Mystikal

Let's Get Ready

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Mystikal distances himself even further from his past with Master P's No Limit camp on Let's Get Ready than he had done on his previous album, Ghetto Fabulous. And perhaps not surprisingly, the further Mystikal distances himself, the more impressive his work becomes, as here he becomes the 21st century ghetto James Brown, exploding with more exuberance and energy than humans are supposed to have. This album's blazing lead single, "Shake Ya Ass," draws the connection between Mystikal and Brown well, illustrating the wild rapper's knack for hollering out seemingly spontaneous signature howls and other odd sounds that just sound straight-up funky: "whatcha self," "show me whatcha workin' wit," "here I go," and so on. Besides the limitless charisma that seeps out of Mystikal's loud, rude rapping-meets-shouting style of vocal delivery, the album also benefits from the production and songwriting variety that No Limit was never able to accomplish -- with the sparse funk of the Neptunes-produced "Shake Ya Ass" again functioning as a perfect example. This variety also appears on songs such as "Come See About Me," when the album's superstar spars with his female equivalent, Da Brat. It's an engaging rhyme battle, particularly when Mystikal shouts out his little taglines such as "What's up, whodi!" The album-closing "Neck uv da Woods" is another highlight, this one essentially an OutKast track featuring Mystikal rather than the other way around. The rambunctious rapper had always been No Limit's most impressive rapper, and here on Let's Get Ready Mystikal shows you precisely what he's capable of if given the opportunity to shine, as he sheds the trappings of Master P's budget-quality confines and loudly establishes himself as one of the Dirty South's best.

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