Shreveport, Louisiana – 2004. I’m a freshman in high school sitting in my computer typing class and there are two older girls next to me talking to each other. “You heard that new Boosie?”, “No, I ain’t got that Boosie yet?”. 14 year old me, fueled by curiosity, asked, “Who’s Boosie?”. The older girls were appalled as if I asked them which one of them was going to take my V card. They explained that Boosie was THE rapper I should be listening to right now. On my walk home that day, I asked my friend if he ever of Boosie and he gave me his (bootleg) copy of Boosie’s album.
The last verse on “Show Ya Tattoos” featured a very unique voice that I become a fan of instantly. It’s funny how long it took me to get into Kendrick Lamar’s music because his voice irritated me, but the high pitched, heavily slurred drawl didn’t stop me from listening. There were a lot of fun tracks on the project, but the standouts “Going Thru Some Thangs” and “Baby Momma” impressed me as this stranger was opening up to me and giving me intimate details of his personal life whether it was wanting to fire the mother of his child or explain how hard it is to balance a life in and out of Hip-Hop and how complicated it was to make it in the music industry during that time. “I want to get rich, but sometime I don’t believe. Trying to sell a hundred thousand, but they keep burning my CDs, …. Please, won’t you give me help? Get your ass off the computer and buy the sh!t up off the shelf”. After hearing that, you think I didn’t go to the store the next chance I got?
Until I went to Best Buy and bought the official copy of Gangsta Musik, I didn’t know what Boosie looked like or know that the album was a collaboration album with Webbie. Two years later, after the success of all the Houston rappers and Asylum records signing Trill Ent, making Webbie a star, Bad Azz, the major label debut of the underground star, was released. Watching the video for “Zoom” with Yung Joc (Whatever happened to that guy?) on Rap City was a great moment if you were a fan of his. (True Story: Did the motorcycle dance at my Junior Homecoming when they played that song.)
1. Intro – Get Em Boosie Produced by Black Metaphor
Didn’t like it at first, I’ve heard better from Black Metaphor before in the past, but on the third listen I can say it’s an okay intro. The production from Black Metaphor is somewhat of an anthem for someone making a major return back to the top spot of where they once presided, but the biggest flaw on the opening track lies on Boosie. 6 years after being released from jail and he only starts his album off with one verse.
2. Window Of My Eyes Produced by Roc & Mayne & Kenoe
Track number 2 is a better indication of what listeners and fans are in for on Touch Down To Cause Hell. We revisit the “Mind Of A Maniac” and learn of the daily activities of Torrence Hatch during his stay at Angola Prison.
3. Mercy On My Soul Featuring Jeezy & Akelee; Produced by Kenoe & Samuel AsH
If anyone thought Boosie was just another Southern rapper with too many chains and no substance in his music, those assumptions are out the way early as we get two introspective tracks back to back in the first trio of songs from the album. Snowman delivers with:
Keeping it 100 I ain’t sleep in ’bout a week, hey look
Gotta do it for my little cousin, Chastity
See her boyfriend took her life
When I think about the daughter that she left behind
Pardon me, can’t let you see a gangsta cry, Lord have mercy
Gangstas cry? Damn, where was this version of Jeezy on Seen It All? Very impressive but he still doesn’t outshine the main artist.
I was lost in a world-wind, now I’m sorry
Five different baby mama’s coulda been on Maury
Staying up all night, smoking purp for hours
Can’t even get my ass off to church a couple hours
Beefing with the enemy, teaching my son wrong things
In and out the hospital on that strong lane
Looking at the phone ring knowing it’s my auntie
Knowing that she tryna pray for me, but I don’t accept it
Now I’m selfish, not to others but myself
Cause I’m feeling like nobody know my struggle, just my wealth
But that was then and this is now and since you gave me another chance
God man I’mma promise I make ya proud
A lotta times I screamed to ya, felt like you ain’t hear me
You ain’t heard me cause I wasn’t worthy, sins dirty dirty
Thugs cry, no lie had to hit my niece
Like please please, have mercy on me
4. Like A Man Featuring Rich Homie Quan; Produced by Mouse On tha Track
Finally, we get back to more uptempo production thanks to frequent collaborator, Mouse On Da Track. It’s always good to see veterans working with the new school. This track works well similarly to T.I.’s.
