One thing that I have made an effort to do during this quarantine is to actively look for new musicians to listen to or write about. Since I have not been leaving the house except to work or go grocery shopping, I have been just sitting online doing nothing way too much; because of this, I’ve been forcing myself to find more new artists I love so I can tell people about them and feel productive. Now, I know that I am usually great at constantly finding new artists anyway, but lately, I had noticed that I was only really listening to and writing about artists I was super familiar with and albums I had been looking forward to, so this Lockdown has been a good way for me to break that habit. Mozzy is an artist I did not know really anything about until this Lockdown started. I had heard of him before, but I had really never actually sat down and listened to his music. Recently, I have seen a few people react to his single ‘Boyz to Men,’ and like the reactors, I really enjoyed this song. Mozzy is one of those artists that just spits bars about what he knows; he was raised in the Oak Park neighborhood of Sacramento, and it is apparent from his music that because of this he has lived through a lot of grizzly and tough experiences. Mozzy has a way of putting dark situations into perspective for the listener; even though he tends to rap about very real and harsh circumstances, he draws the listener in with his lyricism and keeps the listener on their toes with a variety of flows. With that being said, here is how I feel about Mozzy’s new record, Beyond Bulletproof. Let me know in the comments below if you agree with my opinion on this record, as well as what your favorite songs are from it!
If you have never heard Mozzy’s music before and want a good taste of what it is like, ‘Unethical and Deceitful’ is a great song to listen to. This song is such a great way to start Beyond Bulletproof because it shows you exactly what you are going to receive from this album from the get-go. There is nothing overly complicated or sophisticated about ‘Unethical and Deceitful;’ instrumentally and lyrically, this track is very to the point. I really love the melody from this song. The piano-driven riff that creates the melody is so simple yet so bleak and dark; it sounds like something that would be playing in a movie while someone is getting the shit beat out of them or while someone is getting caught hitting a lick. Lyrically, Mozzy is just telling us how he sees the world from the position he is in. One thing he talks about is how even though he started to make a lot of money off of his music, he can never get away from the thug life. One of my favorite points in the lyrics is the end of the song, where he is calling out those who have made a lot of money but still have family living on the streets because they won’t help. I love how even though Mozzy is a gangster through and through for life, he still will always make sure that his family and loved ones are doing well and are provided for. The next track, which is called ‘So Lonely’ and features Shordie Shordie, has an almost opposite vibe than the first track. This one is a slow and emotional jam; it has a melody that reminds me of early 2000s R&B artists like Marion and Omarion, and Shordie Shordie on the chorus actually reminds me of those artists as well. ‘So Lonely’ is an ode from Mozzy to his loved ones. On this track, he pays tribute to all of his family and all of his dead friends, telling them that he is grinding for them and that he will see them on the other side. It is interesting to hear him on an instrumental like this after how cold and to the point the first song is, and it proves that right away that he can flow and sound good on anything. Once again, the mood abruptly shifts as soon as the next instrumental starts. ‘Body Count,’ which features King Von and G Herbo, has a super tough and hard Chicago Drill beat that sounds like a lot of the stuff that King Von and G Herbo typically rap on in their own songs. Mozzy sounds so cool and comfortable on this song; on the track where he is talking about opps he has taken care of that has a really intense drill sound, Mozzy definitely shines. King Von and G Herbo also sound great on this track as well, as one would expect because this song has such a Chicago feeling. If you like super hype drill music, ‘Body Count’ is a song for you.
