Mystikal – “Bouncin’ Back (Bumpin’ Me Against The Wall)”

Released: 12.4.01

Peak: #37

On the days following September 11, 2001, I was not an angry American. But I was one scared-ass American for real, spooked less by the reach of Islamist violence (unlikely to extend to downtown Minneapolis) than by the potential/inevitable misuse of my countrymen’s anxious rage. That man beside me at a Martina McBride show, red-faced, shaking his fist and shouting “Let the guilty pay” along with “Independence Day,” was clearly set on avenging something other than domestic violence.

But at least 9/11 gave Mystikal cause to vent his free-floating anger at someone his own size. On two brilliant singles–“Shake Ya Ass” and its paranoid counterpart, “Danger (Been So Long)”–the Neptunes’ effect on the bellicose gruff New Orleans rapper had proven alchemical, summoning his inner James Brown. But “Shake Ya Ass” has soured for me since–nothing like a genuine conviction for sexual battery to puncture that willing suspension of disbelief you need to enjoy a rabid rapper. Forget Sisqo’s playful awe–Mystikal barks orders at the hoe in question like a merchant checking the teeth on a new shipment of horses, and I can practically see his boys snickering as they shove a video camera coochie-ward. Yuck.

Gallant gent that I am, I’d rather a bully threaten to beat the shit out of Osama bin Laden than harass some hapless stripper. And “Bouncin’ Back” is also a wilder piece of music than “Shake Ya Ass”–“meaner, badder, stronger and ferocious,” as the man himself says, when he’s not interpolating the Batman theme or fleeing from the postal service (anthrax, you know). Twisting Dixieland horns around a second-line New Orleans beat, “Bouncin’ Back” transforms paranoia and rage into a party that’s been left untainted by the past decade of U.S. foreign policy–most of Mystikal’s threats are vague enough to apply to any enemy of yours with a habit of mistaking kindness for weakness. He’ll put a boot in your ass, sure, but that’s just his way.

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  • scalyyy  On August 6, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I’m with you about losing my taste for the dude. I had to sell all my Mystikal when I heard the news. But I made sure that I kept “Bouncin’ Back” on my computer.

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