NBA YoungBoy is ditching rap for the religious life.
In a new interview with Billboard this week, the 23-year-old rapper opened up about his spiritual journey and what life has been like since he was placed on house arrest in 2021. YoungBoy, whose real name is Kentrell DeSean Gaulden, was granted permission to serve house arrest at his cushy pad in Salt Lake City, as he continues to battle charges stemming from his federal gun trial in Louisiana.
Life on house arrest hasn’t been too bad for the viral internet MC. He has been spending lots of time with his wife and their two children. He has also been reflecting on how he wants to live his life after house arrest. Surprisingly, the rapper took a liking to some of the religious theories connected to Mormonism along his transformational journey.
He says he grew inspired by the Mormon faith after he received a visit from Mormon missionaries. The missionaries introduced him to the The Book of Mormon, which helped him to steer his heart “into the right space.”
“I wanted help very badly. I needed a friend. And it hit me,” he recalled. “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 said. “Even when my negative thoughts come back, when I do want to tell them, ‘Not today,’ I just don’t let nothing stop it.”
In fact, after his ankle monitor is removed, YoungBoy plans to be officially baptized into the Mormon Church.
Last year, the Baton Rouge bred star churned out eight full-length projects that sent fans crazy on the internet. In October 2019, Gaulden released his hit “Bandit” with the late Juice WRLD, which became his first top 10 single. A week later, he dropped AI YoungBoy 2. The project skyrocketed to No. 1on the Billboard 200 chart. Earlier this month, the young hip-hop standout debuted his first project for Motown Records, I Rest My Case, which is sure to continue his music-winning stream.
NBA YoungBoy is addicted to making music
During the interview, YoungBoy admitted he had an addiction to releasing music.
“It’s a disease,” he said. “Literally, I cannot help myself. I tell myself sometimes, ‘I’m not going to drop until months from now,’ but it’s addictive. I wish I knew when I was younger how unhealthy this was for me. Whatever type of energy I had inside me, I would’ve pushed it toward something else.”
But music has also helped him to get through some tough times.
“The music is therapy, but I can’t stop it when I want,” the rapper said. “And the lifestyle is just a big distraction from your real purpose.”
NBA YoungBoy isn’t the first rap star to trade in hip-hop for the holy life. In 1999, Ma$e famously announced his retirement from hip-hop to become a pastor. Fans were shocked due to his considerable rise with Bad Boy Records in the 90s and 2000s.
After dominating the hip-hop charts with hits like “U Can’t Touch This,” M.C. Hammer left the hip-hop spotlight in the late ’90s to become an ordained preacher. He also hosted M.C. Hammer and Friends, a Christian ministry program on TBN, right before his hit single “Pray” climbed the Billboard charts and struck gold.
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