Local rapper Mystikal discusses new album in the face of legal issues, plans to move forward
POSTED: Monday, May 14, 2012 - 3:45pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 14, 2012 - 3:59pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Louisiana rapper Mystikal is back behind bars today for an 81-day sentence stemming from charges of domestic abuse. Although a set back, the musician chooses to remain positive and hopeful to move on without future incidents.
“This is my second black eye [with the law],” Mystikal, aka Michael Tyler, told NBC33 News before his last public performance. “This 81 days, I have time to go through and catch my breath, pray hard and instead of trying to be humble, I’m just going to be humble. If I had just been humble to begin with, we wouldn’t be talking like this.”
Mystikal served a six-year prison sentence beginning in 2003 for sexual battery and extortion. He was released in January 2010. Since then he worked to regain his career in the music industry and returned to the recording studio for the first time in over a decade.
“I had to feel my way around,” he said when asked about his return to the studio. “It was totally different. When I stepped out of prison, a white boy jumped out riding a skateboard listening to Lil' Wayne on some Dr. Dre Beats and went down the street and I was like, 'What is this?' That’s how technology really advanced though.”
Mystikal is now label-mates with fellow New Orleans rapper Lil' Wayne on Cash Money Records. That deal was signed back in December. Although his return to prison will delay the pushing of his new music, he says the label has been supportive of his legal troubles and he plans to work on his “anger management” issues.
“An intervention happened,” he admitted when discussing the domestic abuse charge. “I’m embracing it now."
“Sometimes you have to be who you’re not to figure out who you are,” he added.
Mystikal was arrested by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office on February 29, 2012, for the domestic abuse charge, which is a direct violation of his five-year probation. A judge ordered his 81-day sentence, but did offer some leniency as well.
“The judge granted me 30 days to get my business affairs in order,” Mystikal explained. “Thank you for that. He was fair. It could have been worse, but he gave me a chance.”
During that time Mystikal worked to complete a new album, recorded music videos, and headlined performances. His final performance was held on Saturday, May 12 at the Varsity Theatre. The week prior he appeared in his hometown for Jazz Fest. At both engagements, he discussed his legal issues with the audience.
“I needed that,” he said when asked about the Jazz Fest performance. “That was like a session with a therapist. I can’t fake it. The one thing that I’m not going to do on stage is fake it.”
Other artists that night included New Orleans rapper Juvenile. All of the performers publicly addressed the recent court proceedings for Baton Rouge rapper Lil' Boosie. Prior to the show a reporter for Rolling Stone asked Mystikal “Do you think they’re out to get rappers in Louisiana?”
“I refuse to say that,” Mystikal responded with quick certainty. “I raised my hand, not to shout. Who do you blame it on? Me, that’s who. I was in the wrong. So I can’t give that kind of credit to anyone else.”
Mystikal will release his new album, “Origins,” on July 30.
Click here to see a photo gallery from Mystikal's performance at the Varsity Theatre.