There's only one thing more invigorating and inspiring than a good comeback story, and that's a story that involves New Orleans rapper Mystikal. Naturally, the return of Mystikal to our ears once again is a welcome development. One element we admittedly didn't expect would be Mystikal's collaboration with Mark Ronson on the producer's spankin' new Uptown Special album. (That's the album with the unavoidable Bruno Mars collaboration "Uptown Funk.")
Ronson's lush updates of the soul genre have traditionally worked best with abundantly charismatic MCs like Ghostface Killah and Q-Tip, so the prospect of hearing one of the most galvanizing artists to ever touch a mic on the track seemed like a home run. The resulting track, "Feel Right" is a can't miss, won't miss single that even exceeded our lofty expectations.
If Mystikal hasn't been on your radar since his early-2000s Neptunes collaborations, let's bring you up to speed. Mystikal was released from prison in early 2010 and made his big return on former No Limit labelmate Fiend's track "I Don't Like You."
That same year, his big independently released return single "That Woman" showed he still had his trademark exclamations and one-of-a-kind way with words. Most post-prison rap output either features the artist clearly emotionally drained or switching to a more spiritually aware subject matter. Mystikal came back rapping about a conversation with his penis and it was glorious.
Mystikal continued to pop up on guest appearances, many of them for some reason uncredited, including his dream-team pairing with Waka Flocka Flame on 2011's "Cookin' Up 1000 Grams." Later that year news broke that Mystikal had signed to Cash Money and was preparing an album entirely produced by Mannie Fresh.
Capping off that year was the single "Hit Me," which reunited Mystikal with No Limit's former in-house producer KLC. A rousing, galvanizing bit of high energy new millennium soul, there really hasn't been anything else like it this decade. Mystikal landed "on the one" and began the ascension that his influences have hinted at for years of wearing the James Brown crown.
It's that same 2015 James Brown-inspired energy that Mystikal brings to Ronson's "Feel Right." While the former Amy Winehouse producer and the former No Limit soldier may seem like they're on two career paths unlikely to intersect, according to ABC News, the two were introduced through legendary New Orleans jazz musician Trombone Shorty.
Shorty sent Ronson to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to meet with Mystikal, now a free agent. Finally meeting face-to-face at 2 a.m., they proceeded to chop it up about music for all of 20 minutes. A good, albeit brief, meeting, it was enough to let Ronson know that the two were on the same page.
One month later, Mystikal headed to Memphis where Ronson was recording his Uptown Special album. According to Ronson, Mystikal wrote his performance in roughly two hours, all while he was in the other room working on guitars. "Feel Right" absolutely feels right in the Ronson discography. His soundscape serves the perfect backdrop for the exact direction Mystikal's been progressing toward since his return. After a show-stealing surprise cameo performance on Saturday Night Live, we hope this means more Mystikal and Ronson collaborations in the future. Show them what you're workin' with.
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