“Minor setback for a major comeback.” Those are the words Boosie speaks before spitting like a mad man on “Intro – Get Em Boosie.” Though it only lasts little more than a minute, the intro foreshadows what’s to come on Touch Down 2 Cause Hell. A lengthy album Touch Down 2 Cause Hell ends up being, it is a sound and authentic effort where Boosie Badazz (formerly Lil Boosie) keeps it real.
“Window of My Eyes” follows the intro sporting hard, malicious production and an honest account of how much prison sucks. Boosie puts it best when he spits, “This ain’t living, I would wish this sh*t on my worst enemy.” The real effects of imprisonment rear their ugly head when Boosie mentions how hard it is to not be a part of his kids lives (“On the phone, son crying, and I wanna wipe his tears / change his diapers, clean his ears…”).
“Mercy on My Soul” maintains the drama of “Window of My Eyes,” featuring Jeezy and Akelee. Boosie is thankful for “another chance,” and asks for forgiveness for his sins. Jeezy delivers a K.O. punch with lines “Heard it’s hot in hell so I’m packing linen / and lately my conscience be shaking me, waking me right up out my sleep.”
The machismo and toughness that characterizes Touch Down 2 Cause Hell continues virtuously on “Like a Man” featuring Rich Homie Quan, where most of the vulnerability of “Mercy on My Soul” has been erased. Still, Boosie allows for the listener to connect to his situation, continuing to share bits and pieces of his life: “Since 15 been takin’ care of my mama manly / never say the word ‘why’ when it’s time to do for my family.”
“On Deck” keeps it street, featuring Young Thug. Unlike the preceding cuts, “On Deck” is less founded upon imprisonment and his family. Still, his gritty persona shines, even if this is a less relatable joint. The edge remains firmly planted on the brief “Retaliation,” which reeks of violence in the name of payback, evidenced from the opening rhymes: “N***a just killed TyeTye / caught him slipping in a drive-by / we so surprised his mama in tears / somebody gon’ die now.”
“No Juice” plays up the old adage of rappers who lack the goods – aka fake as… Throughout the course of “No Juice,” Boosie cites numerous examples of the fakeness, whether it’s the fact that “they aint never slung that yak / they aint’ ever laid in that rack” or “they exaggerating for these women, hoping they look at em different.” Two tracks later, “Hip Hop Hooray,” featuring Webbie, takes a similar perspective: “Hip hop hooray, too many rappers lying today” Taking a break from both streets and criticism, “On That Level” (also featuring Webbie) is all about strippers. Misogynistic? – Yep, to the nth degree. Make what you will of it.
On “Mr. Miyagi,” Boosie takes on the persona of the Karate Kid character. The application is obviously different: “I trained 20 n***as, to bust 20 Uzis / I taught ‘em how to sell, how to stack they mail.” One more referencing his stint in prison, Boosie spits, “I took care of n***as, if I was sliding, they was sliding with me / wonder why a n***a couldn’t sit and testify on me (keep it real).” Those snitches – tell you what!
“Black Heaven” beautifully reminisces about all of the black people who have passed on. Boosie references Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X among others. Keyshia Cole delivers a gorgeous, soulful hook, while J. Cole piggybacks on Boosie’s rhymes applying his own ‘walk’ in life.
“She Don’t Love Me” provides another contrast on Touch Down 2 Cause Hell. If stripper anthem “On That Level” is the most closely related joint, “She Don’t Love Me” is opposite. Commitment is the M.O. here, as opposed to temporary pleasure. Chris Brown handles the memorable hook. From searching for a “ride or die chick,” Boosie asserts the “money above everything else” mentality on “All I Know,” assisted by PJ. PJ sums it up best: “Wake up everyday and hustle my n***a that’s all I know.”
“Drop Top Music” featuring Rick Ross is enjoyable without ‘reinventing the wheel’ or representing the crème de la crème of Touch Down 2 Cause Hell. “Spoil You” follows, featuring the ‘King of the South,’ T.I. It plays exactly as you’d envision – Boosie is willing to do anything for his boo – anything. “I know you got wants, I know you got needs / I know you got plans, and I know you got dreams…girl let me spoil you, let me spoil you.” As far as T.I.’s verse, well, he gets nasty detailing the “do” if you catch the drift.
“How She Got Her Name” is captivating, as Boosie crafts the narrative of the ‘bad girl,’ hence explaining, “how she got her name.” “Kicking Clouds” is both literal and metaphorical. While Boosie literally “kicks clouds” by smoking weed, the metaphorical reference is he could care less about his haters, hence the “Middle finger to your world, if you ain’t my kind.” Penultimate record “Hands Up” centers around the famous (or infamous) police command, referencing Michael Brown and Ferguson, Missouri. Boosie becomes the latest rapper to mention police injustice towards blacks. “I’m Sorry” concludes Touch Down 2 Cause Hell and needs no explanation: it’s Boosie’s apology for screwing up.
Overall, Touch Down 2 Cause Hell is a well-rounded affair. The biggest quibble is the length, which is exhaustive and uncharacteristic clocking in at 19 tracks shy of 75 minutes. Still, the good outweighs the mediocre by a mile and Boosie is honest throughout the effort, which allows for listeners to connect to him. All in all, it’s all good.
Favorites: “Window of My Eyes,” “Mercy on My Soul,” “Like a Man,” “No Juice,” “Black Heaven,” “She Don’t Love Me,” “How She Got Her Name”