NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Thousands turned out Friday to see New Orleans rapper
Mystikal perform one last time before returning to jail on a probation
The rapper, whose real name is Michael Tyler, was released from a Louisiana
prison in 2010 after serving six years for sexual battery and extortion. He
returns to jail May 14 following a February arrest on a misdemeanor charge of
domestic abuse battery.
In April, the rapper's attorney, Roy Maughan Jr., said Tyler and the victim
in the domestic battery case were longtime domestic partners.
The rapper alluded to his legal problems on stage Friday
"I'm going through some things, but it's gonna be all right," Mystikal said
to cheering fans. "Fellas if you get into it with your girl, just walk away. Me?
I'm gonna run."
He also shouted: "Eighty-one days and I will be back," referring to the
length of his pending jail term.
State District Judge Tony Marabella of Baton Rouge ordered Tyler to serve 90
days in jail for the violation but gave him credit for the nine days he was
detained after his Feb. 22 arrest.
Mystikal thanked his fans for their continued support and, in between a few
water breaks, pushed through a set list that included fan favorites "Bouncin'
Back, "Danger (Been So Long)," and "Here I Go."
"He's been through a lot, but I like artists who keep pushing past their
struggles," said Erik Hamilton, of New Orleans. "A lot of people focus on an
artist's problems and forget that he's a regular person and regular people
sometimes have problems.
"I'm disappointed to hear he has to go back (to jail) but he'll have some
time to sit back and realize what he's done and hopefully he will be a better
man when he comes out."
Hamilton's wife, Frenchell Pannell-Hamilton, said she enjoyed the rapper's
"We have to support our local musicians and stand behind them," she said.
"That helps keep New Orleans strong."
Tony Jones, visiting from Hawaii, said he didn't know what happened to get
Mystikal a return ticket to prison, but hoped "the judge was lenient."
Jason Foster, a Charlotte, N.C. native now living in New Orleans, said he
grew up with Mystikal. This was his first time at the Jazz Fest and his first
time seeing the rapper's live show, which included music by his full brass band
"He played all his hits and gave a great show," Foster said.
Tyler pleaded guilty in 2003 to forcing his hairstylist to perform what a
judge called "continuous sex acts." The victim in that case accused Tyler and
two bodyguards of making her perform oral sex after accusing her of stealing
$80,000 worth of his checks.