Mozzy’s Beyond Bulletproof brings finesse to Gangster Rap

It’s no surprise that Kendrick gave him a shout out at the Grammys. Timothy Patterson, also known as Mozzy, has made serious headway in the West Coast, emerging as one of the premier artists in Gangster Rap. On top of churning out projects, the Sacramento-based rapper has linked up with guys from TDEs Schoolboy Q and to veterans such as Oakland MC Too Short. Originally rapping under the name Lil Tim, it wasn’t until his 2015 project “Bladadah” that Mozzy got on the radar, garnering coverage from big publications such as Complex and Rolling Stone. Not too long after that he arrived onto the mainstream, appearing on the official soundtrack for 2018’s “Black Panther.”

While Mozzy’s beat selection rarely deviates from his Bay Area peers, much of his appeal stems from his contemplative retelling of growing up in Sacramento’s Oak Park neighborhood. With his gravelly voice and nihilistic demeanor, Mozzy taps into the sentiments that drives the people he talks about in his work. “Beyond Bulletproof” seems to offer a slight contrast tone-wise from previous projects. The further inclusion of R&B elements on tracks like “Can’t Let You Go” and “I Ain’t Perfect” give this project a much more palatable sheen compared to his previous work.

We get features from King Von and G Herbo on “Body Count.” King Von made the most of his appearance bringing a hard-hitting combination of ad-libs and delivery reminiscent of early 2010’s Lil Durk. G Herbo’s verse wasn’t bad, however his signature off-beat flow was hard to follow. In “Boyz to Men,” the bass-heavy drums that ripple over synth chords evokes the dark solitude of driving in the night-time. For much of the song, Mozzy talks about maturing and learning how to avoid certain traps he sees his friends get ensnared in.

Every verse that Mozzy writes comes off as an intimate conversation. On tracks like “The Homies Wanna Know” we see him open up about Nipsey Hussle’s death and how that’s affected him. We also see that as he’s taken an elder figure role in his community on top of reflecting on the people he’s lost along the way. Much of the album consists of him being introspective, giving the album heart.

“Can’t Let You Go” is a love song featuring a sample from Fabolous’ song of the same name. Eric Bellinger did his thing on the hook as his high-pitch wailing gave the track extra flair. Mozzy spent much of his verses keeping up with Bellinger singing-wise. Also, his brash display of affection was somewhat quaint but eventually grew tired awfully quick. “Big Homie from the Hood” is the track that closes out the album. The beat is laid back as it’s a stripped back guitar sample of Mario’s “Let Me Love You.”

“Beyond Bulletproof is a solid release from Oak Parks finest. Outside of his singing, there’s little to complain about regarding the project. If you’re looking for trunk-rattling production with grimy storytelling, “Beyond Bulletproof”would very much fit the profile.