The coast-to-coast success of "Shake Ya Ass" thankfully didn't tame Mystikal too much. On Tarantula, Mystikal's first album in the wake of his commercial breakthrough in 2000, he's just as wild as ever -- a blunt-smokin', big truck-drivin', ass-slappin' James Brown for his generation with no apologies and few pretensions. One thing has changed with Mystikal over the years though: With each successive album, he's been graced with continuously improved production. Longtime collaborator KLC continues to improve here, crafting many of this album's liveliest moments, songs like "P***y Crook" and "Big Truck Driver" that find Mystikal at his least mannered. The Neptunes return with three excellent productions, one of them, "Bouncin' Back (Bumpin' Me Against the Wall)," attempting to duplicate the energy and appeal of the last song the duo produced for Mystikal, "Shake Ya Ass." Elsewhere, two of the industry's hottest producers of the moment, Rockwilder and Scott Storch, contribute some excellent tracks. Mystikal really couldn't ask for better production, overall -- all the tracks have bouncy, ass-shakin', club-ready beats, and nearly all have quite catchy hooks. And since Mystikal rises to the occasion, delivering rhymes that are just as rousing as the beats, he has recorded his second great album in a row. Like Let's Get Ready, Tarantula realizes the potential Mystikal's early work for No Limit promised -- the potential to be one of the most successful and unique, yet still unrefined and uncompromising, rappers in the game. In fact, this album seems so fully realized it's difficult to imagine Mystikal taking his music to yet another level without changing his style.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Butch Cassidy