Boosie Badazz - Thug Talk-cover

“I ain’t going back to jail, ‘Ro… When my kids come visit me… tears in their eyes when they leave, because I can’t leave with them, you know. I ain’t trying to go through that shit.”

This is how Boosie Badazz opens “Ga Away,” the Z-Ro featured second to last track on his new album, Thug Talk. These words alone, perhaps define what Thug Talk aims to accomplish as much as they re-iterate what Boosie himself has come to stand for.

Earlier this week, Day & A Dream editor-in-chief Brandon Caldwell called Boosie Badazz “one of rap’s great authors of The Struggle.” Citing the Louisiana emcee’s rise, fall, and rebirth, Caldwell said of Boosie: “He stares depression in the face every day because his body has betrayed him – but he walks on, too stubborn to fully give up because living is still a middle finger to all of it.”

So the release of Thug Talk – coming on the heels of Boosie’s In My Feelings and Out My Feelings LPs and serving as the rapper’s third drop in as many months – on the same week as Caldwell’s editorial, seems both an eerie coincidence and a fitting confirmation. The precursor before Boosie drops his “big nationwide album” Boosie BadAzz: Bigger and Badder Than Ever under Atlantic Records this summer, Thug Talk functions as a cold, hard look into the life Boosie once lived, an inseparable part of him but which no longer solely defines him.

“A lot of people won’t understand [Thug Talk], but millions will,” Boosie elaborated to HipHopDX. “You have to listen to it and understand… someone living life as a thug. It’s not that we’re made to be thugs, but put in situations to be thugs… If you want to know how I came up and know how I lived, you’ll listen to Thug Talk.”

The seventeen-track effort (which bears features from Webbie and the belated Pimp C in addition to Z-Ro – is raw, unflinching, honest. Basically, consistent with everything Boosie has always embodied. But it works especially well because of how Boosie seems to carry on a conversation with the listener from start to finish, often personally addressing the listener with a “say, thug.” “Finish U” hides a sinister threat underneath traditional Louisiana bounce music, but the threat is justified because someone’s come at Boosie’s family. The GLuck and BDon-produced “Menace II Society” paints Boosie as unapologetic but ONLY because his will to succeed is stubborn. It’s not all gloom and doom, thankfully – tracks like “Rainbow” reflect the newfound appreciation for life post-cancer Boosie has.

You have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to really understand them. With Thug Talk, Boosie Badazz aims to shorten that walk, or at least set the scenery surrounding that mile, as his own mind. Stream Thug Talk down below and grab the album now off iTunes.