Them cold cuffs’ll turn a boy to a man, y’all. If he ain’t takin’ care his kids, don’t understand dawg. Nightmares of being captured in a standoff. Ain’t even make it to arraignment ‘fore she ran off… – ‘Boyz to Men’
I would hate to be the person that the next song was written about, that is for sure. ‘Betrayed’ is a track where Mozzy is talking about someone he was really close with that sold him out and did him wrong. It is obvious from the lyrics that Mozzy will never even think about forgiving this person; in fact, Mozzy makes it clear that he would try to kill this person if he ever saw or interacted with them again. The instrumental for this one again reminds me of a trap version early 2000s R&V. I wonder if Mozzy is a big fan of guys like Fabolous or Curren$y because he likes to rap on similar melodies to what these two used to consistently rap on back in the day. The next song, ‘Bulletproofly’ once again has one of those R&B style instrumentals that Mozzy seems to love rapping on so much. In my opinion though, out of all the instrumentals similar to this one up to this point, the one for ‘Bulletproofly’ is the most boring. It is not that it sounds abrasive or weird or anything like that; in fact, I almost wish that was the case because it just sounds boring to me. On ‘Bulletproofly,’ Mozzy is stating that he will always be loyal to his guys no matter what and that he expects the same from them. Basically, if you are able to gain Mozzy’s trust, he will do anything for you, including go out shooting if he has to. The lyrical sentiment of this song is pretty strong, and honestly, it does not match up that well with the instrumental in my opinion. ‘Bulletproofly’ is just honestly a pretty weird track and it just does not resonate with me. The aforementioned ‘Boyz To Men’ has a very similar energy and sound to ‘Unethical and Deceitful;’ it has a very dark and bold melody that sounds like something that would play during a shootout in a movie about gang warfare. The melody for this song is so frigid, and it really matches the cold-hearted energy that the lyrics have. ‘Boyz to Men’ is a song where Mozzy is just stating how he feels about his come up and about some of the people he has been surrounded with. This song is not for the faint of heart, and Mozzy is telling the intense story of how he became who he is today and why he feels the way he does about the world and its people. It is interesting to me how he says that you become a man when you get arrested and put on those handcuffs for the first time, and how you are not a man if you decide to abandon your kids under any circumstance. Mozzy lives by an interesting credo that he is very vocal and open about. One thing that can be stated for certain about this man is the fact that he is very honest and just tells it how he sees it. ‘I Ain’t Perfect,’ which features Blxst, is an introspective track that has a super chill and funky feeling to it. The instrumental has a smooth Atlanta Trap vibe that reminds me a lot of Young Thug’s more pop sounding songs; the melody for ‘I Ain’t Perfect’ has a very similar feeling to songs like ‘Relationship’ and ‘Just How It Is.’ Lyrically, Mozzy is letting us know on this track that he knows about his shortcomings. As confident and in control as he always seems, he knows that there are a lot of times in his life that he has definitely done the wrong thing and he is still learning from those mistakes. I really enjoy Blxst’s contribution to on the chorus of this song. His vocals sound pretty similar to a lot of Young Thug’s and Lil Keed’s higher-pitched singing, and it sounds really nice and natural on a track with this kind of melody. If you are into chill and relaxed sounding trap music, this is a track you need to download.
Whereas most of the Trap R&B style instrumentals on this album have lyrics that kind of create a juxtaposition with the instrumentals(because they are so intense and the instrumentals are kind of warm and easy-going), ‘Can’t Let You Go,’ which features Eric Bellinger, is a song with this kind of instrumental that has lyrics that are loving and sweet and totally match it. Mozzy does really not strike me as the kind of guy to make a love song, but I have to say that he is pretty damn good at it. On ‘Can’t Let You Go,’ Mozzy falls for a classy and more sophisticated kind of girl that usually does not go for guys that stay in the hood, and he is trying to convince her that he can be the right guy. It is cool and refreshing to hear a song like this after how intense and serious the rest of the album has been, and it shows that Mozzy has a lot of tricks up his sleeve. The next song is definitely another one of my favorite songs on this record(actually it is probably my favorite), and I would love it if it went viral so Mozzy and his features can get their due recognition with this awesome track. Tik Tok, please do your thing. ‘Pricetag,’ which features Polo G and Lil Poppa, has such a hard instrumental, and all three rappers keep the exact amount of energy that is required for it. I absolutely love the melody for this track; it reminds me of the kind of Ranchera music that is in the movie Desperado. Mozzy deep and husky voice sounds so weird and awesome on this track, and his flow works perfectly for it as well. If you actually only decide to listen to one song on this album after reading this, please make it this one because of its a banger. The next song, which is called ‘The Homies Wanna Know,’ is a song with another R&B Trap instrumental where Mozzy gets real with himself and kind of gets in his feels about how tough his life has been. I like that this song kind of has more of a 90s R&B feeling to it as opposed to an early to mid-2000s one like most of the other ones do from this record. On this track, Mozzy is basically comparing himself to people who sat that they have lived the gang life and had it rough and explaining that he really did come from the gutter and that it has not been easy. For some reason, I believe him more than I believe it when some other rappers talk about this kind of stuff; there is just a sincerity about Mozzy that shines through his voice and delivery.
