Boosie BadAzz Prepares for the Crazy 2Pac Heads to Come at Him Once ‘BooPac’ Album Drops
Boosie BadAzz is unequivocally honest. The Baton Rouge, La. native's biggest appeal is that he bares his pain, struggle and his wrongs and rights in his music. His honesty has helped him develop a cult-like following that has stood by him over his 17-year career. During his five-year bid in prison—which started in 2009—for multiple drug convictions and his battle against a first-degree murder charge, fans kept his name alive on social media, made T-shirts with his moniker and shouted "Free Boosie."
When the rapper—born Torrence Hatch—was finally released from Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola on March 5, 2014, fans celebrated online and hit the streets as if the pope was in town. After the Trill Entertainment artist held a press conference in New Orleans at the W, he got right back to work.
He officially changed his name from Lil Boosie to Boosie BadAzz and released the mixtape Life After Death Row in 2014. He followed that up with his album, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell in 2015. And in 2016, Boosie put out solo projects like In My Feelings (Goin’ Thru It) and Thug Talk, as well as a collab LP with C-Murder, Penitentiary Chances.
As the music continued, Boosie's reach grew as he began to utilize social media to his benefit. While he was behind bars, the importance and influence of social media expanded exponentially. Now, with one tweet or Instagram post, a rapper can reach his fan base directly, without a third party. Boosie took advantage of this platform, posting to his Twitter accounts plus sharing snippets of his music and his daily life on Instagram Live.
However, everything he was posting wasn't always well-received. In June, Boosie shared a story on Instagram Live about how he once walked in on a sexual encounter between two men in jail. Boosie's story received mixed reactions, mainly because of his strong opinions about homosexual relationships.
When JAY-Z proclaimed that the money phone—cash stacks people hold to their ears, imitating a telephone—is in poor taste on his 4:44 song, “The Story of O.J.,” Boosie shot down the idea that Hov would prevent rappers from using money phones. Those comments caused folks on Twitter to verbally attack the Bad Azz rapper.
But that's not the biggest controversy that Boosie was involved in when it comes to social media. Last month, the rapper gave his 14-year-old son a birthday shout-out on Instagram and the end result was a PR nightmare. In an Instagram post, Boosie wrote, “Happy gday @tootie_raww love you son with all my heart Pops💯💯💯💯see u tomorrow 💯💯💯got a 💰bag for you n a bad bitch to give u some head 💯u already know how I do it Tootie Raww the mixtape dropping Oct.1st.”
Critics sounded off against Boosie, blasting him for being a poor father. He has since responded, but plans on addressing everything on his upcoming album, BooPac. Boosie first announced plans to drop the BooPac album back in April, explaining that he believes he is this generation's 2Pac. Just like ’Pac, Boosie always addresses his naysayers and professes whatever he believes in, whether it's right or wrong.
While in New York City, Boosie BadAzz sits down with XXL to discuss his BooPac album, the unique way he approaches parenting, the 2Pac comparisons and the loneliness he felt when he found out his brother was stealing money from him.
XXL: What are you working on now?
Boosie BadAzz: I’m going to get an album date on my next project, BooPac [Editor's note: Looks like Boosie has chosen Dec. 15]. I’ve been steady doing features and steady on the road. Right now, I’m just focusing on my album. It will be a November or December [release] date. Depends if I’m going to do vinyl or the other way. I got other business ventures also as far as clothes, liquor, snacks and things like that.
Who have you been working with?
Basically my whole album is in-house. By this project being such a controversy album BooPac, I really did no features. The only people on the album are with me on the project are B Will, Yung Bleu and that’s about it. Jit the Beast, produced like six songs. I just feel like my in-house stuff be realer. They know my sound, they know my feel and it’s a bond. It’s different from a highly known producer and he’s just sending you beats and you got to do it.
What are you trying to convey on BooPac and why name the album that?
I named it BooPac because it was a lot of pressure from my fans to name it BooPac too. A lot of people didn’t grow up on 2Pac. He affected me in a way where he made me want to rap and tell my story. He wasn’t afraid to talk about what I went through. So 2Pac was a heavy influence on my career as far as me wanting to not fabricate my story, me wanting to really rap about what I really went through.
