NEW ORLEANS (AP) — If you’re wondering why folks are so happy Louisiana-born rapper Lil Boosie is home, or why he’s been blowing up Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds, well, wonder no more. Think of him as the poorer man’s T.I., who spent 5 years in jail for a crime some think he didn’t commit.
The Trill Entertainment/Atlantic Records recording artists was welcomed home this week by friends and family including Trill Entertainment’s Bun B, who signed him and labelmate Webbie, along with Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy. Lil Boosie says serving time in a Louisiana prison on drug charges was life changing, has made him a better person and ultimately, he hopes, a better artist.
“I feel like I’ve got more stories to tell,” Lil Boosie said during a press event Monday in New Orleans. “I’ve got a lot to say about my life, about what I went through in prison and about what my family went through. I’m a much better person. I’m much stronger. I know who my real friends are and I know who ain’t.”
Angela Yee, a radio personality on Power 105.1 in New York, moderated the rapper’s first public interview since being released last week from Louisiana’s maximum security prison at Angola. Young Jeezy as well as members of his family and legal team were there to show support.
“This is a big day for Trill Entertainment and a big day for the hip-hop community,” said Houston native Bun B, the independent label’s chief executive, who came off tour to support Boosie’s homecoming. Bun B said Boosie and Webbie were the first artists Trill Entertainment signed.
“He took off with flying colors and went above and beyond what we expected,” he said of Boosie. “We couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Boosie, whose real name is Torence Hatch, said the first thing he did following his release was reconnect with his seven children. “I’m still enjoying the moment, enjoying my family you know? I’m just soaking in time with the kids and the studio.” He said he’s been spending as much time as possible in the studio — good news for Trill Entertainment and distributor Atlantic records. While imprisoned following a 2009 drug conviction, Hatch said he wrote 1,018 songs.
“I was focused on my music,” he said when asked about life behind bars. “I didn’t spend too much time seeing what other (rappers) were doing. But of what I’ve heard over the last few days, I feel the rap game is wide open for me to take over.