Instead, according to the terms of the deal, Boosie had all but two years of a 10-year sentence for weed suspended. He is required to serve at least one year in jail, and he will be on active supervised probation for two to five years following his release. In addition, the gun charge was held in abeyance, meaning that as long as Boosie adheres to the conditions of his probation, the charge will be dropped.
Boosie, who sees himself as a “target” in Baton Rouge, says the plea deal was the only way to go. “You got a bad court system in Louisiana,” he says. “Officers been made all kind of lies [on] things I said… They humiliate me in court, [portraying] Boosie Bad Azz as a straight problem. They say I’m running a criminal ring, things like that… My lawyer say, ‘If they bring all that in the court, what the jury gonna think?’” He looks at the Kool cigarette in his right hand. “I’m not gonna play with my life, bruh,” he continues. “They threw Mystikal away. Mystikal been gone six and a half years.”
Lewis Ungelsby, one of two attorneys who represented Boosie in the case, agrees. “He couldn’t win,” Ungelsby concedes. “The legal system is set up to allow innocent people to be found innocent, but also so that those found guilty to benefit from taking responsibility for their actions. By taking responsibility for what he’s done, [Torrence] eliminated or at least alleviated some of the time he faced.”
Boosie is scheduled to appear again in court on November 9, five days before he turns 27, for sentencing, and Ungelsby says he expects Boosie will be ordered to report to a minimum-security Louisiana correctional facility sometime around Christmas. Says Ungelsby, “We don’t anticipate any violations. The important thing is that he has a period of time between now and when he becomes incarcerated to get his work done and promote the album he recently released and cut another album. He’s been given a great opportunity.”
According to Ungelsby, the deal should mark the end of Boosie’s legal woes. But a dark shadow remains. During a May bond hearing related to the ongoing investigation into the alleged involvement of Trill Entertainment CEOs Melvin “Mel” Vernell Jr. and Roach in the 2005 attempted murder of Baton Rouge rapper Bruce “Beelow” Moore, FBI agent Antony Jung testified that the agency had received information implicating Boosie in the murder of Chris “Nussie” Jackson, 33, a rapper from Boosie’s hometown, who was found dead in a Baton Rouge home in February, with a gunshot to the head. Nussie had started making a name for himself locally by questioning Boosie’s street cred (in 2007, Nussie even released his own album titled Bad Azz), and while on the stand, Jung said the FBI had reason to believe Boosie had put a $30,000 bounty on Nussie’s head. As XXL went to press, no charges had been filed against Boosie in relation to Jackson’s murder. Ungelsby dismissed the suggestion, noting, “Nothing has come of that.”
Back in Atlanta, Boosie’s mind was on other concerns. A Type 1 diabetic (he was diagnosed when he was 21), Boosie worries that he might struggle to find proper medical treatment while in jail. And as a father of six, with another one on the way this winter, he wants to make sure that his kids don’t forget their father. He says he’s looking forward to their visits, and he “just told [their] mamas to show them pictures of me every day and let them know about they daddy.”
The one thing Boosie’s not worried about is the music. He’s hoping to branch out with his own imprint, Bad Azz Entertainment, through Asylum/Warner For anyone concerned that breaking from Trill might affect his sound, he simply points to SuperBad, which features 10 tracks produced by his Bad Azz team. He talks about dropping an album timed with his release (as he sees it, “coming home straight from jail to 106 & Park”), and according to Boosie himself, he’s got 300 to 400 records in the can, with plans to Gucci Mane the situation while he’s gone. “I’ma flood the streets with music, to where people be like, ‘This nigga the truth, man,’” he promises. “I ain’t going to jail with my head down. I’m going to jail smiling, letting people know, you know, this shit’s nothing to me… And when I come home, I’ll be the hottest nigga in the game.”
To that end, he’s off to a good start. The subhead on that mtv.com piece about the plea? “Rapper’s latest album, SuperBad: The Return of Boosie Bad Azz, debuts in next week’s top 10.”