[Another reason] why I really named it BooPac because to a generation, I was their 2Pac. What 2Pac did to me is he touched me with his music. He’s the only one that ever made me shed a tear off a song. And I have that characteristic to my fans. My fans come tell me I’m their 2Pac. Their mamas who love 2Pac come tell me that I’m the closest to 2Pac.
It’s so many reasons why I can detail it. I’m the only one really making that music that really touch people like how 2Pac made that music. Every weekend I have friends crying to me. It’s like I’m a part of their family. People don’t understand. It’s like a cult following. They love me not just because I rap but as a person, as a father and it was just meant to be. I got frustrated when all these other artists was talking about ’Pac and things like that but everyone has their opinion.
With this album, you’re going to see what I’m talking about. I want people to take the All Eyez on Me album and go take the BooPac CD and go listen to them. Listen to realness in my music before you judge me. I know they’ll be a lot of 2Pac crazy heads that’s going to deny this and get at me. But if you listen to it, if you go through it song for song, I would like your opinion then on the realness to it.
I talk about what other people don’t want to talk about. Sometimes I talk too much. Sometimes people misconstrued what I say. Sometimes I don’t break it down enough to explain what I mean, but I’m going to say it and what I say I mean. That’s similar to 2Pac; he spoke his mind whether he was right or wrong. I love the shit out of 2Pac and I want to keep that music alive and keep his legacy alive also.
What was the first 2Pac song you ever heard?
First 2Pac song I heard was “Brenda Got a Baby.” That was the first one. I didn’t even hear it. I saw the video. When I saw it, the video, I was like… I had heard of 2Pac from my uncles and movies but when I saw that video for “Brenda Got a Baby,” I knew that whole song within a week. That’s the shit I was seeing. Kids getting pregnant at 12; that’s what I grew up in. So I was able to understand 2Pac and what he was talking about. It meant a lot to me and no other artists before that ever did that, got through to me like that.
One of the songs you shared from the album was a record where you dissed Nu$$ie, who’s dead. Let's discuss that record.
“Get Your Mind Right,” when you play that it’s a club banger. That’s going to be my new club anthem. That’s like a “Set It Off” record. It’s on the album, the fourth track. I’m talking a lot of shit, dropping a couple of names.
Why did you feel the need to diss him?
People are talking about why am I dissing a dead rapper but when my boy got killed they dissed him. I didn’t make a big deal out of it. I was just saying how I felt [on “Get Your Mind Right”]. Even though he’s gone, rest in peace, I still felt like he was a pussy for what he was doing as far as hating on me and what I had going; people taking it the wrong way. When my boy was killed, he’s the same rapper who made songs about my boy. We didn’t take it any kind of way. I basically said what I said. I don’t regret what I said at all. That’s how I feel and that’s how I feel always. If he was alive or anybody else, I would still say you’re a pussy.
Do you see someone in the new generation of rappers that remind you of yourself?
The new generation, you got to really talk that street talk. Kodak Black definitely. I feel them dudes. I can feel Kodak, YoungBoy NeverBrokeAgain I can feel them. The only music I can really get into is the music that I can relate to. I try to get into other music but I just can’t. I can listen to somebody’s single or when I’m in the club, I can bob my heads when I’m drunk.
What you think about Mozzy?
Oh yeah, definitely Mozzy.
Those three artists, although talented, are constantly in a battle with being in the streets and progressing in their careers in music. How do you balance that?
That’s why I be trying to talk to YoungBoy and Kodak too. It’s a thin line and all it takes is a little bit to cross. I just came home and matured. I used to be crazy like them but it’s not worth it. You got to smarten up if you want to stay out here. My advice to them is just to smarten up and learn from your mistakes. At the same time, they are young but they’re grown men. They be caught up and got to prove their point ’cause people be trying you. At the same time you got to think. How many people are you going to try to go up against? You got to move away from that.
What do you think of social media?
I love it. I love the women on there. I love the reach. We used to pass out flyers, have a promotional team. I put my flyer up [on social media], it’s a sold-out concert. It helps us spread our platform. It’s a key to a lot of people success.
But over the last couple of months, you’ve been making controversial headlines because of social media. You think you share too much?
