Mystikal Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Mystikal f/ Pharrell "Shake Ya Ass" (2000)




Album: Let's Get Ready
Label: Jive
Producer: The Neptunes

Mystikal: “Life-changing—another reinvention. I guess I reinvented myself about 18 times throughout my career. At that time I was transitioning from the O-Dog braids to the braids to the back. And with me I mean to the backbecause them bitches was behind my ears. That's why I always rock a doo-rag, ya heard me?

“In fact, after I was really rich I took that bitch off because I didn't give a fuck. I ain't hiding this bitch no more. So at that time I was just reinventing again. Fashion was turning the curb, Fubu and all that shit was popping off. That was a golden era.

 

I didn't feel like that was the kind of artist I was. I felt like I was more hardcore. I didn't want to be a shake-ya-booty kind of rapper. They'd be like, Aw you just trying to be like Juvenile with 'Back That Ass Up.'

 

“[Working with the Neptunes] was like being around fucking mad scientists. Too creative. [Pharrell] is one of the most creative brothers I've ever stood around. That shit was dope—it fit. That [sings] 'Attention all you players and pimps…' that was all his handiwork. He wrote that hook, bridge. I would've never came up with nothing like that. I would've just been hollering shit.

“It was really fun putting that bitch together. That was one of the first beats he played for me. After I heard that I don't remember anything else that he played. I was just waiting for him to go through whatever he wanted to play and say, 'Please go back to that other one, please brother.'

“I was well pleased with how it came out, but I didn't think it would properly represent what I was like. It's a hit-or-miss game. If it would've been up to me, I wouldn't have released it as a single, thinking about my fans, and it would've been looked at as a sell-out. 'Aww he went and crossed over, he all about the money now, he don't give a fuck about the fans.'

 

It almost was me paying homage to Bounce again, too. That ‘Show me what you working with’ is Bounce language.

 

“I didn't feel like that was the kind of artist I was. I felt like I was more hardcore. I didn't want to be a shake-ya-booty kind of rapper. They'd be like, Aw you just trying to be like Juvenile with 'Back That Ass Up.' I wanted to stay in my own lane but that's how that bitch came out though, from that beat. And it almost was me paying homage to Bounce again, too. That 'Show me what you working with' is Bounce language.

“But that motherfucker was so undeniable, I had to sit my ass down and say, 'Alright, y'all put it out.' Matter of fact, at that time I was trying to push 'Throw It Off' to be my single and it wound up not even making the first cut of my album. It got on after the first 750,000 copies were pressed.

“I was pushing for that and I used to throw it in the concert and people were 'Yeah, that's good…' And I'd be like 'Well check this one out,' and do 'Shake Ya Ass' and it'd be pandemonium. It's not all the time that a song come on that make you forget about who owe you money or who you owe money to or what the fuck you was complaining about. It just totally captivates you, makes you smile, shake your head, and feel better. So that was one of them ones right there. That shit was special.”

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