Rapper Lil Boosie has thanked his young fans for keeping his spirits up as he served a solitary confinement spell at Louisiana's notorious Angola prison during a five-year jail sentence on drug possession charges.

The I Feel Ya hitmaker has been a free man for almost a year and he is already considered one of the most important rappers in America, thanks to the fact his music became the unofficial soundtrack to the Ferguson race riots in Louisiana last year (14).

Now, in a candid new interview with Playboy magazine, Boosie, real name Torrence Hatch, has opened up about his time behind bars, revealing his daily fanmail helped him get through the worst moments, during which he spent 23 hours a day in a cell.

He says, "Solitary just becomes a way of life. You make the best of what you have.

"I got hundreds of letters a day, fans cursing me out, tired of listening to other rappers. Thirteen year olds telling me my music was their daddy; I was the closest thing they had to a father. They would damn near have me in tears."