Former Cash Money Records artist Tab “Hot Boy Turk” Virgil Jr. is speaking out about his journey in the music industry and life after prison with his new book, “The AutoThugOgraphy of Turk.”
The rapper is known for being a member of the highly popular hip-hop group the Hot Boys which also consisted of Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and B.G.
Founded by Cash Money executives Ronald “Slim” Williams and Bryan “Baby” Williams, the New Orleans-based group rose to fame during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Now, in 2018, Hot Boys are no longer together, and life has taken the group members down several different paths. Turk expressed that his book, which was released on Oct.30, came about while incarcerated.
“I wrote my book when I was in prison and, I had reached a point in my life where I had to hold myself accountable and be responsible for my actions,” Turk said. “I couldn’t point the finger at nobody knowing it starts with being a man.”
The New Orleans native life took a drastic turn when police raided his home.
“Before this situation had happened, my home was invaded, so I was already on my p’s and qs. Someone called the house, but I wasn’t messing with him because I already felt like he had set me up in the home invasion,” Turk said.
“I hung up, and he called me back, and I didn’t answer. He had called the police and told the police I had two kilos of heroin and an AK-47, and I’m about to catch a flight.
“The SWAT team wound up kicking in the door, and I thought they had killed my homeboy in the front of the house.”
Though he never planned on shooting or killing anyone, Turk said that he did intend on protecting his home and everyone inside.
Due to his previous experiences in court, Turk expected to beat his case during the trial. However, he lost and spent eight years, eight months and 16 days in prison before his release on Oct. 12, 2012.
Life after prison presented a lot of challenges for the rapper, including adapting to society all over again and learning who is a real friend or family member.
“Even though I was able to have access to social media, it was still a little fast and different out here. I have to adapt every day, “ Turk said. “I learned who your friends are and just because someone’s blood, don’t mean they’re family. I learned a lot about life.”
Turk’s book also discusses growing up in New Orleans’ Uptown Magnolia Projects and his Cash Money beginnings.
While his “glory days” with the Hot Boys are over, he mentions that being with Cash Money Hot Boys gave him opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been presented in front of him.
Turk joined Cash Money in 1996 after a next door neighbor and rapper name Magnolia Shorty introduced him to Baby, Slim, and Mannie Fresh.
“Me and her used to rap and she wind up signing with Cash Money, and one day Baby, Slim, and Mannie Fresh had a DJ party in the Magnolia,” Turk said. “Magnolia Shorty had been telling them about me, and the opportunity presented itself.”
Turk says that besides the drugs and “messed up contracts,” he had fun with Cash Money.
“We got to see the world. Baby and Slim gave me an opportunity that nobody ever gave me. I was able to get out of the hood,” Turk said. “It was a Black boy’s dream to be able to live and be one of the top group legends to this date. It was just a blessing.”
However, the dream came to an end when members B.G. and Juvenile left.
“It was money issues. I wasn’t getting what I was supposed to get at the time. I always felt like the black sheep,” Turk said. “If the clique weren’t breaking up, I probably would have stayed because at the end of the day, I was loyal and I know the type of person that I am.”
Despite everything, Turk contents that he has no ill feelings toward anyone, especially Birdman.
“Birdman was like a father figure to me. Still, to this day, I’m still able to make money just because they gave me an opportunity and we talk all the time,” Turk said.
He also mentions the recent $51 million lawsuit that his former group member, Lil Wayne, launched against Cash Money Records. According to sources, Wayne and Cash Money were able to settle allowing him to walk away with over $10 million.
“I mean we all had to do that, so I’m glad they worked it out,” Turk said.
Another major topic of discussion was Turk’s drug addiction to heroin and cocaine. While incarcerated, he was able to peel back layers of his life; realizing that his drug addiction was stopping him from moving forward.
“My drug addiction is what was holding me back from doing everything in life. When I started writing my book, it just started coming out,” Turk said. “I just started reminiscing and then reliving how I was living, but I was sober.”
Before prison, a typical day for Turk included waking up and going to get his next supply. He says he would repeat this all day, Monday through Sunday.
Turk called himself a “rich dope fiend.”
“I wasn’t stealing. I wasn’t doing stuff to get the drug because it was plentiful. I had it,” Turk said. “But I realized when I was writing my book that it’s the same characteristics. I was a rich dope fiend in denial.”
According to Turk, drug use is a common practice in the world of music and especially in hip-hop. Just this year, rappers Mac Miller and Fredo Santana died from drug overdoses.
“Hip-hop is what it is. Anybody who’s doing it, choose your destiny, you feel me,” Turk said. “I can’t say what you’re doing is wrong because when I was doing it, I thought it was right. That’s just the lifestyle of hip-hop, money, sex, and drugs.”
Currently, Turk has his label, YNT Empire with “Young & Thuggin’” being his first solo project.
“I planned it while I was locked up and when I came home, I just executed it. It’s bigger than just a record label,” Turk said. “ It’s an empire. I got YNT printing, I got YNT management, and I got YNT publishing. Everything is coming from YNT.”
While Turk has moved on to new projects and executing his new label, the MC says he wouldn’t mind doing a Cash Money tour with the original Hot Boys.
“I want to do one every day with the guys, but it’s a lot of pride and a lot of people still thinking it’s 1999,” Turk said. “Still thinking there the superstar and a lot of them don’t see the picture that I see, let’s get this bag. The whole industry is waiting on us.”