5. On Deck Featuring Young Thug; Produced by P-Lo
I don’t want to say skip, but this song is forgettable; some tough talk and a phoned in hook from Thugger Thugger. Nothing special.
6. Retaliation Produced by London on da Track
When they play this new Boosie, hood clubs are going to go crazy. London On Da Track continues to deliver with the music as Boosie continues to vent. If the album was themed and was Boosie’s life story from when he left prison, this is first day home and the paranoia and revenge plotting starts.
7. No Juice Produced by Mouse On tha Track
The breakout track from Life After Death Row makes its return onto the major label project. I’m fine with its inclusion; it’s a song where one of the realest calls out the fake he’s interacted with in past meetings.
8. On That Level Featuring Webbie; Produced by Abby “Samir” Urbina
“On That Level” is another loosie record that was released before the album’s completion. I’m not the biggest fan of the song, but I appreciate it for being a fun party record from the Gangsta Musik duo and for its production sounding like DJ Mustard mixed bounce music. I’m really surprised that Dijon’s name appears nowhere in the credits, but shout out to Samir for the beat.
9. Hip Hop Hooray Featuring Webbie; Produced by Knucklehead
Two Webbie features back to back and another song questioning authenticity doesn’t seem like a good idea immediately following on a tracklist but the song/feature works. The TD2CH highlight puts all fakes, phonies, and imposters on Front Street for lying to fans of real life stories from their favorite Hip-Hop artists.
10. Mr. Miyagi Produced by Beat Billionaire
MAN! This beat got wasted. Alright, that’s an overstatement now that I’m on my fifth listen. It’s the chorus and title that I can’t stand. Boosie wants to be an elder in the game or a mentor, that’s fine. Just don’t call yourself Mr. Miyagi. He messed up a great line about comparing himself to Big Meech, by adding “wax on, wax off”. Stop it, Boosie. Any other reference could have worked.
11. Black Heaven Featuring Keyshia Cole & J. Cole; Produced by Kenoe & Samuel AsH
All Black Everything! It’s not bad, but it’s nothing new, great artists and figures of color get name checked while Southside Baton Rouge’s own wonders what they are doing in the afterlife. Keyshia Cole and J. Cole disappoint on here. I was expecting Cole World to go in or at least hear a great moment where Frankie’s daughter takes us to church with her vocals. I was sadly mistaken.
12. She Don’t Love Me Featuring Chris Brown; Produced by BJ Beatz
Chris Brown does a feature after receiving one for his collaborative album with Tyga, Fan of a Fan: The Album. This is the label wanting a “radio friendly” song. This gets a shoulder shrug from me, I don’t care if I never hear this song again.
13. All I Know Featuring PJ; Produced by Kane Beatz
The second record in a row aimed at the XX chromosome audience. Don’t know who PJ is, but she sounds okay. I thought it was PJ Morton from Maroon 5 (He’s from New Orleans and signed to Cash Money. I recommend listening to his music). It’s not for me and shame on Kane Beatz, this beat is as Pop friendly as “Bedrock” or “The Show Goes On”.
14. Drop Top Music Featuring Rick Ross; Produced by Big Wayne
I like this song; it’s what sound systems and aux cords were made for in cars. This will get multiple plays in the future with summer coming up.
