14 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tarantula marked the high point of Mystikal’s mainstream success, but instead of smoothing over his personality quirks, the album emphasized the rapper’s distinctly New Orleanian roots. “Bouncin’ Back” was the album’s big hit single and one of the best rap songs of the '00s. The beat was built on one of The Neptunes’ rhythm-heavy signatures, but its woozy keyboard figure felt like an interpretation of accordion, turning the track into a joyfully inebriated stumble through the French Quarter. The rest of Tarantula features songs that are simple yet utterly hypnotic. These include “Ooooh Yea,” “Go ‘Head," and “Settle the Score,” the last of which was produced by Mystikal’s New Orleans contemporary Juvenile. Despite his wildness, there was always something about Mystikal that seemed connected to hip-hop’s old school, an earlier time in which thunderous scratches and party-rocking rhymes were the order of the day. That’s why it’s so appropriate that Tarantula ends with “That’s That S**t,” a fearsome cut that has more in common with early records by East Coast gangsters like Schoolly D and Just-Ice than any contemporary Southern rapper.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tarantula marked the high point of Mystikal’s mainstream success, but instead of smoothing over his personality quirks, the album emphasized the rapper’s distinctly New Orleanian roots. “Bouncin’ Back” was the album’s big hit single and one of the best rap songs of the '00s. The beat was built on one of The Neptunes’ rhythm-heavy signatures, but its woozy keyboard figure felt like an interpretation of accordion, turning the track into a joyfully inebriated stumble through the French Quarter. The rest of Tarantula features songs that are simple yet utterly hypnotic. These include “Ooooh Yea,” “Go ‘Head," and “Settle the Score,” the last of which was produced by Mystikal’s New Orleans contemporary Juvenile. Despite his wildness, there was always something about Mystikal that seemed connected to hip-hop’s old school, an earlier time in which thunderous scratches and party-rocking rhymes were the order of the day. That’s why it’s so appropriate that Tarantula ends with “That’s That S**t,” a fearsome cut that has more in common with early records by East Coast gangsters like Schoolly D and Just-Ice than any contemporary Southern rapper.

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