MOZZY COVERS LOOT & RIOT MAGAZINE
Your catalogue is so extensive, man. Impressively so. With more than 20 albums under your belt going back to the Money Means Mozzy series, plus the collaborative projects. What has been the internal driving force behind all of this music? I was just concentrating my forces. I knew if I stayed consistent I could win at this rap sh!t. I knew I could produce a thousand dollars off of each album digitally. This was in like ’09 or ’10. And I knew if I had one song to pop, just a slapper that had everybody going, they would circle back to the whole catalogue, and that’s exactly what happened. Bladadah did that. I taught myself to upload my music on iTunes first, then as I discovered different platforms or when new platforms came out, I learned to put my music on those platforms as well. This was all done digitally. It just took off, started generating more and more revenue, spreading further out to different states expanding the fan-base while keeping the core fans. I would never want to abandon or feel like I’ve gotten too big for my core audience because they are the one’s who went hardest for a n!99a in the beginning and got me here.
And how about external motivation. What factors would you say summarize your ambition? Why were you so determined to make this music career you had envisioned actualize? It’s what I’ve been doing for a lifetime. I have been doing this my entire life. It’s what I woke up working toward, worked on all day, and fell asleep three, four in the morning working on. And I knew couldn’t nobody fuck with me in rap. I knew I had the ability, and even more so the heart for this shit. Rap is my ring, my arena. My calling. I was born to do this, but I knew from an early age that it wouldn’t be handed to me. So I worked, sometimes I worked harder than maybe I should have or needed to just because I knew all the work would pay dividends ten times greater than that work I invested, feel me.
What is the earliest experience you can recall, a time where you made some music? Even if it was just writing a song on paper. (Contemplates, reflects…) When I was around 11, I went to a talent show in Del Paso Heights. I saw these two kids, they may have been twins but they could have just been brothers who were close in age. They performed a gospel rap song. And the people in attendance were into it. I went home and wrote a gospel rap song, and I would read it over and over just walking around the house rappin’ until I remembered it. I got a rush from saying it for my lil’ n!99as at school or in the neighborhood. How they’d be like “Awwwhhhh, that’s hard!” They fucked with a young n!66a so I kept at it. And you know that feeling, that rush, it never goes away. Even today, when I do a show, that light inside me comes on. Bright as hell, too.
You grew up in Oak Park, the bloodiest part of South Sacramento. Describe the elements and energy that surrounded you in your community. As far as the gangs, streets, drugs, guns and all that my family was involved in the streets. It’s nothing I had to go out and search for. My uncles, my pops, all the big dogs, the n!99as driving Nova’s and 5.0 cars, the dudes bringing money home to they families and out there getting money were bangin’. But it was more organized than it is today. Certain things weren’t allowed, there were rules, and rank, and structure. And all of this internet fuckery wasn’t going on. Everything you were known for was dependent on your reputation. So you had to earn your rep and then live up to it. Now it’s clout chasing. Do you have more money than he has? That shouldn’t mean shit, it didn’t to us. But it mean everything to these little n!66as running around with the flag now.
So your upbringing essentially prepared you for the life you ended up living. I had a beautiful upbringing. My grandmother taught me everything, I knew right from wrong. But at a certain age you start doing the local thing. I started off n!66a knocking, kicking people’s cars to trigger their alarms, started ditching school, then it gradually progressed from there in a negative way. Now I’m kicking in doors, rummaging through safes looking for guns and money. And it honestly seemed like the normal thing to do, like nothing is wrong with what you are doing because you are just participating in the same activities most of the kids your age are engaged in.
What was your thought process on a daily basis? How does one organize their lives in the midst of chaos? Outside looking in, I was able to navigate, but like, I got caught up. I served prison time. I did county time. My little brother had to walk around shittin’ in a bag for a few months. I been shot at multiple times. People with me been shot, almost had their lives taken, and I know its for being with me. But I’m beyond blessed. It’s not like I did anything differently, or some master plan worked. God just picked me out the lineup and said ‘You. I’ma help you. I’ma bless you’. And I’m not sure why. I’m just very blessed to be one of the few that slithered through the cracks. It wasn’t me being smarter or wiser. I’m just blessed to be in the position I’m in and to have the life I have and I’ma keep working hard and being smart to maintain it. Just keep progressing.
Gen Z has the highest kill rate, suicides, school shootings, drug overdoses, gang violence. Why are these kids killing themselves and each other? Drugs and the internet. You doing crazy shit, gangsta shit, or just a mischievous child or a defiant kid, drugs is going to amplify that activity. Your behavior is going to be even more wild. I once upon a time was a teenager. And I thought of doing crazy shit, not blowing up no building or shooting up a school. Nothing like that. But I thought, at times maybe, the world might be a better place without a n!66a present. It’s really all a tantrum. They are ranting and raving as a cry for help. And the internet normalizes everything. They can Google a murder and see a man get shot with real bullets, watch him choke on his own blood, see him bleed out and die. That desensitizes them to the shit, makes them numb. They’re walking around numb and then the drugs give them that high and that psychotic mindset to go and act out that movie playing in their heads.
Mozzy’s take on a Tupac Shakur video clip where ‘Pac states: “I don’t feel like that’s my job, to humble myself, to show you that I’m not a threat. I’m not a threat.” The god Pac didn’t feel it was his responsibility to keep reading people his resume, over and over, to prove he’s not the monster he is made out to be in the media. You are faced with a similar misunderstanding. Is he a gangsta? They kill people. Is he going to kill me? Is it your job to ease these people’s minds, time and time again, to ensure their comfort? Hell naw that ain’t my muthafuckan job! To explain who I am, why I think the way I do, why I express myself like this. That ain’t my job or my responsibility. My job is to continue to express positive energy and to keep sharing my life, the good and the bad. To keep motivating people to get up and go out and accomplish things and be successful even though the odds are stacked high against them. It’s not my job to make a person, who is scared or insecure due to their prejudice or their belief in what the media portrays me as, feel more safe in my presence. And that goes for anyone. Just because this girl is Gothic or this dude is Catholic or them people over there surf in the ocean but those other two next to them are afraid of the water – it’s not their responsibility to make sure people understand why they’re like that, and what happened in their lives that made them that way. To me, what indicates real power, it’s that uniqueness, that boldness, that rare self that you bring to the world. That’s your power. Never let anybody take your power away from you. Shit, be powerful and stay powerful.