Lil Boosie, 'Incarcerated' (Trill/Asylum)

Critical Mass
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Label: Trill/Asylum

by Ben Detrick

Where T.I.'s Paper Trail, recorded during house arrest, was a paean to contrition, Lil Boosie's fourth studio album -- released as he faces murder and narcotics charges -- is unapologetic. On caustic, brooding opener, "Devils," he accuses police of plotting to kill him, then seethes as he addresses the judge: "Bitch, you gon' railroad a nigga / And lose me in the system." Still, Incarcerated is unflinchingly self-aware; over lean synths, Boosie examines his dirt-poor Baton Rouge upbringing, rap money, family, and his intractable proximity to death. It's an enormously heartfelt album that makes his legal plight even more of a feel-bad story.

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