Guest Star: "I Wasn't That Rich! I Was Rappin' For Gas"
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013 12:55AM
[After highlighting urban music's "Started From the Bottom" rising stars looking to capitalize off their national buzz at South By Southwest, SOHH now shifts its focus toward the "Now We Here" artists who have reached the top and cemented a national fan base. Today, we're talking to former No Limit Records, current Cash Money star Mystikal.]
What was your very first rap name?
MC Mike G. CORNY! [laughs] I don't think I was clever enough back then to come up with anything else with my name. Actually, that's where Mystikal derived from, because Mystikal was kind of just an adjective to compliment Mike G, then I went to Mystikal Mike. Then eventually "Mike" fell on off and Mystikal was born.
Tell us about the first show you ever did in front of a crowd.
Wow. It was about 30, 40 people in there ... at a little small place in New Orleans. I only two songs. I did a song called "Not That N*gga" and a song called "Mind of Mystikal." "Not That N*gga" was like my real punchline song and "Mind of Mystikal" was a slow groove. I started off with "Mind of Mystikal" and that was puttin' them to sleep, but I got to that "Mind of Mystikal" song and they were cheering me on, laughing at punchlines and I knew I was on to something.
What was your first big purchase as a rap artist?
My Toyota Land Cruiser. Paid straight up cash for it off the showroom floor - could tell me nothin'. I made have made $100,000 and spent $75,000 of it that first week, but you couldn't tell me nothin' - I'm rich ... until two months passed and I realized I wasn't that rich! I was rappin' for gas [laughs].
Outside your crew, name 3-5 artists that are still getting their start, who you feel have a bright future in the game.
Number one: Kendrick Lamar. I had the pleasure of meeting him at South by Southwest this year, and I was so proud to be able to tell him how good I thought he was. With artists like him, I feel like rap is in good hands. I like Trinidad James, too. Hella retarded. I caught him in concert, too. He's a wild boy. For real. One more? Drake. Now I don't know if you really consider him "new," but Drake is the most consistent ... man ... that's a bad boy. That's all I can say. That's a bad boy.
Mystikal's debut album, "Mystikal," was released on New Orleans-based independent record label Big Boy Records in 1994. Mystikal signed to Jive Records and released his sophomore effort "Mind of Mystikal" in 1995. He signed to Master P's No Limit Records for "Unpredictable" in 1997, which also sold well and garnered Mystikal critical praise. His real breakthrough was in 1998, the album "Ghetto Fabulous" was released with such hits as "That's the Ni**a", "Ghetto Fabulous" (feat. Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band), "I Smell Smoke", and "I'm On Fire". Let's Get Ready was released in 2000 and contained "Danger (Been So Long)", which featured rising pop star Nivea, and was the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs number-one single in June 2001. Let's Get Ready" debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200. Mystikal's most recent solo release was the 2001 album "Tarantula," which contained the hit single, "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against The Wall)". The well received album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album in 2003, and Mystikal was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance that same year.
Check out Mystikal featuring Birdman and Lil Wayne with "Original":