Mystikal Shakes it at Mezz 6/19

In the 90’s, few artists showed greater promise than New Orleans native rapper Michael “Mystikal” Tyler. With a buzzing, eponymous debut album featuring his signature gritty lyrical chops and dope beats, it looked like the hip-hop world was his for the taking. But taking the easy route has never really been Mystikal’s thing.

In his early days, Mystikal found himself in a turf war with fellow NOLA rap squad Cash Money Records, which included acts such as, U.N.L.V, B.G., and yes, Lil Wayne. But the OG diss track warfare only fueled his fire. After his first major-label debut (Mind of Mystikal) he linked up with Master P, No Limit, and the Beats by The Pound troop to produce Unpredictable, which incinerated* the charts, peaking at number one on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. His next release, “Ghetto Fabulous” was no different, debuting at number five on the Billboard 200. In 2000, we weren’t ready for Let’s Get Ready which went double platinum, thanks in part to the wildly popular single “Shake Ya Ass,” an MTV TRL staple, and Mystikal’s greatest hit to date. Shortly after he dropped a monster of an album, Tarantula, which gave Mystikal his first Grammy nomination’s for Best Male Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap album.

But oh, how the mighty can fall. All of his successes and accolades came crashing down when the rapper was sentenced to six years in prison. While some would let a situation like this define them, Mystikal was hungry to get back on top – putting all of his energy into releasing new material. This time, on his old rival’s label, Cash Money. But after several years, only one single was released on the Birdman backed label, and Mystikal has since departed. But have no fear; the bloodbath won’t be reignited, as he now refers to the Cash Money crew as his brothers. PHEW.

Now, 21 years after the release of Mystikal, the man himself has seen a career swirled with great success and great downfall. But much like a Phoenix from the ashes, Mystikal trucks right along, and still has that scrappiness and passion that motivated him back in the day. While were yearning for another record, Mystikal describes himself as a “performing artist,” so he is going to do what he does best, and he is prepared to shut down the Mezzanine stage June 19th.

Tess Patel