After a busy year that saw Mozzy release 4 studio albums, Mozzy is back releasing music with the same consistency and high quality. One day ahead of the release of Mandatory Check, Mozzy is sharing “Round and Round (Ft. Rich Homie Quan, Iamsu!, and Lil Blood)”.
Hailing from Oak Park, one of the city’s most dangerous and disenfranchised neighborhoods, Mozzy is a voice for and an inspiration to friends, family, and fellow citizens. His inventive slang, vivid diction, and visceral emotion have made the 28-year-old a local star, and his music videos have racked up millions of YouTube views without outside help. His recent works have been heralded by distinguished publications like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone, which placed 2015’s Bladadah on its “40 Best Rap Albums of 2015” list. While Mozzy, Sacramento, and Oak Park are already synonymous, they will soon be ubiquitous.
Like most Oak Park denizens, the odds were stacked against Mozzy from birth. Born to a felon father and dope-addicted mother, his grandmother and several aunts raised him. The former instilled his unwavering work ethic while the latter inspired his interest in rap.
“My aunts used to listen to the music videos on BET. I recorded them and played them over and over,” Mozzy says. “Snoop Dogg, 2Pac, Death Row, and No Limit–they were my influences.”
Writing rhymes and rapping since the age of six, Mozzy performed at talent shows in his pre-teens and was featured on locally renowned rap albums. Unfortunately, gang life also colored his youth. Friends were lost to decade-long wars and Mozzy was consumed by the crossfire.
“I was forced into it. It wasn’t a part of my playbook,” he explains, citing several family members who were affiliated with gangs. “It just naturally happened.”
For years, Mozzy engaged in gang activity and sold narcotics concurrently. Still, writing and recording music was paramount, both a constant source of catharsis and a road to redemption. When he went to jail in 2014, he used his phone calls to orchestrate the release of already recorded albums and videos. In 2015, he released four independent albums (Gangland Landscape, Bladadah, Yellow Tape Activities, Down the Wire: 4th Ave Edition) and several collaborative projects. “I live in the studio,” he says. “I’m putting one in my house so I can literally live in it.”
While his early material was riddled with emptied clips and closed caskets, recent albums, like 2016’s Beautiful Struggle, display marked growth. The horrifying has become sobering, and the aggression has been supplanted by somber reflection. A proud and protective father who spent months fighting for the custody of his three-year-old daughter, Mozzy articulates personal and societal tragedies as much as he hopes to prevent them.
“Once upon a time, I didn’t talk about nothing but murder, selling drugs, and crazy shit,” he explains. “If you listen to my music now, it’s about the consequences of this shit.”
Now splitting time between L.A. and Sacramento, Mozzy is awaiting the release of his next album, Mandatory Check. In addition to features from Rich Homie Quan, IamSu, and the late Bay legend Jacka, the project showcases the talent of Mozzy’s closest compatriots (e.g. E Mozzy, Kunta) and his longtime go-to producer, June on the Beat. Still, the story belongs to Mozzy. Tales of retribution temper requiems for fallen friends. The pain of the past illuminates the profundity of newfound success. Throughout, he utilizes his singular Oak Park slang (e.g. yeeky, bladadah, blamatory), artful wordplay, and inimitable conversational flow. There are no radio friendly singles on the album, but Mozzy isn’t concerned. He only cares about his fans, the people who are still dealing with the hardships that rap has helped him escape.
(Mozzy Records and EMPIRE, June 10th 2016)
Pre-order: iTunes, Google
02 PAIN KILLERS FEAT. E MOZZY Prod By TD SLAPS
03 1 UP TOP FEAT. JUNE Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
04 MILLION DOLLARS SKIT
05 LIKE ME FEAT. MEEZY & JUNE Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
06 WON’T CHANGE FEAT. E MOZZY & PEEZY Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
07 ACTIVITIES 2 FEAT. LIL GOOFY & JUNE Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
08 ALL DAY FEAT. THE JACKA TONE C Lex Aura Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
09 MCM BOOK BAG FEAT. E MOZZY, LEEZY LYFE Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
10 COLD SUMMER Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
11 LOVE MY NIGGAZ FEAT. KID RED Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
12 ROUND AND ROUND FEAT. RICH HOMIE QUAN, IAMSU! & LIL BLOOD Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
13 SO 4REAL FEAT. MEEZY Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
14 ON TOP FEAT. E MOZZY & JUNE Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
15 MY NIGGAS FEAT. SLEEPY D, NONI BLANCO & KUNTA Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
16 WE GONE SLIDE FEAT. JUNE & BRUCE BANNA Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
17 BROUGHT UP FEAT. SLEEPY D, TAEDAKIID & KUNTA Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
18 IDK SHIT FEAT. KUNTA Prod By JUNEONNABEAT
Mandatory Check is due out June 10th via Mozzy Records in partnership with EMPIRE.