If you felt your winter get significantly warmer this past Wednesday, it's likely due to the release of rapper Lil Boosie. Once one of hip-hop's surefire future superstars, the charismatic Boosie's momentum was derailed in 2009 when he came up on his third marijuana possession charge. Now that Boosie is back on the streets, we've assembled your go-to Boosie guide, bringing you both a crash course in all things Boosie as well as what to expect from post-Boosie America.
What made Boosie initially such a standout talent shortly before his incarceration was how sharply he had fashioned a style that condensed everything one could want out of a rapper. Boosie's unique voice, both literally and as a writer, really pierced through whatever soundscape he was a part of to offer an incredible unique perspective. Take "Mind of a Maniac," one of the finest rap songs of 2009. Haunting and infectious, Boosie's resonance cuts the listeners to the bone, and see him perform the song in the video only accentuates his ability to connect with everyone within earshot. Not just another "I'm crazy because I say I'm crazy, look at me!" record, "Mind of a Maniac" perfectly captures the cause of Boosie's psychosis and symptoms of his neurosis.
Likewise, what makes Boosie's presence so welcomed back to the rap game is the return of sheer unpredictablily he bring to hip-hop at a time when the genre is in serious need of it. On B.O.B.'s 2008 track "Fuck You," Boosie came through with the outstanding opening line "Yesterday, me and my dog got loaded / Cracked a joke on my dog, my dog exploded." Only Boosie could bring that type of showstopping showmanship fresh out the gate to a slow-tempo B.O.B. record.
Boosie also holds a special place in hip-hop history for being the focal point of the greatest direct-to-DVD rap promo-documentary of all time. While we are quite a few years removed from the for-the-streets self-released DVD phenomenon, few (if any) of these self-promotional propaganda pieces hold up like Boosie's Bad Azz documentary. A perfect storm of Boosie's charisma and a series of turbulent life-events, instead of the random aimlessly alternating clips of performances, music videos and hanging-out that most of his contemporaries were obsessed with, Boosie's happens to follow a fascinating chronological narrative. From showing us his childhood home and then the traumatic aftermath of it after it burned to the ground a few days later, to the sheer flamboyance of Boosie performing a song while driving a car, it's as effective and engaging as the medium ever became.
Boosie's been a free man for under 48 hours and, already he's gone right back into rapping with the same vigor and pep that he had years ago. While lesser sentences had stifled others, Boosie's free and his freestyle is just as stylish as ever. Here he is kicking bars as only he can and showing us what an excited 2014 Boosie is coming with fresh out the gate.
Also wonderful is Boosie's daughter's tiding of great joy upon being reunited with her father. Not only is this a touching reminder of what it means to be back with one's family, but it also is a promising start for what Lil Boosie is going to deliver to us on Instagram. A lot's changed in the past five years, but thankfully, the best parts of Boosie haven't. Welcome to the mind of a maniac, 2014 edition.