Rapper Lil Boosie, whose real name is Torrence Hatch, walked out of prison a free man Wednesday evening, after being locked up for more than four years.
“It’s a blessing for him to be home,” said fan Clifford Jackson. “He went through the struggle, he’s home and just wish him the best.”
A native of Baton Rouge, Lil Boosie has fans worldwide. Many of them commonly used the term “Free Boosie” during his incarceration and some continue to say it. Minutes after a post on Twitter about Lil Boosie being set free, it was re-tweeted thousands of times. Before long, the tweet about Lil Boosie’s release was trending worldwide. It showed up in places like Nigeria, France, Germany and Ireland.
“His music, his swag. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. The world is going to be glad to see him. South side loves him,” Jackson added when asked why he thought there was such a worldwide reaction to Lil Boosie’s release from prison.
Many expect Lil Boosie will announce a huge new music deal Monday. A news conference put on by Atlantic Records is scheduled in New Orleans.
“I’m really hopeful the young man comes out (and) makes positive contributions for his community,” said Terrell Johnson, another fan. “I know family missed him dearly and I’m sure kids missed him greatly. Hopefully, come home and try make to make up for lost time with family.”
In 2008, Lil Boosie spoke to students in Baton Rouge. He told them the more they read, the more they will know.
“If you want to be successful, you’ve got to hang around the right people,” Lil Boosie told the children. “Hang around the straight ‘A’ students and if you’re a ‘C’ student, you’ll become an ‘A’ or ‘B’ student. You’ve got to hang around the right people.”
One year later, in 2009, he would begin a prison sentence on drug charges. The Louisiana Department of Corrections, as of Wednesday afternoon, had the rapper’s official release date listed as May 20, 2014.
He made big headlines in 2012 when he went on trial for murder, accused of ordering the killing of Terry Boyd. Prosecutors called 27 witnesses over six days. The defense rested its case without calling a single witness. As the jury got the case, courthouse security in downtown Baton Rouge was at levels rarely seen, with streets blocked off and a heavy police presence.
It took nine men and three women only an hour of deliberating to find Lil Boosie not guilty of murder. Supporters cheered outside the 19th Judicial Courthouse in Baton Rouge once the verdict was announced. Lil Boosie and his defense team hugged and began crying once the verdict was read.
“All I can do is give the glory to God because I knew he was never guilty,” Connie Hatch, the rapper’s mother, said after the trial. “He’s crying and he knew from the beginning he was never guilty.”
“I feel bad for the victim’s family did not receive closure from this aspect,” said District Attorney Hillar Moore.
While Lil Boosie is now free, he’s not out of the legal system. He is scheduled to remain on parole until 2018.