After years as certainly one of rap’s most prolific workhorses, Sacramento’s Mozzy has entered a brand new period. Now aligned with Yo Gotti’s label CMG—rebranded from Cocaine Music Group to the extra presentable Collective Music Group—he joins a roster of younger and hungry expertise that extends far past California. Whereas his sing-song West Coast supply may sound laid again in comparison with the drawl of Moneybagg Yo or the pure grit of EST Gee, Mozzy shares a penchant for blunt lyricism and vulnerability with Gotti’s proteges.
Survivor’s Guilt, Mozzy’s newest solo effort and first for CMG, wears the heavy baggage implied by its title like a badge of honor, as Mozzy opens up about hearts damaged, wounds unhealed, and time served. As a now 35-year-old who began spitting at age 16, Mozzy is an authorized veteran with regards to spinning tales and baring his soul. He by no means wants to lift his voice or act out simply to seize your consideration; his supply is assured and constant however by no means overconfident. However regardless of how second nature rapping is for Mozzy, he by no means lets that confidence tilt into vanity. On Survivor’s Guilt, he makes some extent of acknowledging how delight has typically been a stumbling block in engaged on his psychological well being.
From the opening bars of “Not the Identical,” there’s a lurking unhappiness beneath, however it’s extra clear-eyed than dejected or defeated. Slightly than hiding his scars from the world, Mozzy accepts them as an inextricable a part of his pores and skin and his story. On “Actual Ones,” Roddy Wealthy sings his bleeding coronary heart out: “Misplaced a variety of actual ones/By no means shed tears.” In lieu of crying or speaking it out, rapping is the means by which Mozzy exorcizes his demons.
The supply on Survivor’s Guilt is continuously melodic and the manufacturing ornate, however Mozzy’s music isn’t fairly pop, working extra with tightly-packed verses and emotional storytelling than with hooks. Swish retro touches, just like the refrain of vocoders on “Wouldn’t Be Us,” give his music a traditional tenor with out resorting to a intentionally throwback fashion; soothing vocals from Blxst emphasize the traces of R&B effervescent beneath Mozzy’s evenly sung raps. Spanish guitar, glistening piano, and mournful strings fill out an opulent sound that balances out the despair and battle in Mozzy’s lyrics. Regardless of the regional variations, it’s not unfair to check Mozzy’s melodic supply to the hybrid singing flows of Houston rap, given his in depth work with gravelly-voiced Texan legend Trae the Fact.
A part of why Mozzy has been capable of stay so blisteringly prolific is his effectiveness as a collaborator—a considerable portion of his discography are joint tasks, and mixtapes with the likes of Gunplay and YG comprise a few of his finest work. Mozzy proves an efficient tag group companion with EST Gee on “Lurkin’” and 42 Dugg on “Smoke Nuffin’”, his years of expertise and assured circulate weaving effortlessly with the forcefulness of his youthful labelmates. Collaboration permits Mozzy to slip right into a extra uptempo and hook-oriented register than his solo introspections, just like the club-ready “In My Face,” which recruits 2 Chainz, YG, and Saweetie for a candy slice of hyphy.
Nevertheless it’s when Mozzy speaks on his personal that his music is most distinct and direct—searing monologues like “Ain’t Actually Actual” draw the listener shut as in confessional. On “Open Arms,” Mozzy shares an aching story of rising other than a childhood pal, solely to reunite years later within the jail yard. After a lifetime of holding again tears, he lets all of it out in a susceptible flood, an ocean of regrets and trauma that threatens to drown him. Step one in processing any sort of emotional ache is acceptance, and Survivor’s Guilt is an album-length train in recognizing and acknowledging the injuries Mozzy has been too scared to heal.