Lil Boosie, the purported inventor of ratchet, recently got out of prison after serving four years of an eight-year drug sentence. And he has emerged a humbled man.
These days, the Baton Rouge, Louisiana rapper spends most of his time in the studio or with his Boosie family. He also lives a newly intoxicant-free, fairly non-ratchet lifestyle.
Surprisingly or not, the reformed, self-described Bad Azz is bigger than ever. And he's just embarked on a summer tour to hype upcoming release, Touchdown 2 Cause Hell, which he has boasted is the best double album since Tupac's All Eyez on Me.
The other day, we here at Crossfade caught up with Boosie to discuss jail, staying sober, and the movie that he's making about himself.
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Crossfade: Since the time you went into jail and came out, people have really embraced your music. Do you see yourself as an icon now?
Lil Boosie: I think so. If you go back to the hood in America, I think most of them look at me like an icon. An icon is somebody they wanna be. Somebody who can relate to everything that they're going through at the time. So, I'm definitely an icon.
Can you talk about how it feels to go back on stage now?
Well, I just get so excited to go back on. I enjoy what I do. I like the money and I like getting up there to perform for my fans. They're all excited about me coming home. That gives me the motivation to be ready and go out and perform and do my thing.
What about your family? Do they see you as an icon? Have they embraced your Boosie music?
Yeah, there's always Lil Boosie music around here. My family, my kids, everybody's supported me.
You've said that a lot of rap lyrics are either about struggling or balling. Are you struggling or balling right now?
I was saying that, mostly in rap, they talk about money. And I've known struggle, man. And not nobody really talking about that. I always talk about the have-nots. So that puts me in my own lane. I can talk about all types of different issues. I'm known for talking about the struggle.
You've compared your upcoming release, Touchdown 2 Cause Hell, to Tupac's All Eyez on Me. What do you think a modern rap album needs to become a classic?
It has to be different. It has to be heartfelt. It's gotta have songs on it that just grab you. And I'm not talking about just radio songs. I mean songs that you have to listen to.
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Is it true you wrote a screenplay in jail?
I wrote a movie, yeah. It's gonna be called Boosie. I'm gonna try to get it made after the album. It's basically my life story. What I've been through. What me and my friends have been through. It's basically the Boosie that people never get to see but always judged.
You've been busy. What else have you been working on?
I have my own clothing line called Jewel House. It's doing real well. I have the movie. I have plenty of giveaway foundations which I've been running. And I've just been staying focused.
How do you like Miami?
Oh I love Miami! I come out there to the studio with Rick Ross, DJ Khaled. Every time I come down there...It's history. We make history. I just love the weather in Miami. I like the clubs, too. I just like everything about it.
Where do you think LeBron James is going to go?
I don't know. He gonna go where he gonna win.
You recently performed at the King of Diamonds gentleman's club in Miami. How was it?
It was a hell of an experience. It was my first time going there and I played for the biggest crowd ever at King of Diamonds. It was a big night.
At the strip club, we saw you drinking a Fiji Water. Can you talk about living a sober lifestyle?
Living a sober lifestyle is much different than living a high lifestyle. I just can't do stuff like that anymore. I can't be high all the time. Everything happens for a reason. I'm drug free and just chillin'. I'm gettin' high off the bags. I'm high off the money, baby.
You're going to be performing in a beautiful, fancy concert hall in Miami. How does it feel to know that you're appreciated enough to play in one of our best venues?
I've been coming down to Florida for over 10 years. For me to come to Miami and perform, laid out like that, it's a big plus. It motivates my fans and it motivates me. You know we're here to stay. It's a movement. It's special.
After the album and movie come out, what's your greatest career ambition?
I'll probably be branding worldwide by then. I never know what the future holds, so I'm just going to make all the power moves I can, ride that wave of success and accomplish everything I'm supposed to accomplish. I never set no limits for myself.
Can you give me a rundown of a day in the life of Lil Boosie?
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Wake up, go get something to eat. Come back to the house. I have the studio in my house, so I just record all day. Couple of hours might pass and I might go get my kids and come back to the house and record and record. Get ready to go to the concert.
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Lil Boosie. With Rich Homie Quan. Saturday, July 19. James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $40 to $80 plus fees via ticketmaster.com. Call 305-372-4634 or visit jlkc.com.