Mozzy, from Sacramento, gangsta-rap as a way out of the struggle

Mozzy, hailing from Oak Park, Sacramento (California), has established himself as one of the most vivid and authentic street rappers in the United States after years of paying his dues.

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Mozzy’s troubled past in Oak Park, Sacramento.

Timothy Patterson, who goes by the stage name Mozzy, was born in Oak Park in 1987. This is known to be one of the most dangerous hoods in Sacramento, a temperate Californian city situated just above San Francisco and the Bay Area. Like many kids in his neighbourhood Mozzy didn’t have an easy childhood: with a father behind bars for over 10 years and his mother often being absent due to her drug abuse.

Mozzy and his sister were in fact raised by his grandmother, an ex black panther and practicing muslim who tried to educate her grandchildren in the best of ways but, unfortunately, young Mozzy was soon sucked into the ghetto’s harsh reality. Having to adapt to this difficult environment he joined a gang around 12 or 13 years of age. Like many other kids in his neighbourhood he became affiliated with the Oak Park Bloods. After dropping out of school at 18 he experienced his first run-ins with the law and was arrested and charged with drug possession, possession of a firearm and violating parole.

Mozzy and the Bay Area Hip Hop scene

As a teen Mozzy dreamed of becoming a successful rapper, meanwhile his grandmother was trying to keep him out of trouble by forcing him to work all kinds of jobs. During his adolescent years Mozzy had already worked hard to emerge in the local rap scene by releasing various mixtapes under the pseudonym Lil Tim.

Sacramento’s Hip Hop scene has always been symbiotically connected to the Bay Area and San Francisco. In this region Hip Hop culture had taken on a unique, and to some extent self-serving, identity. C-Bo, a local legend who was also part of the duo Thug Lordz, was among the first artists to put Sacramento on the map back in the 90’s and early 2000’s. Together with Yukmouth he is considered to be a pillar of the gangsta rap genre in the Bay Area. Bad blood has always existed between Mozzy, a Blood member, and C-Bo a notorious Crip.

In any case Mozzy was obviously heavily influenced by the whole Bay Area movement as he followed in the footsteps of legends like Mac Dre, E-40, Yukmouth and The Jacka as well as newcomers like Philthy Rich and Berner. Mozzy began to make a name for himself in the Bay Area between 2011 and 2014 by putting out numerous mixtapes, among which “The Tonite Show with Mozzy”  (2013) with Dj Fresh a Dj / Producer from Oakland. During this period he also established the independent label Mozzy Records together with long-time associate E-Mozzy.

L’anno buio del carcere per Mozzy

Despite the growing success that would also spark a violent beef with rival crews in his city, Mozzy, who was raising his daughter alone, continued to keep a foot in the streets. The street life unfortunately would bring him dire consequences. In 2014, just after becoming a father for the second time, he was arrested again for firearm possession and violating his probation. He was sentenced to a year in San Quentin jail, San Francisco. He has since declared this to be the darkest period of his life. After doing his time Mozzy became focused on turning his life around and started to concentrate more on his music career.

Mozzy’s thirst for success.

Upon release Mozzy spent most of his days locked in the studio. In 2015 he released Gangland Landscape and Bladadah, this album being considered by most as the turning point in his career. His name started to ring out in the streets of Los Angeles where he relocated for awhile. There he managed to earn the respect of Blood rappers like YG and Slim 400 as well as Crips such as Nipsey Hussle, Schoolboy Q and the whole TDE camp. It wasn’t long before the whole country knew who he was.

Once he had left the street life behind and was able to concentrate 100 percent on music, he started to make his life better. In the space of two years, by hard work and dedication, he managed to release tens of projects among solo albums and mixtapes. He also collaborated with well known rappers from the Bay Area (like Philthy Rich in Political Ties) all the way to Texas (Trae The Truth) and Florida ( like Gunplay with Dreadlocks & Headshots, 2016 and Chop Stixx & Banana Clips, 2019).

Thanks to his incredible motivation and innate talent in describing the pain he experienced during his years in the trenches, Mozzy continued to release quality music on a regular basis. During his period of ascent in 2016 and 2017 he published, among others, many classic projects such as “Fraternal Twinz” 1 and 2 with E-Mozzy (2016), Beautiful Struggle (2016), Mandatory Check (2016), Gang Related Siblings with June (2016), Yellow Tape Activities (2017), Fake Famous (2017) , 1 Up Top Akh (2017) and Can’t Fake the Real with Blac Youngsta (2017).

Quoted by Kendrick Lamar at the Grammy Awards.

Mozzy’s distinctive vocal tone and his ability to flow over both West Coast and Southern style beats, while narrating his authentic street testimony, has earned him a place among the greats. Passion and hard work enabled the Oak Park rapper to sign a collaboration deal between Mozzy Records and Empire, one of the biggest management and distribution agencies in the States.

In 2018 Mozzy’s position was finally solidified when Kendrick Lamar mentioned him in his acceptance speech while receiving a grammy for his classic album DAMN; then, Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick’s record label) included him in the soundtrack for “Black Panther”, a very successful blockbuster movie. Mozzy has therefore managed to make Sacramento gangsta rap popular worldwide.

Mozzy’s “conscious” gangsta rap.

Thankful for the big homie, coached me through the dope game
Boogers clutter both chains, Euros huggin’ both lanes
Caught up in this style of livin’, couldn’t if I want to change
Hang out on the porch with yay, out on bail, forced to pray
God is good, God is great, I thank you for another day
Thank you for this 100K, thank you for my girly face
I was too broke to ever visualize the world this way
Trapped inside a world of pain, I trapped for every quarter gained
I don’t do this shit for fame, bitch, I do this shit for gang
Mozzy “Sleep Walkin”

In 2018 and 2019 Mozzy’s run did not slow down. He continued busting out quality records, among which we can’t avoid mentioning: “Gangland Lord” , “Run It Up Activities” (with Kae One), “Slimey Individualz” (with Berner) “Chop Stixx & Banana Clips” (with Gunplay), “Internal Affairs, Blood Cuzzins” (with Tsu Surf) and “Bulletproof”, his latest effort, which was released in May 2020.

Contrary to many kids who shared his turbulent past and who are now dead or in jail, Mozzy can safely say that he made it. After hitting rock bottom he got his act together and turned his life around from negative to positive. His raps deeply analyze the degradation, violence and suffering that he had to go through on the come up. Today he is universally acclaimed as being one of the best lyricists on the West Coast. He is now free to raise his two daughters and give them both the lavish lifestyle that he was never promised as a child, meanwhile he continues to run Mozzy Records, promoting talented youngsters from Oak Park and sharing the fruits of his labour with the entire community.

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