15 Songs, 1 Hour 5 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Ya’ll Ain’t Ready Yet,” the leadoff track on Mystikal’s 1995 major-label debut, is emblematic of the New Orleans rapper’s biting, unpredictable style. “I can't be f**ked with/You can't touch this/Better grab hold bitch/I'm so cold/I'm like a 24-year-old North Pole!” The beat repossesses and warps a sample from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Flava in Ya,” a theft typical of the way Southern rappers were turning East Coast orthodoxy on its ear. Mind of Mystikal is in fact a reissue of Mystikal’s eponymous underground debut, which came out on Big Boy and was a local hit in New Orleans. The songs here were produced singlehandedly by Big Boy head honcho Leroy “Precise” Edwards, who's not as famous as Mannie Fresh but just as important in the history of New Orleans rap. As for Mystikal, there's no one else quite like him. He's the enraged virtuoso, unwilling to complete a single line with any sort of regularity or dullness. He's one of the few rappers who could be intimidating and hilarious at the same time, as on “Beware,” in which he boasts that he’s “hard as armadillo.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Ya’ll Ain’t Ready Yet,” the leadoff track on Mystikal’s 1995 major-label debut, is emblematic of the New Orleans rapper’s biting, unpredictable style. “I can't be f**ked with/You can't touch this/Better grab hold bitch/I'm so cold/I'm like a 24-year-old North Pole!” The beat repossesses and warps a sample from Notorious B.I.G.’s “Flava in Ya,” a theft typical of the way Southern rappers were turning East Coast orthodoxy on its ear. Mind of Mystikal is in fact a reissue of Mystikal’s eponymous underground debut, which came out on Big Boy and was a local hit in New Orleans. The songs here were produced singlehandedly by Big Boy head honcho Leroy “Precise” Edwards, who's not as famous as Mannie Fresh but just as important in the history of New Orleans rap. As for Mystikal, there's no one else quite like him. He's the enraged virtuoso, unwilling to complete a single line with any sort of regularity or dullness. He's one of the few rappers who could be intimidating and hilarious at the same time, as on “Beware,” in which he boasts that he’s “hard as armadillo.”

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