Mystikal + Eve | Track reviews
Funk fervor from a NOLA MC and a rap crossover’s truck-rattling return.
Published: February 7, 2013
Mystikal’s been ducking James Brown comparisons since his best-known song, “Shake Ya Ass,” dropped in 2000, and now the New Orleans rapper is again positioning himself as the Godfather of Soul’s successor. “Hit Me” is the work of an entertainer in top form, steeped in gospel tradition and funk power, and perhaps owing something to a sense of redemption. Mystikal is rebounding after a stint in prison, as Brown once did, and he’s reinvigorated here, not so much rapping as sprinting through a torrent of words over a hard-driving groove dense with slippery basswork and organ stabs, punctuated by horn blasts and drum breaks. He’s freestyling, but it sounds as if he’s delivering a sermon—his sandpaper rasp of a voice carries a preacher-like fervor. Beyond the boasts and sometimes bizarre (but hilarious) character detours, “Hit Me” is full of praise, which Mystikal drives home by inverting the lyrics to one of Brown’s biggest hits: “Say it proud: I’m black and I’m loud.”