-- By doubleay
In the oversaturated market that is contemporary Hip-hop, it sounds as if flows are endlessly recycled and styles have become the furthest thing from original. But amid the monotony of generic rappers heard in 2016, a diamond in the rough emerges that is refreshing the genre -- Mozzy. With his new album Beautiful Struggle freshly released, the Oak Park, Sacramento rapper has undoubtedly become one of the most exciting upcoming artists in California. He has released five albums and raked in millions of views on multiple music videos just this last year. He even landed the 22nd spot on Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Hip-hop Albums of the Year list. Mozzy’s numbers are clearly apparent but there is just something about his passionately painstaking lyrics that offer so much more truth and genuineness than other any other artist rapping about similar content.
Here’s the video for the title track from Mozzy’s Rolling Stone-rated album, Bladadah:
Mozzy’s 2016 album, Beautiful Struggle, paints a picture of his personal journey. From his first time stepping into a recording booth at eleven, Mozzy has faced adversity in almost all aspects of his life. With his father serving time in prison and his mother dealing with drug addiction, he was brought up by his grandmother. As he grew older he began to find himself surrounded by theft, substance abuse, and other gang-related activities. His presence in school began to fade as he found himself succumbing more and more to organized crime and drug dealing. As Mozzy’s environment continued to have altering effects on his lifestyle and actions, the one thing he remained committed to was his music. In a January 2016 interview on Vice.com, Mozzy said, “I just got involved in everything I saw my peers getting involved in, but I always rapped…I was a kid doing this shit. Sixteen, seventeen, we start shooting, doing drive-bys and shit, stealing our grandmothers’ guns, stealing guns from breaking in houses and shit, but at the time I was writing and I was rapping about this shit.”
-- By doubleay
For this third installment in the ongoing Hip-Hop Behind Bars: A First Person Account Amoeblog series by longtime incarcerated Sacramento rap artist Anerae “X-Raided” Brown, the artist writes about his early days in hip-hip, joining the Crips, what got him sent to prison, the meaning behind the recurring "Unforgiven" theme, his new label and recent signees and his recent releases, which are available at Amoeba Music.
There is also a breakdown of his career timeline that includes the songs he wrote for C-Bo and his own extensive discography, which is all the more impressive considering that he has done most of it somehow from behind bars.
by Anerae “X-Raided” Brown
I was born in Sacramento, California, on the Southside. When I'd get in trouble my mom would send me to Prichard, Alabama, with my father, out near Mobile. I've been all up in Happy Hill. Other times I'd be out in East Waco, TX, from Trendwood to the Sherman Mannors. I lived in the Village for a while too. I got back from one of those trips down south around the time I was 15. I joined the 24th Street Garden Blocc Crips that summer. The homies Big J-Dogg and Slim put me on. In hindsight, I coulda done something better with my life, but at the time I wasn't tryina hear that. All I cared about was the Blocc.
I started writing rhymes seriously when I was 15 or 16. I'd go to juvenile hall for getting caught with a sack of dope, or riding in a stolen car with a gun. It was always something. My mom would come pick me up. We never had to do more than a few months; sometimes we'd go home the next day. During those times in juvy I'd write rhymes to pass the time. I learned how to format my rhymes by listening to other rappers and feeling it out. My cousin Nicole knew Sicx, Sicx introduced me to (Brotha) Lynch and we got to work. I ended up signing with Black Market Records and the rest is history.