Fans of Cash Money records and southern rap generally were excited last year by a clip of Mystikal (of ‘Shake Your Ass’ fame, and recently released from jail) sitting in a car with legendary producer Mannie Fresh, rapping – well, shouting erratically – over a number of enticingly ace-sounding Mannie beats. Said excited people were probably very excited to see this track, artist widely mislabelled as “Mannie Fresh and Mystikal”, expecting a follow up to last year’s Mannie and Mystikal collaboration ‘Uh Oh’. Then they were probably slightly disappointed; but only if they discovered that ‘Move Fast’ is actually a track by New Orleans jazz band Galactic, featuring Mystikal rapping – well, shouting erratically, really – and Mannie providing the hook.
It’s not a Mannie Fresh beat, and it doesn’t even sound like one, but it’s a great track anyway. It’s exuberant and funky as fuck, a bit like Mystikal, who despite that“shouting erratically” quip I made earlier, remains a complete one-off in terms of rap styles, and is as effortlessly entertaining here as ever. Mystikal himself some jokes at the expense of his age – “Get off the floor, my knees won’t let me get that low”, but – perhaps because he’s always rapped in a grizzled growl – he doesn’t sound past it at all. His strange, constantly crescendoing/de-crescendoing rapping also makes sense in a jazz context, almost resembling a free-form instrumental riff.