If you’re still sleeping on Mozzy, you’re simply doing yourself a disservice. The rapper from Sacramento, CA is back in his element on “Spiritual Conversations”, spinning tales woven thick with fibers of emotion, truth, pain, and the streets that made Mozzy who he is. For those who’ve been fans of his, it is another solid addition to his catalogue and serves as a placating role until his album, Gangland Overlord, drops later this year. It has been a while since Mozzy dropped a solo project (1 Up Top Akh), and with his recent placement on the Black Panther soundtrack/album, the timing was definitely right for Mozzy to capitalize on his growing buzz. The name of the album sets up pretty well what the listener will hear throughout the duration of the EP. Many of Mozzy’s projects focus around the real-life tales of his time in he streets, the emotional rollercoasters he finds himself on constantly, and the struggles he goes through on a daily basis. In this regard, “Spiritual Conversations” is not that different, but it does seemed to be a more fine-tuned and cut down approach. Four of the six tracks have features on them, a majority of them being former collaborators such as YFN Lucci, Jay Rock and of course E Mozzy.
The first track on the album, “In My Prayers”, opens up with Mozzy spitting about how his life has been transgressing in the past few months, the ups and downs that he has been experiencing along his journey up the totem pole of fame. To the Mozzy fans who also happen to listen to electro-house, the beat is immediately recognizable as a Porter Robinson sample from his song “Shelter”. Now, I’m not the biggest electro-house fan in the world, but Porter Robinson is one of those artists who can transcend and connect with his hypnotic, one-of-a-kind electronic music. It is perfect for him and Mozzy to have somehow connected as Porter is usually viewed as his own category of music, and Mozzy is an outsider within the current world of hip-hop, an artist who keeps it real with whatever he’s doing and going through. They complement each other very well in a slowed-down, emotional way, Mozzy taking a little bit to connect on the beat but by the time the first hook hit he had found his groove.
The second song on the EP, “Remember” featuring YFN Lucci and E Mozzy slips back into a familiar Mozzy mold with soft keys opening to a lush beat perfect for letting the artist get on the track and just ride the beat. The song focuses around the experiences that these men went through as children in the struggle, giving advice and thinking about how far they’ve come. YFN does his thing on the hook, crooning away successfully, and E Mozzy wrapping up the track with a solid verse. Personally, I am a big fan of E Mozzy as I have yet to see him stumble on a Mozzy track, he is someone to potentially start giving looks to. The next song, “No Choice” follows along the same path, a soft opening breaking up into smaller pieces giving Mozzy a free board on which to create. “I suffer from similar inner demons, I been sippin for insignificant reasons” is a bar in the first verse, significant in that Mozzy recently came out on Instagram pouring his lean out, telling the world that he “kicked the cup”. His music still seems to portray that it’s his go-to when he’s dealing with shit, and all that can be said about that is best of luck to Mozzy in overcoming his demons, as deep as they might roll, because he is a voice that the youth needs to hear. He is a steady voice that speaks not from a space of glorification (although some of his songs definitely lean that way and he seemingly claims it), but rather from a place of learned knowledge through time spent down in the trenches. Much of his music follows this theme, with one of my favorite lines of his that he drops at the start of “No Choice”, (although he has said it different ways in the past), “You don’t wanna live like this”, being clear and up front that this is the life he lives is not one he would wish upon anyone else but since he’s in it he’s going to speak from and for it.
A theme that stays persistent throughout his album, and the rest of his music as well, is of Mozzy doing his best to show the young ones how to be real with it. “Cry a little bit but I’m a gangster”, a line from the first song on the EP, is crazy because it wasn’t that long ago that showing any emotion at all, even on a track like that, would have been unacceptable for someone like Mozzy. “I ain’t even vote I know I’m part of the problem, at the same time I’m showing ya how to prosper”, is a line on the “Interlude”, which contains most of Mozzy’s direct political takes. For the most part he talks about it in an abstracted way, describing institutional or systematic issues/racism instead. This theme is less prevalent on this album than in past tracks/albums such as on “The People’s Plan” off of last years Fake Famous. Overall, this album is a nice pleaser/teaser for his upcoming full-length album, Gangland Overlord, which is still without release date as of now. Mozzy continues to improve as a emotional, in-depth lyricist with deep capacity for story-telling, leaving the door open for improvement still in his lyrical war-chest and developing deeper themes to make political and societal statements.