Mystikal is back home in Louisiana and the energetic MC says he's more excited than ever.
"Finally. Six years, that ain't no walk in the park," Mystikal told us over the weekend. "I had a lot of time to do a lot of growing, reflecting and thinking and stuff like that," he said, talking about the six-year sentence he served on a sexual battery and extortion charge.
But since his release from prison at the top of the year, Mystikal has wasted no time getting his career back on track. He added to his busy schedule over the Fourth of July weekend with a performance at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. "To participate in an event like this is awesome," he said.
Mystikal also recently jumped on Lloyd's "Set Me Free," performed for his hometown at the Zulu Ball and in front of millions at the "VH1 Hip-Hop Honors," dedicated this year to the Dirty South. And he says he's recorded an album's worth of material. "Everything is lined up for me, it's amazing. I didn't throw pity parties for myself [while in prison]. I knew I was too blessed to be stressed and I knew I was gonna get through it. I'm still on Jive. I still have an obligation to fulfill with them guys," he said of his record label. "We gonna do it in a major way."
One of the collaborators on Mystikal's upcoming LP is Pharrell Williams, who with partner Chad Hugo scored the Cajun veteran's hit "Shake Ya Ass" a decade ago — in the process elevating the Virginia duo's career to legendary heights.
"I just talked to him the other day," Mystikal said of Pharell. "He says he got an armored-tank beat for me. I can't wait to hear what that sounds like."
Lil Wayne and Busta Rhymes have already recorded features and the Nola MC is also going to get in the lab with Mannie Fresh. Mys says once he fully launches his comeback, "a lot of rappers are gonna have to go back to the drawing board."
"It wasn't no big writing sanctuary, but I was able to put some stuff together," he said about his time away. "I feel like I'm doing more writing now than I did there. Y'all about to be real proud."
As for his versatile flow, Mystikal insisted he didn't have to worry about finding it again. "I ain't never lose it," he smiled. "I was rapping in that place. I was doing benefit concerts for American Cancer Society and MDA [Muscular Dystrophy Association]."
Once released, the Southern MC behind hits such as "Danger" and "The Man Right Chea" said he was humbled.
"I kissed the floor and hugged the mic and held it so gently to me," he recalled of getting in the studio for the first time in more than half a decade. "That was with KLC from Beats by the Pound who was on No Limit with me. He was the guy I learned how to record demos with way back when I was just starting in this game. It was a wonderful feeling."
Who else would you like to hear Mystikal collaborate with? Tell us in the comments.