Yeah, remember it wasn’t no hope in the hood. If you ain’t sellin’ dope, then you was broke in the hood. Name ringing bells, well known in the hood. Ask the cashier at the stores in the hood. We had it rollin’ in the hood, big homie in the hood… – ‘Big Homie From the Hood’
Although ‘Overcame’ has a somewhat similar feeling to its lyrics and tone as the song that precedes it, the instrumental definitely brings the energy back up, which is much appreciated after how chill the last song sounded. After the softer nature of the last track, it is nice to get a tough and fast-paced Trap like this one to keep the listener on their toes and make sure that this record is not stale in any way. Since ‘Overcame’ is song that is about beating the odds and getting over adversity, this hard as hell and lively instrumental matches with is super well and makes this track very motivating. ‘Overcame’ is the kind of song that everyone should add to their work out playlist because it will get you going. If ‘Overcame’ is the kind of song that would make you feel inspired while on your run, ‘Off the Muscle,’ which features Celly Ru and E Mozzy, is the kind of track to listen to get inspired for a shoot out. This song certainly has an intense ass sounding instrumental; I swear this track should be the theme song for the tv show The First 48 or something equally and cold and chilling. All three artists on this song sound like they are completely in their element on this song; even though this track is kind of scary-sounding gangsta rap, it is very captivating to listen to. Even though this is not the kind of song I am going to listen to every day, I will be coming back to it because it just goes so hard and I need to relive the energy this song creates in the future for sure. You know how I have continually said that a lot of the instrumentals on this record remind me of early 2000s R&B by artists like Omarion or Mario. Well, the final track, which is called ‘Big Homie From the Hood,’ is the perfect way to end this record because it literally contains an iconic Mario sample. The melody of this song is a sort of re-working of Mario’s iconic track ‘Let Me Love You;’ it even has harmonized humming that sounds so similar to the original. Mozzy is so fluid on smooth on this instrumental, and I can tell that he must have freestyled to it back in the day because he sounds very natural. ‘Big Homie From the Hood’ is a song that talks about all of the good and bad that goes on in the hood. I think he is trying to show that there can be hope in the hood and that you do not have to leave it once you start getting money. I do not think that there could have been a better way to end this record, and ‘Big Homie From the Hood’ is definitely a song I’ll be consistently listening to for a long time.
I am not going to lie, Beyond Bulletproof is probably not a record that casual Hip Hop fans and people that are more into turn-up/party Rap music are going to be that into. Apart from a couple of them, I would say that most of the songs on this record are not the kind of tracks I would listen to when pre-gaming to go out to a club or drinking with friends(which is what it seems like a lot of people listen to the genre for these days). I would say that Mozzy is a “rapper’s rapper;’ he uses so many different kinds of flows and raps with brutally honest and sophisticated lyricism, which are traits that I know a lot of fellow Hip Hop artists can appreciate. The instrumentals on this record are very eclectic as well, and Mozzy proves time and time again that he can pretty much rap on any kind of song. I think that people who are fans of older rap music that is more lyrical and that people who consider themselves “Hip Hop Heads” would really enjoy this record; if you would consider yourself to be one of these kinds of people, please stream Beyond Bulletproof right away because you will enjoy it.