A list like this is impossible to compile without cutting clear essentials. Lil Boosie's discography is convoluted,  distributed in a blur of official albums, collaborative records, mixtapes, and loosies. His appearances on Billboard are only a tip of the iceberg; "Zoom," for example, was Boosie's highest charting single, although it's not one of his best songs or especially illustrative of his abilities. But he's an artist with a deep discography that has yet to be sufficiently catalogued.

So take this as just a first step. There's plenty more to cover, like the Cash Money-referencing "I'm A Dog" or the autobiographical "Mercy." A list of ten tracks doesn't have room for his "Old School"-style salute to hip-hop influences (a worldview diverse enough to make room for Petey Pablo and Run-D.M.C.) "What About Me." Also missing: Smash guest spots like "The Way I Live," the fearsome Louisiana bounce of "We Out Chea," the ferocious early bars on "Livin What I'm Spittin," the empathic "Baby Momma." Or the righteous anger of "Fuck the Police." One minute he'd irreverently transform Jeezy's "Trapstar" into "They Dykin'" or appear on UGK's graphic "Harry Asshole." The next minute, he's singing the hook to a song of sincere, flawed vulnerability like "Ain't Comin Home Tonight."

The jokes will fly about how much attention we're giving a mere entertainer, but #factsonly, Boosie matters to a lot of people for a reason. He is an artist of both depth and range, one with a distinct, direct style. He calls his music "reality rap" instead of hip-hop. It means he has no use for abstraction. His verses do not contain fancy curlicues or intricate, baroque ornamentation. Embellishments and wordplay are kept to a minimum; directness at a premium. 

Without further ado, here's Undeniable Talent: 10 Lil Boosie Songs You Need to Know.

Listen to Complex's Best Lil Boosie Songs playlists here: YouTube/Spotify/Rdio

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