Boosie Badazz still talks a mean game when it comes to delivering new heat for the streets and holding it down for the South. The Louisiana rap star is gunning for mogul status as the leader of his new record label, Bad Azz Music Syndicate, and Jewel House clothing line.
After clocking in five years for a drug possession charge and probation violation at Angola State Penitentiary, Boosie Badazz is now serving as a mentor to his artists, who he assures will be pulling night shifts ’till the squad is way up.
“We are building and we gon’ keep building until it’s over,” he recently told VIBE over the phone. “We’re gonna be in the grave, and Boosie’s music, the Bad Azz Music Syndicate, will still be getting played.”
Alongside his signee, B Will, Boosie discussed his latest business ventures, Meek Mill’s Dreams Worth More Than Money album, and being a boss.—Mia B.
VIBE: Tell me about Bad Azz Music Syndicate. What would you say is the roster’s signature sound?
Lil Boosie: With the label, it’s not just one sound, it’s a variety. Every artist sounds different. It’s great production and everybody has their own swag. I can’t really say it’s just “gangsta” music or one type of music because it’s not.
So far, you have B Will, OG Dre, Lee banks, and Juicy signed to Bad Azz Music Syndicate. They were all also on your most recent mixtape, Every Ghetto Every City Vol. 1. From a business standpoint, how do you manage handling new artists as far as different personalities and releases dropping at the same time?
It’s about everybody understanding that we’re trying to be a dynasty. It’s about letting your artist do what they have to do. That’s what it’s basically about, putting them all out there so everybody can get a break and the streets gon’ call for who they want.
Would you consider yourself to be a mentor as well?
I have to be a mentor to be their CEO and their boss, you know? I have to talk to them, let them know the game and what it takes to be just as successful as I am. That’s out the gate. I have to instill in them the work ethic in the studio that I had for years—and still got. They have to make me money. We have to make each other money. I can’t have them on separate mindsets.
Meek Mill just put out his Dreams Worth More Than Money LP, which also touches on life in prison. Have you heard it? Any songs you can relate to?
Yeah, I haven’t got deep into it but I heard a few lines that brought me back, like [this line from “Ambitionz”] “Washing your draws in the same water that you sh*t in.” [Laughs] I ran through it and I like the album—it’s a solid album. I like to hear about that jail sh*t. Not too many people had those real-life experiences, and those dudes need a voice in there. A lot of people forget about those dudes.
Your most recent single titled “Every Diss” featuring B Will has been getting a lot of plays. How do you feel about some of the folks you have fired shots at in the past, like Wayne?
Nah, this is just a crazy record. It’s a club record, its one of those records that people love to hear Boosie on. It’s just another big record. That’s what B Will does. You know “Indictments” is a big record, “Ridin Stealth” is a big record, and we just gon’ keep on making them. “Every Diss” is the one that everyone loves right now, and we finna run with it.
B Will: Man, it’s been crazy. I’ve seen Instagram clips, Vines—everybody is picking it up. For me, it;s like I’m getting the exposure that I worked for. Boosie opened up the door for me. Everything that he said was going to happen, is happening.
B Will, how is it working with one of the top dogs in the game?
Well, the thing is, he ain’t one of the top dogs, He is the top dog. Down here [in the South], he runs the streets and everything moves off of him. So you just gotta pick up and catch the wave. That’s the first thing I learned from him the first night I met him. He did eight songs straight and it set a fire in me. Like, Okay I have to perform at this level, I have to be moving at this level. Just watching how he moves, you learn the game. That’s what I’ve been doing—learning the game and putting it back. Now, the streets are calling for me.
Boosie, what type of progress would you like to see from your label and the artists in the next five years?
With the label, I expect it to be on that Young Money level, that Maybach [Music Group level], that crazy level in five years. As far as my artists, hopefully they would have sold millions of records and also have their own labels and joint ventures with us. I want to make my artists bosses of their own empire, also.
Trae The Truth just played the VIBE staff an ill Boosie verse.
I was rocking with Trae way before I went to prison. Trae was doing a lot of stuff for his city as far as positive things, and I was doing a lot of stuff for my city. Even before the music, we were doing stuff for our communities. We done made music together. Trae is another one of the homies who wrote me in prison. That’s my homie.
How do you take criticism for having your kids around hardcore hip-hop?
I don’t feel any type of way because I know how my kids are, and I know how my kids are raised. I know how to raise my kids with all of this stuff going around. Nobody knows how to raise their kids but them. Everyone else likes to have opinions but I’m the father.
How has your lifestyle changed since coming home?
Since I came home, I am ten times more successful then I was. I am more business-minded, I am healthier, I am living better than I was living. I’m surrounding myself with better people. My label is building, I have a clothing line. I never thought I’d have a clothing line. I came home and now, I’m capitalizing on all of my opportunities. I just dropped an album, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell and I’m getting a crazy response from that album. I feel like it was the best album of the year. I have another album that’s almost ready right now. I’m not going to stop. I’m going to keep it alive. We’re here and we’re not going anywhere.