Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Lil Boosie - Da Beginning mixtape
The above line from the hook on "Somebody Gonna be My Victim" is the type of thing that makes me love Boosie right now. While it clearly has a different meaning when used by the man himself, many people can't take Lil Boosie seriously and look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I listen to his music, without irony. It's not just his shrill, cartoonish voice that makes people scoff at him. He's a raw, unapologizing version of the Southern rapper; materialistic, violent, loud and unconcerned with anything except money. But he's really one of the only honest and fresh voices in rap, unafraid to put what's on his mind onto the ridiculously critical hip hop stage. Coming from Baton Rouge and having such incredible talent surrounding him (beats and rappers) helps him stand out, of course. But Boosie is all personality, talent and execution.
The new mixtape is a classic waiting to be adopted by the nerd-rap blogosphere, especially since Trill Ent. has been crowned the next rap dynasty. On Da Beginning, the production is so refreshing that it makes Boosie's rhymes so clear and even a little bit humble. Every track has some toned down, homemade element, like flutes, organs, hand claps, bluesy guitars or horns. All sounds that are strikingly different from the current state of rap production. In fact, Trill Entertainment's in-house producers produce banging club tracks on the regular, which makes this even more intriguing. I'm not sure who did the beats here (I don't hear Mouse's "Mouse ont he track, it'll make ya bounce back" tag?), but whoever it is was clearly listening to a lot of Pimp C. As we all know, Chad Butler (RIP) put these dudes on, but I've never really felt the influence of Pimp C as much on any other Trill Ent release as on this one. The woozy organs, laid back beats, guitars all sound perfect for a styrofoam cup and a big ass Cadillac.
Whoever is on the hook on "They Hatin" has the greatest nasally drawl ever, and the track is a perfect little posse cut to show just how dope this camp is. What's so exciting to me is that they can make songs like "Zoom" or "Wipe Me Down" but also they can make MUSIC, stuff that truly carries on the tradition of Pimp and Bun. "They Hatin" sounds like it's from some old mixtape by a bunch of Houston dudes that I've never heard of from 2000. Noz already told you about the political one, "Dirty World," which is another perfect example of why people who scoff at Boosie are mistaken. But it's not just the overt political track that proves Boosie's got stuff to say, he does it all over this mixtape. "I Ain't Comin Home Tonight" is a great storytelling track, a break-up song, and a sober moment for the perpetually flossing rapper, all in one. "Take My Pain Away" is a drug ballad about how he prays instead of whooping his bitch when things get rough. "Doin This 4 U" is the 'giving back to my hood' track but holds a little more poignancy knowing just exactly how hugely important this guy is to a whole lot of people in Baton Rouge and the rest of the South right now. This guy just basically threw his personality all over this thing and I'm eating it up completely. It's the type of thing that really tips a rapper from a regional sensation to a star, and maybe his recent spot on the cover of Fader is a sign. Either way, he deserves to be appreciated much more than in just a cursory, ironic sort of way.
Posted by Gardner at 2:14 PM