Exclusive Interview with NBA YoungBoy’s Manager, NBA 3Three
Several weeks ago, up and coming Baton Rouge Rapper NBA YoungBoy was arrested in Austin, Texas after traveling to the city for a performance. Before he could even hit the stage, his car was surrounded by US Marshals and he was detained for an unspecified out of state felony. This past week, YoungBoy was charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder in his native Louisiana. Unfortunately, “the boot” permits 17-year-olds to be tried in either juvenile or adult criminal court. He’s currently being detained on $200,000 bond.
The arrest is a major setback for an artist who was steadily buzzing in his region. Despite being only 17 years old, YoungBoy and his NBA (Never Broke Again) clique have managed to land a number of big name features including Boosie Badazz, Kevin Gates, and 21 Savage.
Besides the regional affiliations that tie the artists together, much of YoungBoy’s appeal lies in the junction between his youthful exuberance and his unfiltered approach to the violent realities of the street life. Unfortunately for many young rappers, the price of adhering authentically to the struggle leads to more persecution and heartache.
In an attempt to shed more light on the situation we reached out to YoungBoy’s camp and were able to speak with his manager, fellow rapper, and childhood friend NBA 3Three. Here’s what he had to say about the NBA movement, YoungBoy’s recent arrest and growing up in Baton Rouge.
RB: First off I wanna say that I’m sorry to hear about YoungBoy’s legal troubles.
RB: But also congratulations to you guys for 38 Baby and Mind of a Menace 3. I saw the video with 21 [Savage] the other day. That’s kind of a big deal.
3Three: Right, right bro. It’s really cause we’re really out here just telling our life.
RB: How old are you?
RB: 18? Jeez man. How big’s NBA?
3Three: I mean NBA’s not that big. It’s very small. It’s like six people.
RB: Word word, and all of y’all rap?
RB: And you’ve been friends since what? Childhood?
3Three: Yeah, since like 4 years old.
RB: Definitely a family thing. So I guess I’m tryna get a sense of how you guys got in the rap game. You’re from Baton Rouge, and obviously you have some big names from out there like Boosie, Webbie, and Kevin Gates but what the underground rap scene like out there?
3Three: Like the underground rap scene?
RB: Yeah, well you guys are getting big, but you’re just coming up. Is there a big scene of young niggas rhyming out there?
3Three: I mean, yeah it’s like, it’s like… the people. Anyone can go in there and do something, right? It’s all about the people who are telling about what they’re doing. It’s a lot of people who rap, who don’t talk about what they’re really doing. Yeah, they’re bullshitting.
RB: That kind of brings me to my next bit, the question with the authenticity. Ya’ll are clearly in the streets. But you’re so young and shit. I saw some footage of a show you guys in Mobile Alabama and they were like shooting at y’all right before you were about to go perform.
3Three: Yeah, it’s just like. People was hating.
RB: I know it’s hard to separate the rap shit and the street shit, but do you feel you’ve been especially targeted since you’ve been getting on?
3Three: Yeah, we’ve been targeted because [YoungBoy]’s hot right now. People are starting to hear him out. At first people wasn’t listening and now they just starting to hear that we really got something. And people be hating on the fact that their girl listens to our music. They’re mad at us cause their girl likes our music.
RB: I could see where the jealousy would come from. What’s it like for you, personally, with this new attention on you as such a young artist?
3Three: I been had attention. Like my street name was Big. I went to a lot of different schools like. I was a bad kid. Like I got expelled a lot, so I went to a lot of different schools. And I just been knowing the people in my city and that ain’t do nothing but just get me bigger. It’s like, I already had the weight in the streets, so it’s just increased my weight.
RB: So you rap and also manage NBA?
RB: Did you get into the management thing first or were you rapping first?
3Three: Nah I did the management first and then YoungBoy was like, ‘You know man, come on, you might as well rap too, so you can come and perform with me.’ And, so, I was like, ‘You know I got to.’
RB: Do you feel like living in Baton rouge forced you to grow up very quickly?
3Three: Yeah I mean. I was I [unintelligible]
RB: I can’t hear you because of the background noise.
3Three: I know, but I’m in the studio bro.
RB: I feel you. So I’m from New York and the police are crazy up here, but you’re from the South so I know it’s even crazier. How’ve experiences with the cops and racism affected you growing up and the music you make?
3Three: They make it harder to live. Well they just look at us like we’re gonna kill people. And it don’t really be like that. It really be for protection and it’s just. You know how young dudes are with the stuff… When they get it, they wanna show it off. That’s all it be.
RB: What you guys got planned next musically?
3Three: Well we gone drop that AI YoungBoy. I’m tryna put together a Free YoungBoy NBA Tour right now for anybody who’s tryna book us in the meantime. Go and perform. Raise some money.
RB: So you guys are still out in Texas?
RB: How’ve they been treating you guys so far? Obviously they locked your mans but other than that?
3Three: I mean really that was the US Marshals that came and got him so they would have come and got him from any show.
[3Three hollers back and forth with someone about picking up food and before telling them he’s on the phone]
RB: Yeah who was that?
3Three: That was my peoples. Bout to go kick it right now.
[More studio chatter]
RB: So did the marshals shut down the show or was it before you reached the show or what?
3Three: I mean, I went in to perform. You heard me? So we go do my songs. I’m in there performing and by the time I walked back out the US Marshals had went and got him. Like they grabbed him up out the truck.
RB: Damn, any idea when he’s supposed to be getting out?
3Three: No. Well, I mean, he had cut his ankle bracelet off, so he’s really gonna be on hold. Cause he was on the ankle monitor. So it’s really a case about that too [Unintelligible]
RB: I missed some of that, but it’s probably for the best. What’s been the best moment for you since you guys got in the rap game?
3Three: Just having big shows and playing for thousands of people. That shit crazy. Aye. Hold on. Hold on.
[More indiscriminate studio noise]
3Three: Yeah, hello?
RB: So you said you’re planning this tour and you’ve got a tape coming out?
3Three: AI YoungBoy.
RB: And you’re gonna be on that? Any other interesting features?
3Three: Yeah, I am. There’s gonna be some major people on that. Yeah like…some major people on this AI YoungBoy.
RB: Anyone you can tell me to look out for or do I just have to wait for it?
3Three: You gotta wait for it. I can’t disclose that right now. Gotta keep it under wraps.
RB: Is there anything else you wanna say about the movement, or Baton Rouge rap, or YoungBoy’s situation or anything?
3Three: Check this out. Look, free YoungBoy, you know. Like, that’s how it’s always gonna be. We on that gang shit right now. Look man, YoungBoy is coming home. When he come home, it’s take over time. When YoungBoy comes home this time, it’s for good. We messing the rap game up. When he come home, we might go Platinum. We might go Diamond in New York. Yeah, bruh. You don’t know how serious it is right now. It’s gonna be major. NBA as a whole, we just gonna stick together and take off. They don’t just want YoungBoy. They want everybody. Like, they love us, you know what I’m saying?
RB: Cool cool, I’m gonna write this down. Thanks for the words man. You’ll hear from me. Stay up. Peace out. Big ups to NBA.
3Three: Shoutouts to Cypher League. Free YoungBoy.