American Music Awards
Rapper Mystikal Released From Jail After Serving Six Years
After serving a six-year prison term for sexual battery and extortion, New Orleans rapper Mystikal, best known for hits like "Shake Ya Ass" and "Danger (Been So Long)," was released from jail last week.
"My feet back on the ground. Man it's been a long time," Mystikal told jock Wild Wayne from New Orleans' Q93 radio station. "I'm back. I'm still trying to feel this reality. It feels like a dream. Watch how I'm going to shake this world up now. I want reparation!"
Mystikal, born Michael Tyler, was sentenced to six years in prison after being arrested along with two of his bodyguards for threatening to turn his former hairstylist in to police for cashing $80,000 worth of unauthorized checks from his bank account. The stylist said she was forced to have sex with all three men in exchange for their silence. As part of the plea bargain, all three pleaded guilty. Mystikal has five years of probation upon his release and has to be registered as a sex offender in Louisiana.
Although Mystikal pleaded guilty to forcing the female to perform sex acts, he initially denied the assault. Still, when asked if he feels rappers are targeted, he made no excuses. "I think we have to pay more attention to what we are doing to ourselves. We gotta take responsibility for what we do too," he said. "That's the easy excuse. We have to tighten up and not blame others. You can't be foolish especially when you're successful.'
The one time No Limit soldier -- who says he hasn't spoken to his former label chief Master P but did get a visit from NBA player Shaquille O'Neal while in prison -- speaks from personal experience, as he was still a viable act when he was incarcerated. His 2000 album, "Let's Get Ready," went multi-platinum and although his 2001 set, "Tarantula," didn't sell as well, he was planning on making a strong comeback at the time of his arrest.
"To be honest, I ain't do nothing. It had to be God," the rapper said when asked about what got him through his bid. "When I look now, it seems like it was easy because it's over. But going through it -- it was tough. I had to get out the way and let God handle it for me. He had his arms around me tight."
"You gotta be down to earth," he continued. "I took it in stride. There's always worse [things]: especially after 1994, the death of my sister. Nothing could be that bad. Then [No Limit rapper] Soulja Slim had just died [in 2003]. I was grieving him and morning him. I was kinda numb. It was a lot of things. But now I'm back."
As far as his resuming his career, the lively MC says he has plenty of material written and record labels have expressed interest. He does owe one more album - as far as he understands - to Jive records.