A man who has spent a significant portion of his life behind bars might be expected to understand the value of time.
Yet Lil Boosie, a rapper who was incarcerated from 2009 to 2014, gave an audience of almost 1,000 fans a mere 34-minute performance Thursday at the Midland theater.
Many of the songs Boosie rushed through during his alarmingly brief appearance referred to his proficiency at making money. With ticket prices starting at $40, the people who attended Thursday’s concert might understandably feel as if they had wasted their time and money.
Hundreds of concertgoers hung their heads as they walked silently to the exits after the house lights came up.
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Boosie, born Torrence Hatch in 1982, was already a significant figure in Southern hip-hop before being imprisoned in 2009. As the phrase “free Boosie” became a hip-hop mantra in recent years, Boosie’s profile became even more prominent.
Although Boosie, also known as Boosie Badazz, gets little radio support, he’s managed to attain a strong following for his raw music.
As he suggested during a rendition of the mocking “No Juice” on Thursday, “the whole world love me, CNN say I got the whole world thuggin’.”
The selection was one of 16 abbreviated songs that Boosie touched on Thursday. Even though he seemed to be rapping directly over his own recordings, each song snippet served as a reminder of the high quality of his uncomplicated output.
His menacing chirp of a voice glided nicely over backdrops of languid funk. Uninterested in innovation, Boosie places a premium on authenticity.
Boosie alluded to his brushes with the law during “Betrayed” and “Devils” and described the benefits of his lucrative lifestyle on “Smokin’ on Purple” and “Wipe Me Down.”
In spite of the almost nonexistent production values — the lack of a spotlight made Boosie difficult to spot as he paced the stage — the headliner’s show seemed to be going well until the set concluded with the triumphant “Show Da World.”
The concert opened with appearances by a handful of forgettable regionally based acts. The first rapper inadvertently dropped his microphone as he was being introduced. The minor mishap set the tone for the evening.
Seventy minutes of gibberish about an after-party from several DJs and a radio personality followed the opening acts. The painful wait made Boosie’s short performance all the more disappointing.
Independent, Cut Her Off, Crazy, Mind of a Maniac, Smokin’ on Purple, Excitin’, No Juice, Devils, G Sh*t, F*ck the Police, Betrayed, Swerve, Lifestyle, Wipe Me Down, Loose As a Goose, Show Da World.