When Boosie Badazz shows up at his record label headquarters, you would think the fucking mayor arrived. In a red Polo windbreaker, jeans, and crisp white kicks, Boosie comes walking in as waves of cries of “Hi Boosie!” fill the otherwise dim halls of Atlantic Records’ midtown office. No sooner does he sit at a conference room table than a plate of food arrives and he’s shoveling in rice with the same enthusiasm with which he’s been feeding the streets with his music since Y2K. “How’s that food, Boosie?” someone yells from a cubicle. “It’s goooood,” he says, flashing his gold-capped incisors with diamond studs. Boosie is the dude corporations ogle at: an artist whose product oozes with street authenticity yet who seems to have finally shaken off the liability of keeping one foot in the trap. Also, he’s a nice guy.
Boosie Badazz is the South’s unsung hero. Raised in Baton Rouge and groomed in the streets, he’s the quintessential regional rap figurehead. His rhymes tell stories seemingly ripped from lurid newspaper headlines, detailing trap happenings over basslines that make perfect strip club soundtracks. Boosie began his career in the late 90s as part of the group Concentration Camp, trained by his cousin, former No Limit soldier Young Bleed. By 2001, he inked a deal with Trill Entertainment, led by the legendary Pimp C, and he has been Trill ever since. For most people above the Mason-Dixon Line, it’s hard to fully understand Boosie. You may rock with a song or two, like “Zoom” or “Wipe Me Down,” his biggest hits. You may know some of his Trill Family affiliates, like that loose cannon named Webbie. But his impact goes way deeper than that. Call him what you want—Boosie, Lil Boosie, Boosie Badazz—but the man born Torrence Hatch has been regarded as the Tupac of the South for over a decade.