Mystikal's hardly ever been the stagnant type, but until recently, the former No Limit soldier had been relatively quiet since being released from prison in January 2010. The animated rapper appears to have now found his stride. Last November, he signed to Cash Money's ever-expanding roster. The release of his first YMCMB single, "Original," featuring Lil Wayne and Birdman, quickly followed. Last month, he contributed a guest verse to Machine Gun Kelly's "Wild Boy (Remix)" and delivered noteworthy performances at the Fader Fort and Lil Wayne's DeWeezy launch at South By Southwest. The wheels are now clearly in motion for the New Orleans spitter's Cash Money debut. XXL recently caught up with Mystikal to speak on his upcoming comeback LP, the differences between No Limit and Cash Money's operations and the status of his relationship with Master P, among other things.—Carl Chery (@cchery) Do you plan on dropping your YMCMB debut this year?

Mystikal: Yeah, it's coming out this year. Original is gonna be the title. When Stunna came up with the title for that song, that shit fitted, man. This [is] where that shit came from, as far as being from New Orleans. We the founders of that music, that rap game.

You have the distinction of being the only rapper to sign with both No Limit and Cash Money.

Right, who the fuck gets afforded that kind of opportunity? What does that say about a man? It's humbling, bro.

What are the differences in the way No Limit runs versus Cash Money?

The times are different, first of all. It's like oranges and apples. The formula is still the same. It’s the Take Over The World formula and Don’t Give A Fuck. Show them what it is, don’t tell them. It’s just on another level. This is a new day and a new time for real.

You're still cool with Master P?

Yeah. I talked to him not too long ago. He congratulated me on the signing and everything, man. Gave me a couple of pointers and keep your head up and get that money. That’s how that conversation went.

What else can you tell us about the album? Anybody you've been working with as far as features?

Yeah. I’ve been working on it since I got home and I’ve been home for two years. Some things change and I took some stuff out. I was still feeling my way around and this game has totally changed. It would have been too premature to come out too early. I wouldn’t know what the fuck to tell them cause I didn’t know what was going on.

Anything you can tell us as far as who you been working with, any tracks you already recorded?

I got so much stuff, man. Listen, trust me the muthafucka gonna be a monster. Believe that.

It’s been 15 years since 1997. We did an article in the last XXL issue about 1997 and the impact it had on hip-hop. What is 1997’s place in hip-hop history?

It was one of the bigger examples in the world of how to get that shit done. As soon as No Limit hit the set in that year, 97, 98 those three muthafucking years right there, oooohhh. And I watched it. I was right there on that muthafucka and it showed the world it could be done. It didn’t matter where you came from, what country, who you were. It could be done. It could be done and in a major way and a world changing way.

In that year you came out with Unpredictable. What do you remember about the making of that album and the impact it had when it dropped?

It’s real similar to the juncture in my career where I am now. I did my thing with Jive. I was a national recording artist, but I had run into a wall. I’m here but can't get no farther, can’t go no higher. Then I watched Master P take his company and grow and I was still trying to grow as an artist. P hired me to work on the Bout It soundtrack on a song called “What You Think” and I never left. He got a chance to talk to me and explain it, but I saw it and he didn’t really have to say shit, 'cause I saw it in his eyes. What he was doing and what he was about to do and I knew what I could bring to the table in that equation.

I just want to make sure to always tell my fans, thank you for the support. Through that entire ordeal, I got letters through the ass. Family support and shit like that. I was straight because of my fans. The way they thought about my ass and it was apparent because when I got out and came home their hands was still in the air ready to root for me, real talk. Thank y'all.