Lil’ Boosie: Bad to the Bone

Less than a month away from his 23rd birthday, Lil’ Boosie is in position to score big. After almost a decade of independent grinding, the Baton Rouge rapper will unveil his first Asylum Records-backed project, Bad Azz, with mentor Pimp C out of jail. That was not the case last year, when former partner and fellow Trill Entertainment artist Webbie became one of the biggest newcomers of 2005. Though he’s likely to become a famous young man, Boosie refuses to shake the bad ass tendencies of his youth.

That mischevious youth comes across not in devilish destruction, but in blunt criticism. Boosie isn’t afraid to dismiss the New Orleans Saints and the misinformation that the football team’s winning serves as a pillar to Katrina victims. Boosie is equally unafraid to brazenly refer to himself as “your next favorite rapper,” believing that in addition to a strong first week, his back catalog will also fly off the record store shelves. To be young and confident is a dangerous thing for the status quo. Read and decide if Lil’ Boosie has those makings.

AllHipHop.com: Looking at your previous albums, this is the first time you’ll be releasing an album with Pimp C actually out of prison. What kind of added muscle do you think that’ll provide for the project?

Lil’ Boosie: Really, I think that by this being my first major [label] album, I think I’m gonna do so good, because the streets been waiting on me so long. I stay havin’ the streets. I was doing shows every weekend four and five years ago, and it’s still been like that. I got the streets. With Asylum behind me, that’s a big old boost. Now, I’m on the TV screen. They can put the face with the rap. By this being my first national album, I’m ready. I think I’ma do good my first week.

AllHipHop.com: Maybe what I meant was…last year, when we interviewed Webbie, he had a successful project on Trill, but Pimp C was locked up. You’ve got him out for this record. What’s that gonna do for you?

Lil’ Boosie: With Pimp out it, it’s more communication. It’s more people who know people. It’s just more love all the way around the board. Then I got that guidance, I got somebody who can tell me when I’m trippin’ – he gon’ call, get on my ass, and tell me. With him, I ain’t gotta worry about looking for features on albums. I can always go to Pimp C and get whatever I need.

AllHipHop.com: How much production did he do on the album?

Lil’ Boosie: Really, he didn’t do any beats. He just had a lot of say-so behind the tracks. He knows what sounds to put in ‘em. He just held me down, know what I’m sayin’? He got a tight ass verse on there though, Pimp comin’ hard.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve got Yung Joc on there too. This year, younger Southern artists like him really made a name for themselves. What chemistry did you bring each other to work together?

Lil’ Boosie: The chemistry between me and Joc is just…we both celebrities, we both stars. We can just do this s**t everyday. Some people were just meant to be stars in this world. With the rappin’, he just knew I was finna’ drop, and he just showed me love and sent me a [verse]. That was all love, bruh. I just put together the song, and it just took off. We just shot the video. It’s the new joint of the day on [106 & Park], and it’s goin’ down. Joc’s a good n***a, Joc’s good people.

AllHipHop.com: Like you said, five years ago, you were doing shows on the regular. With this being a major album, do you honestly think new listeners will care enough to check your back catalog?

Lil’ Boosie: I think a lot of ‘em. The people who didn’t know about Boosie, I think they gonna cop all my s**t – from my first album. ‘Cause when people find themselves a new favorite rapper, they goin’ explore like a motherf**ka to see whateva they got so they can prove to the next man that [the rapper’s] the best. This ain’t my first rodeo, so I know where this takes me.

AllHipHop.com: You and Webbie have been so closely associated to one another. Lil’ Scrappy and Trillville were the same way. How important is it for you both to use this opportunity to develop your own identity?

Lil’ Boosie: Sometimes it’s hard, bro. It’s hard goin’ to shows without Web, and he go without me, and [fans] be like, “Damn man, where Web at?” Sometimes we gotta get different money. Sometimes the money be bigger for us goin’ separate. We ‘bout the money. When it’s time for us to do something together, we’ll do it. But it ain’t no motherf**kin’ beef between me and Webbie. Me and that n***a are like brothers, man. I don’t know why people [say] that s**t.

AllHipHop.com: We had an editorial about the attitude towards Katrina right now. The NFL has acted like that because the New Orleans Saints can play in the Superdome again, that Katrina is cleaned up. That’s a major perception in pop culture right now. Being from Baton Rouge, how do you react to that marketing and attitude?

Lil’ Boosie: I love Reggie Bush, but I got tired of hearing about f**kin’ Reggie Bush. These people down here are in poverty, bruh. These people ain’t got s**t. They give ‘em like six months in FEMA trailers, then they put ‘em out. Man, they should’ve been talkin’ to these people. These people need money. These people need help. Baton Rouge, it’s an hour away [from New Orleans], and it’s nothin’ but poverty. I just see more of it – people sleepin’ on the damn streets and s**t. I feel like… all that f**kin’ money in the White House, damn man, y’all could help us. F**k the football team. They ain’t never won s**t anyway, and they ain’t helpin’ us get nowhere.

AllHipHop.com: The first rapper I ever saw come of Baton Rouge was Young Bleed. Coming up, who could you look up to?

Lil’ Boosie: Young Bleed had his own flow. He had his own voice. I learned from Young Bleed comin’ up though. I remember when Young Bleed came up, he was right there in the hood. I used to see Young Bleed. Watchin’ him come up from nothin’, I learned that I could come up from nothin’ too. Damn, we on the same street!

AllHipHop.com: Has important as you blow up, maybe with more muscle than he ever had with No Limit, to still be in the hood, being something for those young kids?

Lil’ Boosie: It really motivates me, bruh. My people in my community are behind me one hundred percent. I learned from Young Bleed. I learned that you not rich once you sell 700,000 records – if you almost go platinum. You still gotta be hungry. You’ve gotta just work work work. The hood’s behind me one hundred percent. They know I’ll never change on ‘em. I’m in the hood all the time, that’s my family.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve been quoted as saying that today’s artists don’t make end-to-end albums anymore. Do you think that today’s rap consumer —

Lil’ Boosie: I think it’s been a drought. Now, as long as you’ve got a couple hit records, you can put garbage on your album, and they’ll still sell better than a guy who had solid songs [throughout] the album. I really think the rap game is goin’ kinda commercial. I’m here to bring it street. I think you can make a hit with anything now. It’s kinda a plus to the rap game too, ‘cause there’s more than gangsta rap now. You can make a hit with anything. You just gotta do music and have faith. You ain’t gotta have a good album though, believe that. All you need is a Scott Storch hit or something like that.

AllHipHop.com: I agree with you. But after this album drops, will Asylum get behind you if you want to release a street single on the masses?

Lil’ Boosie: Yeah. I have a lot of say-so. The main people at Asylum always say, “What you want to be your next single?” I’mma let the streets choose that.

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