on his estate’s trail. But he remains as candid as ever on the subject of his demons, admitting on “Life N Glory”: “I’m so fucked up chemically and mentally, I hate the sun.” And on “Better Than Ever,” a poignant collaboration with Rod Wave, it’s hard to believe either of the perennial Sad Boys when they claim to be on cloud nine.

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