On a boat draped with pleated American flags, YoungBoy Never Broke Again stands against the backdrop of Baton Rouge’s Horace Wilkinson Bridge. His face stoic amidst murky-brown water and sun rays pushing behind the light gray clouds. For YoungBoy, this is his spring album.

As YoungBoy’s sixth studio album, Don’t Try This At Home sits as the year’s most pensive YB project, polishing his already tight sound of Baton Rouge-inspired yelps of resistance. Recorded from his Utah estate, the project is a return to the sound that has defined Kentrell Gaulden, or “Mr. Gaulden” since he reiterates on the self-titled track: “Don’t say Kentrell.”

Immediately springing into the beats’ cheery yet disharmonious keys, Don’t Try This At Home presents NBA YoungBoy’s idealization of Baton Rouge and Louisiana culture, sketched in isolation, restricted to memories of his formidable years.

The album is risk-free. Lost in a stream of three releases in the last six months, the thirty-three song project overstays its welcome at an hour and twenty-five minutes — more music than a CD can hold. It’s a curious move of regression as just months before, YoungBoy pivoted towards rage beats with I Rest My Case and told Billboard a promise to promote a message of anti-violence, making Don’t Try This At Home feel like the untimely release of a once-scrapped studio album. “Another Dead” is extraneous, “Morning” sounds like any other YB song that would come on shuffle, and “No Rubber” should be under investigation as an AI-generated Kevin Gates track.

Although the music is sincere, positing feverishly oscillating croons over an orchestrated chaos of scattered piano keys, light 808s, and half-time bass drum kicks, the album is neither memorable nor forgettable. Don’t Try This At Home is YB-core, churned with Motown’s industry connections giving way to lackluster features from Mariah the Scientist, Post Malone and The Kid LAROI – a group of artists who have nothing in common with YoungBoy apart from seismic streaming numbers. But when he’s left alone, like on “Hustle,” YoungBoy sounds powerful and ambitious, dialing up confessionals with airtight flow.

YoungBoy Never Broke Again adapts to an eclectic cast of producers whose work typically circle the same usual suspects as Lil Tjay, NLE Choppa and Lil Baby (i.e., DRoc, Yo Benji, Cheese, etc.). The beats are just as rambunctious as you would expect, but are almost always matched with melody whenever applicable. If he’s not yelping, he’s crooning; when he’s not berserk, he’s yearning. He’s a Hot Boys-era Lil Wayne, paired with the freedoms of the digital age, giving fans access to as much music as possible, without ever significantly tainting the quality of his discography.

“War” is the last great YB song on the project. Delicately-arranged guitars are warped and overlaid for a credence on the state of Baton Rouge. YoungBoy is so desensitized to his city’s culture that despite the summertime etude beat strums, YoungBoy juxtaposes with a gut-wrenching acknowledgement of worry: “It’s cold-blooded war out in Baton Rouge.”

Even at the tape’s worst, NBA YoungBoy only sounds derivative of himself, relying on his own trademarks like guitar strings that sing wah, and YB-isms born in isolation, such as, “Baby, I can’t even leave the crib, but I’m flossing,” on “Mr. Gaulden.” Admittedly, it’s a difficult project to get through, but cohesion doesn’t seem to be the focus. Don’t Try This At Home aims to highlight YB’s ability to create moments on record that are exciting, chaotic, and irresistible to listen to, even if it’s only a couple of songs at a time.