- NOV 3, 2023
- 7 Songs
About Boosie Badazz
One of the great narratives of ’90s rap was the steady migration of Southern artists toward the national stage. Then you’ve got guys like Boosie. Not like he hasn’t been successful—he has. But where a lot of regional rappers of his generation seemed torn between local love and mainstream appeal, Boosie has always been unapologetically himself, forgoing radio singles and crossover features for a hardcore sound indifferent to the winds of style or trend. Like Gucci Mane in Georgia or Scarface in Texas, Boosie—born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana—isn’t just an MC, but a kind of folk hero, the eternal outsider whose career represents the idea that real success isn’t conferred by the outside, but written from within. Born Torrence Hatch Jr. in 1982, the artist formerly known as Lil Boosie got his first boost from UGK’s Pimp C in the early 2000s, leading to a series of albums and mixtapes—try 2006’s Bad Azz or 2009’s SuperBad—that cemented a reputation. The sound was synthy, the voice shrill, the material rough. But the same frankness that made his trash talk entertaining gave his confessions a real-world weight few other rappers could carry. “Told my b**ch, she cried/Told my n****s, they cried,” he rapped on 2016’s “Cancer.” “Mama tried to downplay it to the family—she lied/I'm thinking, ‘Damn, how'd I get cancer?’” No self-pity, no tears. The cancer, he beat. Survived jail, too, and came back in his early thirties with the ferocity of a teenager. Controversies, he’s had a few. But at least he can say they’re his.
- Baton Rouge, LA, United States
- November 14, 1982