15. Spoil You Featuring T.I.; roduced by Kenoe
There’s got to be a song for the ladies, so here we are on numero tres for the senoritas and this can go in the same canon as “Distant Lover” and “Beat It Up”, of honest love songs from Bad Azz. Returning to his “Whatever You Like” style, Tip delivers promises of shopping trips and good D after suffering a horrible relationship. The man with seven kids from five different women’s closing verse is the highlight in its brutal honesty:
You wanna get spoiled
Then I will make that happen
But its gon be other broads
I must admit it Im rapping
I turn a Micheal Khors watch to a Rollie right quick
This a golden opportunity you better not miss
Ace of Spades
We can drink like Kool-Aid, Lets do it
You need to listen to ya girl saying, “Just do it”
Im gon spoil you tight, call you like, “got a 1st class flight, come ball with me tonight”
But you gon have to come and give it all to me tonight
Diamonds all over you will make you shine bright
You got big dreams, then I can help you out fa’sho
It ain’t what you do, but who you know
So let’s go girl
16. How She Got Her Name Produced by J Reid
I don’t know who J. Reid is but I will be looking for him now. This is the best song on the album so far based on my first listen. For those that wonder why or how Boosie has such an enormous fan base, listen to this song:
Let me tell you about Dirty Diana, she really come up with nothing
Uncle use to touch on her he was really a monster
And it affected her, gang banged niggas they respected her
The reason they respected her; she loved setting niggas up
Cut throat from her own granny, taking cash
A nigga break up with her, she send niggas to his stash
She was envious, fuck her best friend boyfriend
Tell her leave her boyfriend then she fuck her best friend
Had a face full of sympathy but heart cold-blooded
Stayed fresh all the time but her little girl had nothing
She would con people, everybody not some people
Steal your birth date, your social and have you wanted by the folk
Got worst when she turned to cocaine for a high
She was a no brainier, loose cannon and all that
Set a young nigga up for like two hunnid stacks
He came back, Rest in Peace Dirty Diana
“Because he real” is usually the default answer to why he’s an underground favorite, I always thought it was because he would show up and perform in all the smallest cities in the South that bigger artists won’t even consider. It is songs like this that explain what they mean when they say he keeps it real and makes heartfelt music. For those that don’t believe he has lyrics, this song is on the level as Kendrick Lamar’s tales of Tammy and Keisha. You can easily believe that these three women (Quick F#ck Tina, Dirty Diana, and Katie The Chaser) in each verse of the song once roamed the streets of Baton Rouge. This definitely might be my favorite song off the album.
17. Kicking Clouds Produced by Kenoe “Normally, I make a weed song. So here goes a weed song!” (Wiz Khalifa Voice)
Since 92, (Wait, when he was 10?!? Wait, this is South Louisiana so it’s possible) Louisiana’s own has been making therapy sessions with Dr. Mary Jane; The greenery gets him in his zone. An obligatory weed song usually gets skipped by me, but I like Kenoe’s production on this joint and the artist is able to take advantage of it to break away from the monotonous sounds heard previously on the album.
18. Hands Up Produced by J Reid
I like when “street” rappers are conscious to the rest of the country instead of just their local neighborhoods. What’s going on in your life is probably going on in someone else’s. For every Jordan Davis, Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and Michael Brown that gets national news, there are some in local cities that don’t become a trending topic. This is his stand against the malicious judicial system that has plagued him, his family, and the rest of the country.
19. I’m Sorry Produced by Abby “Samir” Urbina
That’s It? I waited six years for an album with the last words being, “I apologize, for real tho”?
For the closing track, not much hell is caused. Instead of scorching the Earth, seeds are planted to rebuild the relationships tarnished by his time away from family, friends, and fans. Like the intro, I feel like the outro is too short.
Did I miss something in the news explaining why Big K.R.I.T’s name would not be in the production credits? J. Cole ain’t have any leftovers from 2014 Forest Hills Drive or Truly Yours 4? Where was Juicy J? Where was Mike WiLL Made-It? Where was DJ Mustard? Him and YG are credited with being the faces of Ratchet music, but couldn’t contribute to the man they give credit to for creating their style? Boosie lives in Atlanta now; he couldn’t find Southside, Sonny Digital, Travis Scott, Dun Deal, or Metro Boomin. I know he wants some more production credits in his discography he says it in the beginning of every beat he does. I’m just saying the sound of the album was repetitive and needed more diversity.
Speaking of diversity, the guest features are basic. I’m happy to see Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan make it in the studio with the King of Louisiana, but there are other people that he hasn’t worked with in the past or recently I would rather hear on Touch Down To Cause Hell. A feature from Kevin Gates, Curren$y, or Lil’ Wayne is long overdue if you ask some people. I really wish “Crazy” or “Show Da World” could’ve at least made appearances as bonus cuts.
Overall, with its faults this is a solid album that was worth the wait if you were a fan before his release from Angola and there are songs that will make fans of people that are currently not. I hate to say it, but maybe the year delay for the album was a gift and a curse. While I liked Life After Deathrow when I first heard it last October, I revisited that mixtape in anticipation for this album in April and it didn’t have the same impact. I played songs from this project over and over for the review and for my enjoyment; these songs have better replay value. If more music from the Bad Azz Ent CEO does come as soon as he says it will, I hope knows or figures out to add more subject matter, take some chances with production and guest features because this is a great start for a major comeback.