By Joshua Jackson
Although New Orleans has been a musical hub for decades, not much comes from the state’s capital city. However, there has been one voice to reflect the true grit of Baton Rouge for years. In 2010, that voice, arguably one of the first people to combine mainstream rap and true hood music, went to prison. In 2013, he was released and promised a triumphant return to the industry.
In his first album since his release from prison, Boosie Badazz, formerly known as Lil Boosie, has taken his sins, successes and everything in the middle and put it on one triumphant return disc. The result is his new album Touch Down 2 Cause Hell.
Those expecting a series of banger tracks such as the ever-famous “Wipe Me Down” are encouraged to skip this project. While the turn up hits exist, TD2CH finds its strength as Boosie and his collaborators reflect on their lives and how things could be better than what they are. Often, people complain about how rap is no longer real and the artists aren’t genuine. This is the raw truth many are looking for.
From the first track “Intro – Get Em Boosie,” the Baton Rouge rapper fires off lyrics calling out those who pretend to be something they aren’t and who he really is. This sets the pace for the rest of the album’s songs.
On “Window Of My Eyes,” Boosie tells the story of his prison experience relating himself to Job from the Bible. He mentions how he doesn’t sleep and his dwindling faith as well as his struggles with diabetes while incarcerated. The song answers many of the questions listeners have about his stint and shows how much time he had to sit with his own thoughts.
The album has a full roster of star collaborators such as Rick Ross, Chris Brown, TI, J. Cole and Jeezy. Many of these assists make for beautiful songs with the occasional mediocre track.
One of these standouts is “Black Heaven” where Keyshia Cole covers the hook and Boosie and J. Cole talk about what an afterlife of African-American legends would be like. It shows that Boosie is also thinking about the state of current events and isn’t afraid to approach this subject in an artistic way.
Other songs such as “Hands Up,” “I’m Sorry” and “Mercy On My Soul” shows how much pent up regret and anger Boosie has at the world and himself for what is happening around him.
The 19 songs on the album may be a bit long for some, but most Boosie fans are used to lengthy projects at this point. Not each track is memorable, but they all show different sides of Boosie’s personality. TD2CH is the most introspective Boosie album to date as he reflects on his time in prison, the state of hip hop, his love for his mother and the impact his decisions have on the people around him.
With this record, Boosie finds the potential to hit the mainstream while keeping his loyal following. Even if that isn’t what he wants, it’s the type of project he’s made. His ability to tell stories in his music is similar to Slick Rick. Boosie’s ability to be completely honest rivals that of the Pope. These two elements combined have come together on TD2CH to remind everyone that Boosie is not to be forgotten in this new stage of hip hop. He’s been freed, and now he’s returning with an arsenal of lyrical weapons aimed at anyone in his way.