"He’s home? Well, where was he?” Funny you should ask, BITM Nation. If you’re a true follower of the seedy underbelly of our illustrious genre, then you know that Boosie has been locked up for the last three years for a drug rap. (no pun intended)
In addition to the drug charges, he was accused of the murder of one Terry Boyd in 2009, but was acquitted in mid 2012. I recall being so surprised at the outpouring of support from fans in the hip hop community. I didn’t judge, but I was very…intrigued. I was even more intrigued when Boosie was released from a state penitentiary in Louisiana this past Wednesday evening.
Let me back up; I wasn’t surprised at him getting released. I knew that was forthcoming, as I always follow hip-hop news. I was surprised at the way my Facebook timeline *blew up* at his release. That intrigue quickly became disappointment. People that I hardly hear from and people that I didn’t even know listened to rap were posting in all caps “BOOSIE OUT! BOOSIE DONE COME HOME!” Although I don’t fault any of Boosie’s close friends and family for being ecstatic about his release, I am suspicious about this new found enthusiasm from everyone else. Where was this enthusiasm last month for Black History?
In a break from the norm I’ll quote my Facebook friend Kristen Marshall, who summed up my views, and that of others, quite nicely:
“...don't get me wrong, I'm happy to see ANY black man touchdown, and I'm not taking away anyone's right to to celebrate Boosie getting out cause I'm happy he out too. But it's somethings that I don't think yall seeing and it's a problem to me. This is what yall celebrate? This is the type of shit that capture's yal attention? This is what gets yall excited? Well now you know why the rest of the world doesn't take us seriously […] Yall know all this nigga's lyrics, but I bet you can't tell me nothing bout how U.S. was talking bout going to war with Russia over Ukraine […] half of yall lil young niggas didn't even know who Nelson Mandela was! […] one of the black stereotypes is that we don't know shit bout our country or what's going on in the world, but we damn sure know all the gangster ass music! […] their music got yall sitting back praising them and their high life, while you blasting their music, yelling their damn name all over the place like they God or something, and you still sitting back struggling. And you gone continue struggling cause you rather get excited bout their lives instead of your damn own."
Well put, Kristen. And as quickly as the happy posts went up, the posts about “Boosie haters” went up right behind them. I don’t consider myself a hater (word to http://youtu.be/07KirtBLGjM), and I actually get hype when “Wipe Me Down” comes on but c’mon! Did we forget that the man committed a crime?! The impression given from the posts and the constant “Free Boosie” shirts I’ve seen over the past couple years is that the man did no wrong. He was convicted of a crime. I admit that our judicial system is flawed (r.i.p. to TM) but there was no conspiracy against Torence Hatch. Stop treating him like a newly freed martyr.
Jason Weaver (he did the hook for Chingy’s “One Call Away” and was in Drumline with Nick Cannon-Carey) summed it up best on Instagram, in my opinion, “…why can’t we celebrate young Black men who have stayed OUT of prison?” I think that’s a good question to ask.