Who The Heck Is Mystikal?
Yes, I’m the superbly white, white girl who knows nothing about rap since Run DMC in the 80’s…but I found out alright. He’s a super confident bundle of energy with a special talent for spoken word…and he is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! Local DJ, Wild Wayne, interviewed Mystical about career development in lieu of a keynote address on opening morning of the Sync Up Conference. Talk about entertaining…holy cow! They did a lot of reminiscing about how things were done in the world of rap before Mr. M took his involuntary leave of absence (yeah, he went to jail, bummer). This was particularly interesting because it really illustrated how much the industry had changed in such a relatively short time (6 years, to be exact). It reminded me a bit of a conversation my sister and I had with my nieces about the 1980’s world pre-internet and cell phone (“If the phone rang, you just had to answer it…and you didn’t know who it was until you did. If you wanted to send someone a note…you had to write it on paper, put it in an envelope…etc…etc). While six years doesn’t sound like a lot, the way sound files were sent if you needed them really fast was a lot different than it is now…think Fed Ex overnight v. email.
Another thing changed, too…people…his audience… forgot who he was. He had been up and coming and putting his mark on the industry, then he was off the map. In this case, absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder…it just makes you absent. So, he had to get back in front of the masses. He toured with Snoop Dog and started to build up his recognition and credibility as a performer again. Simply releasing an album wasn’t going to cut it, he had to go out there and play gigs. He had to make that personal connection with his audience all over again.
My biggest take away from the highly entertaining discussion was this… If you don’t believe in yourself all the way, you probably won’t ever have a successful career. I said before that Mystikal is super confident, but that’s not quite right. He is super hero confident. He doesn’t listen to people who tell him he’s nuts or that something will never work or that he can’t. He figures out a way because he just knows he can do it. I think if you can grab even just a little bit of that and keep it in your pocket, you might just do ok.