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Riffs: How Mystikal Can Start Bouncin' Back

MystikalMystikal is out of jail - but can he become a star again?

Recently a major -- MAJOR -- rap star was released from prison. No, not Gucci. Not Boosie. Not Lil Wayne -- he hasn't even started his bid yet.

Michael Tyler, AKA Mystikal, came home last week after spending six years behind bars. According to reports, he has an arsenal of material and is ready to get back in the studio.

The Louisiana rapper had a slew of hits in the '90s and early '00s, but the rap landscape in 2010 isn't what it was back in 2004, when he was sentenced. With a few strategic moves, however, Mystikal may be able to, once again, prompt listeners to shake it fast.

Toward that end, Click Track has provided Mystikal with a game plan for climbing (clawing?) his way back to rap relevance. Let's get ready.

Get signed to Young Money
Back in the day, Mystikal was a member of Master P's No Limit Records, home to one of the most commercially successful, respected rap rosters of its time. He should now ally himself with No Limit's modern-day equivalent, Young Money. It's actually not all that different from No Limit: it is led by a Louisiana rapper (Lil Wayne), features a couple of marquee artists, along with a whole slew of lesser-knowns, and they all seem to enjoy recording dizzying, overstuffed posse cuts -- he should feel right at home

Write about New Orleans
Doing the cliched recently-released-rapper thing and recording a bunch of tracks about his time in prison would be a mistake. Especially since the more relevant T.I. will soon be doing just that. Mystikal should write about his city. New Orleans was decimated by Hurricane Katrina while he was incarcerated and it's still struggling to come back -- a fact that is no longer receiving the attention that it should. He should write about that.

But...throw together some booty-shaking tracks, too
People need to be informed, but they also need to escape their troubles. The people need updated versions of “Danger (Been So Long)” and “Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against the Wall)."

Release a mixtape
OK, Mystikal: After you've got your serious, thinky material and a nice dance track or two, it's time take the result of all of your hard work and ... give it away for free. People are still releasing mixtapes, but while you were gone they stopped selling them out of the trunks of cars and started doing this crazy thing where they post them online as free downloads. Sounds insane, but it's the best way to build buzz for your inevitable full-length comeback album. (Don't pour all your good stuff onto the mixtape, though -- save some for the actual LP or else fans will take to this thing called Twitter and say mean things about you). And get some tech savvy young person to help you with the technology end of things -- maybe Lil Romeo?

By Sarah Godfrey  |  January 25, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags: Mystikal  
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