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“You can get to know me through my music. You probably can overcome what you’re gonna do from listening to my music.”
It’s this sentiment that NBA Youngboy shared back in a 2018 Billboard interview that captures why he’s become so popular since first entering the game. Both in and outside of his music, NBA Youngboy has been a motivational force for countless fans across the world — especially young rap ones — overcoming their own circumstances. Just do a quick search for “NBA Youngboy motivation” on TikTok, and you’ll come across a handful of videos centered around uplifting things the 24-year-old rapper has said in songs and interviews.
Whether it be lyrics from standouts like “Gravity” or “Untouchable” or moments from conversations where he’s reflecting on the hardship he’s faced, Youngboy has never shied away from talking about the challenges he’s endured to become the success he is today. As a result, he’s gained a fanbase that finds inspiration through what he has to say, no matter the medium. These are 13 NBA Youngboy quotes that can help motivate you.
1. “Without loyalty, you won’t accomplish anything. Everything will be salty.”
Source: The Fader
Although Youngboy said this in reference to loyalty among those he considers close, the trait is essential to have for other things, too, like loyalty for yourself, your passions or your work. Youngboy wouldn’t be where he is without loyalty to his rapper dreams. It’s that devotion he’s given to his craft that has resulted in such a stacked catalog as a successful artist before he even hit 25.
2. “You can’t be on top forever, you know? Because 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.”
Oftentimes, in order to achieve what you’ve always wanted, you have to grow. Youngboy has endured violence in the streets of his hometown, Baton Rouge, and he faced the harmful effects of the American justice system having spent time in jail. He doesn’t want to go back to his past self who was at the center of all this. Instead, he wants to remain on the path to improvement that he’s currently on, and he’s committed to that no matter what.
3. “You can never compete with a person who ain’t competing.”
Said in response to being asked if he feels competitive in the rap game, this quote captures how Youngboy is in his own lane, having amassed a success that rivals his contemporaries. He doesn’t even see other rappers as competition. He finds motivation in his own work ethic rather than having a competitive edge with someone else.
4. “Gotta keep my head above water, gotta make it through.”
Youngboy may not have invented the classic “Keep your head above water” idiom, but it sounds so good coming from him. The phrase from the end of his first verse on “Untouchable” is a statement that speaks to his perseverance. He’s gone to sleep hungry countless times and dropped out of school all to chase his dream of becoming a rapper. Now, he has to make it through and prove himself — and he is.
5. “There’s so much more to be done. I don’t really feel like nothing been done … I ain’t never satisfied, there’s a lot more to be done.”
Source: Rap Radar
NBA Youngboy has already accomplished so much. He’s had songs like “Outside Today” hit the top 10 in the U.S. Billboard 200, has been nominated for a Grammy award (courtesy of his feature on Tyler, the Creator’s “WusYaName”) and has worked with Gucci Mane, Lil Durk, Migos and other notable rap artists. Despite this, he still wants to achieve so much more, showing the importance of raising the bar for yourself and never settling with what you’ve already achieved.
6. “S**t, just life lessons. The challenges, the everyday life in any f**king state, made me who I am. Standing up, being strong, the situations I went through, made me who I am.”
Breaking down the final lines of his first verse in “Untouchable” on Genius’ Verified series, Youngboy offered this insightful perspective on the hardships he’s endured. Rather than wallow in his circumstances, he sees what he’s faced as necessary to become more. In standing strong throughout it all, he’s also learned how he wants to change for the better. Youngboy doesn’t want to fumble the good that has come his way.
7. “Right now I’m workin’ for to be a better man / Ain’t have no father, so I had to take a stand / They ain’t with me if they ain’t feelin’ what I’m sayin’ / Get up, go get it, you don’t need no helpin’ hand.”
Source: “Better Man”
It’s that last line — “Get up, go get it, you don’t need no helpin’ hand” — that embodies Youngboy’s tenacious spirit. Off his own persistence, he’s gotten to where he’s at, and he understands that one’s success is their own responsibility. He may not have had a father to help show him the way, but he’s been able to figure it out and grow both as an artist and a man.
8. “Go tell ’em I came up, had nothin’, just had faith in my plan / Go tell ’em I come with no notice, they know that I’m chosen.”
You’ve got to have faith in yourself in order to achieve what you want, and NBA Youngboy knows this firsthand. Having dropped out of school to follow his dream of being a rapper, he started out with nothing but faith and a handful of raps that culminated in his first mixtape, 2015’s Life Before Fame. It’s that belief that led him to where he is now.
9. “Nobody knows what I’ve been through, nobody knows how I’m still doing it. I done came out so far from this s**t and still have a long way to go.”
Source: DJ Smallz Eyes
If there’s anything to take away from Youngboy, it’s that he’s tenacious. During an interview from May 2017, this quote came right at his breakout. In August of that year, it was reported that he signed a deal rumored to be worth $2 million with Atlantic Records. That same month, he dropped his first commercial release with Atlantic, the AI YoungBoy mixtape. After going through so much he was finally reaping the reward of his hustle. Still, there was much more to do. So, Youngboy continued moving forward as his dream of becoming a rap star was slowly becoming reality.
10. “I wanna be the next Diddy, JAY-Z, matter of fact, I wanna be bigger than them. I don’t wanna rap no more in 10 years. I’m only 17, I shouldn’t be still rapping in 10 years, the f**k? I should be rich as f**k.”
Figures like Diddy and JAY-Z have become blueprints for being businessmen in hip hop. Their entrepreneurial spirits has helped them become billionaires, and it’s clear that Youngboy wants that for himself, too. Even at 17, he already knew that he didn’t want rap to be his endgame. But he doesn’t only want to be like rap’s greatest businessmen, he wants to be bigger than them.
11. “I used to really doubt myself. I used to think this s**t wasn’t gonna happen. I literally wanted to quit and there had been times I had quit a short period of time … But you know what? I gotta start back on this s**t ‘cause this what people f**k with me for.”
Another notable quote from Youngboy’s Genius Verified appearance, this one shows how even though the rapper had faith in himself, he still faced internal doubt. So much so that he even quit for a little bit. But he remained committed to his dream, achieved it and found inspiration in the same people that find inspiration in him: his fans.
12. “Gotta stay down and get it, I know that it’s gon’ be alright / Can’t get knocked off my pivot, I gotta play my cards right / Gotta stack up them benjis, my n**ga, we gon’ ball for life.”
It’s all about focus for Youngboy. Taken from the chorus of “Gravity,” these lyrics highlight the importance of staying grounded and headstrong in achieving what you want. It’s also about building a foundation to sustain yourself for as long as possible. Youngboy isn’t just thinking about the present, he’s thinking about the future. By staying determined and being self-assured, he’s making sure that his hustle will pay off for a long time to come.
13. “Fire, I adapted and it don’t burn / I’m havin’ plans on goin’ higher / Spread my wings, fly away on my own / I told ’em that I would be soarin’.”
Source: “Letter to Big Dump”
Adapting is a crucial part of excelling in life because it’s ever-changing. You’ve got to be able to adjust, especially when circumstances throw unexpected challenges. Here, Youngboy adapts to what he’s endured and comes out stronger than before, flying above it all and having his phoenix moment. It’s a triumphant chorus that doubles as some of the most motivating lyrics he’s offered in his career.