Lil Boosie, a gangsta rapper of national renown, is facing first-degree murder charges in his hometown of Baton Rouge, La., and this week prosecutors introduced his own recordings into court. The musician's violent and threat-filled lyrics, they say, show that he paid a hit man to kill an alleged rival.
Boosie, who was born Torence Hatch, has recorded for the Warner Brothers-associated Asylum label, according to Allmusic.com, and is serving an eight-year drug smuggling sentence. Reporter Joe Gyan Jr. of the Baton Rouge Advocate is following his current legal problems in a Baton Rouge courthouse, where a jury will decide whether Boosie hired Michael "Marlo Mike" Louding to kill a man named Terry Boyd in 2009.
Gyan described how prosecutors are trying to use lyrics that Boosie recorded on the night of Oct. 20, less than two hours before Boyd was fatally shot, to establish his intentions.
At trial Wednesday, a computer forensics expert testified that during the session Boosie recorded a lyric for a song called "187" -- police code for homicide -- in which he rapped, "Yo Marlo. He drive a Monte Carlo. I want that [expletive] dead."
Two minutes later, the expert said, Hatch rapped that he was the "John Gotti of the south side" and added: "I want that [expletive] dead today."
Just before midnight, he allegedly rapped: "Please tell him it's from Boosie when you hit that [expletive] up."
And eight minutes after the shooting, Boosie recorded lines for a song called "Body Bag," rapping: "Curtain call. Put that [expletive] brains on the wall."
One of Boosie's lawyers argued that some of the lyrics were recorded long before that night, and that they had been "resampled."
Rolling Stone, which is also covering the trial, notes that the defense has emphasized that "Marlo Mike" Louding has been accused of killing five other people, including a good friend of Boosie -- proof, Boosie's lawyers say, that Boosie had no control over Louding's actions.
Kenneth M. Willis, a Louisiana attorney who has been following the trial, told the magazine that the defense team appeared to be having some success casting doubt on Boosie's role in the slaying of Boyd.
"Right now, rap is on trial, Boosie's rap music is on trial, and to me, it looks like a long shot that he'll be convicted," Willis said earlier this week.