With Thug Talk, his third album of 2016 and his best of the year so far, Boosie Badazz really gets through to us on why he deserves respect for his recent hard work. As we’ve seen in January’s In My Feelings and February’s Out My Feelings, Boosie has been on a nice socially conscious bent, which started roughly around the time he started recording 2015’s Touch Down 2 Cause Hell. It was a time when Boosie began to take stock of his role in the game, reflect on his life and enlighten himself much further. In Thug Talk (March 16, Lil Boosie Music), Boosie takes his wisdom-spreading to levels where those last three albums came close perhaps but never got to completely. Boosie thinks deeply about his lot in life and about life in general here. The best parts, the wonderful messages, rocket Boosie to a higher tier in his career. His rhyme game is on point in his sharp distinguished voice, and although the production is not amazing (a new set of mood-fitting background pieces), it’s nothing one can complain about either fortunately.
In “Thug Talk,” the intro, Boosie starts by coming clean, laying all his cards on the table confessing that some folks may not understand a few of the songs on the album right away, but he says that by the end, we’ll all understand everything entirely. Based on some of his less than stellar recent works, we have some reason to be skeptical as to the authenticity of his words; however, Boosie is the one who will have the last laugh this time. These beginning statements prove oh so correct by the CD’s end, seriously. Boosie goes on to rap about the ghetto’s trapping encaging characteristics later in this intro, setting the album’s main tone to the track’s very tender music. He explains the absurd ridiculous things people do to get paid in “For Da Love Of Money,” exposes more ghetto depravity in the Pimp C-introed “Wake Up” and admits to seeing real people copy and emulate what they see on the idiot box, in “TV.” It doesn’t stop there.
Boosie raps about what he’s done and where he’s going and handles his reputation and the rumors surrounding him later on. He’s sort of a compassionate populist in that he laments hood violence (“Street Wars”) and traces the roots of gangsterism to a marginalized, broken community where young ones look up to older kids and model themselves after them, bad traits and all. That is one homage Boosie pays to Tupac, whose “Shorty Wanna Be A Thug” probably helped inspire songs like “Menace II Society” and “No Surrender No Retreat.” Another nod to Pac is obviously the “Ambitionz Az A Ridah”-sampling “Finish U.” In general and for the better, Boosie is very Pac-like all throughout Thug Talk while at the same time keeping his own identity, so he conveys street wisdom and introduces brazen hood attitudes that serve as metaphors or have multiple purposes. For example, “Finish U” is about brutal retaliation as a metaphor for extirpating detriments to healthy living, many times mental in actuality, and the very gangster “Regret It” with Webbie and the fun lewd “Retarded” are there to show where Boosie is from and to take a break from all the seriousness.
Bringing the album to a close, Boosie sends more love to his kids, expresses his desire to stay out of the pen and finally talks to god for salvation. He’s simply level headed and rational with an even keel all throughout. He sees the light, he knows what life is all about and tells us, never mind what we want to hear. This is what we should hear before all else, as soon as possible. Thug Talk is exactly why Boosie should not be underestimated as of late. He stands for good and encourages correct independent thinking, and although he may stop short of saying we should withdraw from toxic sectors of society or refrain from highly damaging practices and activities, he alludes to it. He mostly describes the status quo and expresses his disapproval of it. The album may very well have been a classic had the beats been made more innovative and moving, but Boosie’s words more than compensate for the lack of musical specialty. It’s reported that Boosie Badazz has a few more projects in the pipeline, including one with Atlantic Records, but even if they don’t start to come until late this year or next, Thug Talk will more than suffice for the time being.