Young Dro is a veteran hip hop artist who hails from Atlanta and first broke through in 2006 with his hit single “Shoulder Lean” featuring T.I. Although his stage name may imply he is young, Dro has actually been rapping for over 20 years now. So how old is Young Dro today? What is his background and age timeline throughout his extensive music career? This in-depth article will explore Young Dro’s age and career history from his early beginnings in the 90s to the present.
Early Life and Music Origins in Atlanta
Dro got his start performing in local rap group the Circle Boyz in the 1990s as a teenager. The group consisted of Dro, T.I., Mal Boney, and other young rappers from their neighborhood. They self-released an independent album titled Lumberjack in 1996 when Dro was around 17 years old.
Although the Circle Boyz disbanded by the early 2000s, it gave Young Dro his introduction to rapping and the music business. After the group broke up, he continued honing his skills as a solo artist on the Atlanta scene throughout his early 20s.
Signed to Grand Hustle and Debut Album
Young Dro’s big break came in 2003 when he was signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records at age 24. Former groupmate T.I. had exploded in popularity and gave Dro a coveted record deal.
For the next few years, Young Dro appeared on mixtapes and collaborated on songs with T.I., preparing for his own solo album release. He also continued developing his unique vocal style of warbling melodic vocals over southern trap beats.
In August 2006 at age 27, Young Dro released his major label debut Best Thang Smokin’ on Grand Hustle/Atlantic. The album’s lead single “Shoulder Lean” featuring T.I. was immediately popular. It peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, earning Young Dro his first chart-topping hit.
The success of Best Thang Smokin’ marked Young Dro’s breakthrough into mainstream popularity. By 2006 he had transformed from a promising Atlanta rapper into a bonafide southern hip hop star.
Continued Success in His Late 20s
Following the success of his debut, Young Dro kept building momentum:
– In 2008 at age 29, he released his sophomore album Da Reality Show, led by the single “Shoulder Lean Part 2”.
– In 2009 at 30 years old, he dropped his third studio album High Times. It contained hits “Slow Motion” and “Freeze Me” featuring Gucci Mane.
– He also released several mixtapes from 2008-2010 while in his late 20s.
During these years, Young Dro collaborated frequently with fellow Atlanta natives like OutKast, Gucci Mane, and Bankroll Fresh. He also opened his own southern food restaurant called Chef D’s.
From 2006 through 2010, Young Dro was at his peak both commercially and critically. His unique vocal delivery and southern street anthems made him one of Atlanta’s rap kings.
Evolving Career in His 30s
After 2010, Young Dro’s output slowed, but he continued releasing music:
– In 2013 at age 34, he dropped his fourth album We Outchea, led by single “FDB”.
– In 2015 at age 36, he returned with his fifth LP Da Reality Show 2.
– In 2019 at age 40, he released State Vs Radric Davis II: The Caged Bird Sings in collaboration with Gucci Mane.
During his 30s, Young Dro focused more on features, mixtapes, and touring rather than full studio albums. But he still managed to deliver hot tracks for his dedicated fanbase like “We In Da City” and guest verses alongside rising southern stars like Lil Baby.
Now in His Early 40s in 2022
Currently in 2022, Young Dro is around 43 years old. Having been born in January 1979, he turns 44 years old in 2023.
Despite getting older, Young Dro is still recording and touring:
– In 2022 he appeared on songs with Latto, Lil Poppa, and Slimelife Shawty.
– He performs live shows nationwide and headlines concerts in his hometown Atlanta.
– He continues to nurture young talent like newcomer BlueBucksClan through his Polo Grounds Music label.
So while no longer a young rookie, the artist now known as Young Dro is still a respected veteran in the southern rap scene as he progresses through his 40s.
How Young Dro’s Age Compares to Other Rappers
To put Young Dro’s age into perspective, here’s how old other notable rappers are in 2022:
– T.I. is 41 years old (born in 1980)
– Gucci Mane is 42 years old (born in 1980)
– Rick Ross is 46 years old (born in 1976)
– Lil Wayne is 39 years old (born in 1982)
– Jeezy is 44 years old (born in 1977)
So at 43 years old, Young Dro is on the older side but still younger than many pioneers of southern trap music. His career has now spanned over 20 years since first forming the Circle Boyz as a teenager in the 1990s.
Dro’s Longevity in Atlanta’s Rap Game
The fact Young Dro is still actively rapping and releasing music in his 40s is a testament to his longevity. His career has impressively endured over two decades by adapting with the times while staying true to his unique style.
While his peers have had ups and downs, scandals, and retirements, Young Dro has avoided major controversy and remained dedicated to his craft. Even if he never has a hit as big as “Shoulder Lean” again, Dro has cemented his status as a forever-respected Atlanta hip hop icon.
Not many rappers maintain fame for 20+ years, but Young Dro’s staying power proves he is far from just a one-hit-wonder. Despite his youthful stage name, he is now considered one of the wise veterans and OG’s of southern rap at 43 years old.
Im summary, Young Dro is currently in his early 40s, around 43 years old as of 2022. While bursting onto the scene back in 2006, he has impressively sustained a career in hip hop for over 20 years since getting his start as a teen in the 1990s.
Young Dro’s longevity can be attributed to his instantly recognizable vocal delivery, connection to Atlanta hip hop culture, and ability to evolve with changing rap trends. Even as he progresses through his 40s, Young Dro continues dropping music as a cornerstone of the southern rap genre.
So while his moniker of Young Dro no longer matches his real age, the seasoned veteran rapper’s career remains culturally relevant today. His early roots in Atlanta combined with adapting to new styles has allowed Young Dro to maintain fame well into his 40s as both an OG and inspirational figure for aspiring rappers.