Nah, it’s just when I speak my mind I’m let them know what I be saying; I got to say it in the closet, I got to say it to the world. A lot of people just twist everything I say, like the thing with JAY-Z. I’m a fan of Jay, I never had a problem with Jay. I was just saying that down South, people are still going to put money to their ear because they don’t Amen to his word down here because they have other leaders in the South, like myself.
That’s all I was saying. I’m a fan of JAY-Z’s hustling and everything. People try to twist my words. If I got something to say, I will go in on social media and say it. Even when I sent the shit about my son, they took that out of control. But all I was saying is you need a relationship with your sons. Your son is 14 years old, you better have a relationship them, you better teach him how to put on a condom. My son lives in Baton Rouge, one of the highest AIDS places in the world. I have to educate him on sex.
Yes, he had his dick sucked; I was just fucking with him on social media. Saying that basically because I already know he got head, that’s the bond we got. What about the fathers who have no bond with their child and the sons who scared to even talk to his dad? People are like, “It’s not cool for him to get head” but it's 2017. In 1997, in my neighborhood people were fucking at 11 and 12 years old. Fourteen, you’re all the way ready.
This is where we’re from. I can’t speak for everybody, but where we’re from, people are sexually active. It’s up to you to make sure your son protects himself, show him about women. If not, the streets going to teach him and I don’t want the streets to teach my son about anything. A lot of people take what I say the wrong way but I don’t give a fuck.
More people were concerned with if you would you do that approach on social media with your daughters.
I ain’t going to lie, I wouldn’t because I raise my sons and my girls different. I raise my sons to be men early, because I’m going to boss them up early. My sons not going to have fake dreams in their head. My sons ain’t going to be 5 foot, 6 inches with fake NBA dreams. I’m going to raise my sons to own shit and I’m going to raise my sons to be bosses. I’m going to teach them about sex so they won’t go off the road; I’m going to teach them about women. That’s my job as a father.
For my daughters, I’m going to teach them to be respectful. I teach my daughters, it’s my job to make sure my daughters understand not to be impressed about what any man has. So I raise my daughters totally different. That’s what people were trying to compare but boys and girls are different, any way you look at it. I communicate with my girls. They would come to me before they go to their mama. That’s the bond we have. Everybody raise his or her kids different. Parenting is different for everyone in the world.
The jail story that went viral too. What made you want to share that it?
I didn’t even know you could record Instagram Live [laughs].
I was fresh in and I didn’t know what the coke can meant. I’m just waking up to take my insulin at six in the morning and I just walked in on them. I was on the phone with my lawyer like get me a bond. I used to have words with them. They would say that they don’t think they are homosexuals. They feel if they aren’t taking the dick then they are not homosexuals. You can’t tell them that they are gay.
Man, when are you and Webbie doing another project together? Y’all like 2000 Shaq and Kobe when it’s clicking. It’s magic.
Right now I’m focusing on my album. I think you’re going to get that Gangsta Musik 2 real soon once we [get in the studio.] Once we get in there we make magic every time. Webbie has been going through a lot but he’s getting stronger and stronger. Once he’s back, 100 percent, can’t too many people in rap can touch Webbie. I don’t care who you are. He’s talented, he’s wild too, but he’s talented. We’re going to get in the studio and make something but it’s going to take a little time.
The recent news about your brother stealing money from you was disappointing. What’s going through your mind?
I’ve been going through this my whole life with money. Money brings greed and this shit hurt me. I cut him off. I ain’t got time for that. That’s over $400,000. I don’t spend money out the bank. That was my kids' money. It just made me not to trust anybody. You learn from your mistakes. He’ll hurt more than I will.
That has to build loneliness.
Yeah, man. This wasn’t no friend that did this; we have the same mom and same dad. It has you looking over your shoulders everywhere you go. If have you no trust in the people you should trust. Think about it, if my blood brother did this to me, how would you feel about anybody else? How could you give your trust to anybody else? It affects me to where I have a cold heart and I can’t need to open my heart to someone else.
It even affected me and my women. I became angry and taking my anger out on other people. I had a bad spirit on me, man. Right now, all I can do is just keep going and now that the bank made the arrest, I should get my money back. But I was just hurt. I ain’t cry since I came home [from prison] and that was the first time I did. But it will be aight. That’s why God keep me here. He put me through all this crazy stuff and gives me a way to talk about it. So on the album you’ll hear about it.
See New Music Releases for September 2017