Mystikal is ready to make some changes after years of legal turmoil.
In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the 50-year-old rapper opened up about his newly dismissed rape case and how the ordeal prompted a change in his lyrics.
“When I look back and listen to the music, man — I was a nasty lil’ rapper!” he admitted. “A lot of my music now, I imagine myself rapping it to God and if I can rap it, I’m proud.”
The interview was published nearly four months after Mystikal—legal name Michael Lawrence Tyler—was cleared of rape and kidnapping charges stemming from a 2016 allegation. The rapper was accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Shreveport, Louisiana, casino and was ultimately indicted on first-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping charges. Mystikal surrendered to authorities in August 2017 and remained behind bars for about a year and a half. He was finally released in early 2019 on a $3 million bond.
Mystikal maintained his innocence throughout the following years, but admitted he and his accuser had a consensual sexual encounter. Fast-forward to December 2020, when a second grand jury declined to indict Mystikal on the offenses, citing new information that wasn’t presented to the first jury.
“Additional evidence and information were discovered and the case was resubmitted to this second Grand Jury in the interest of justice,” the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office said in a news release announcing the decision to dismiss the case.
Mystikal said the legal battle felt like “a reoccurring bad dream.”
“I didn’t know how it was going to work out ...” he said. “Don’t put yourself in situations where things like this can happen. I’m too old for that. I don’t do the groupies on the road (anymore). I don’t perform at the show and get the ladies (excited) and get her all goo-goo eyed and take advantage (of being a celebrity) … That was a young Mystikal.”
Mystikal previously pleaded guilty to sexual battery in 2003 and served six years in prison. He told the AP he had “learned from the first situation,” but acknowledged some people would never forgive him for his mistakes.
“I can’t do nothing about that, but I try to understand where they’re coming from,” he explained. “At this point in age, I’m just grateful to still be able to participate. At my concerts, man, I still (have a) packed house after all this time. It’s amazing.”