By William E. Ketchum III
This news hit the blogosphere weeks ago via Twitter, but this week, Mystikal officially announced his signing to Cash Money Records the old-fashioned way: with a song. “Original,” which leaked Tuesday (December 13), will debut on the Funkmaster Flex Show on NYC’s Hot 97 radio station Wednesday. After a simple “Welcome to the team” salute by Lil Wayne, Mystikal resuscitates his signature, James Brown-tinged shouts alongside verses from Birdman and Weezy over a synth-driven sound bed from Detail (Lil Wayne’s “How to Love,” Akon’s “I’m So Paid” feat. Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne).
Tension between Cash Money and Mystikal’s original label home, No Limit Records, has been historically chronicled through songs such as U.N.L.V.’s “Drag ‘Em In Tha River,” but amends were made years ago. Former YMCMB producer Mannie Fresh has confirmed that he has completed songs with Mystikal. Birdman is happy to reunite with his former adversary.
“He is a great artist and his talent, combined with our hard work and strong team, is going to result in some of the best music of his career,” says Bryan “Birdman” Williams, who co-founded Cash Money Records alongside Ronald “Slim” Williams. “We are expecting great work from Mystikal. Slim and I already have him in the studio working on his first album for Cash Money.”
The Cash Money deal is the biggest musical news Mystikal has made since January 2010, when he finished serving a six-year prison sentence for sexual battery and extortion. Before his bid, the veteran emcee was known as one of the most visible members from Master P’s aforementioned No Limit Records label powerhouse, and as the voice behind for hit songs like the Neptunes-produced “Shake Ya Ass” and “Danger (Been So Long).”
“It has been a truly long time since I have felt like a rapper and with this signing, and partnership, Birdman and Slim have given me my life as a rapper back,” Mystikal says. “I am ready to go.”