Name: Gangsta Boo
Mixtape: Street Ringers Vol. 1: The Mixtape
Hometown: The ATL by way of Memphis
Joints to check for: "Change Freestyle" featuring Playa Fly, "Cutty Gul" featuring Kandi and "Sippin & Spinnin"
Previous mixtapes: None, but she's been on a gang of releases put out by Three 6 Mafia and the Hypnotized Minds camp
The 411: So the rumor for the past year has been that when Gangsta Boo yells "chuuch," she's not just jumping on the bandwagon and talking slang. She really means church. The word around the industry has been that the first lady of Three 6 Mafia's Hypnotized Minds camp had given up getting it crunk in favor of a higher calling.
"I guess I'm tired of talking about that, but I guess it's one of those things that's gonna keep popping up like J. Lo and Puffy," Boo said recently. "It was one of those things, me being a star in the limelight, and me doing anything, people are going to take it to the extreme. Because of certain sacrifices and changes in my life, I started going to church more often.
"I was running into brick walls and found myself in and out of depression," she continued. "So I had to go with what was making me feel comfortable at that time: church."
Boo said once she started telling people she was going to church, people mistook that she was changing her ways as an artist, but "not once did it come out of my mouth that I'm going to be a gospel or Christian rapper," she said gruffly.
In fact, Boo can get downright devilish at times during Street Ringer Vol. 1, rhyming about gun busting, sipping on syrup, her friends that got killed in the dope game, and beating up girls who try to take her man. She has a lot to get off her chest.
The year has been akin to a daytime drama for the 24-year-old Boo. She's moved from her native Memphis to Atlanta and started her own label, Crazy Lady Entertainment. But the most dramatic of her life changes was leaving Three 6 Mafia, whom she was down with since age 13.
"There's really no relationship there now. ... I wasn't kicked out or booted out, but they weren't loyal. Certain fans of mine might think I wasn't loyal, but I came to them with certain ideas or propositions, but there wasn't no growth. They don't want nobody else producing beats. ... I have to go somewhere where I can grow.
"Our situation was a little different because we came up together," added Boo, who spent almost 10 years under the wing of the camp's leaders, DJ Paul and Juicy J. "We [were] doing business together, but at the same time y'all are supposed to be my boys. I remember when we were all staying together in one hotel room, performing at a hole in the wall."
Street Ringers doesn't touch too much on the riff with her former peeps, but she does try to reestablish herself as the underground queen. Most of the beats incorporate that energetic but macabre Three 6 feel. During the mixtape's title track, she raps about getting her name buzzing in the streets again: "I'm killing these bitches every time I write a rap/ Stop f---ing with Paul, but baby still got some stacks/ I'm packing the steel and I don't care."
Later she doesn't care to hear the words of guys of trying to run game, or as she calls it "Jail Talk." "Get a n---a, dump his ass," she advises. "Get a ball, spend his cash/ Make him feel like he ain't sh--/ Treat him like he treats your ass." Not exactly material for a Hallmark greeting card.
Street Ringers serves as a prelude to her next official LP, Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera, which drops October 14 on Boo's own label. "Sippin & Spinnin" is the first single.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.
For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out "Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry."